Monthly Archives: January 2012

Ethics in Fundraising – Fulfilling Donor Intent – The Garth Brooks Gift

The recent victory by Garth Brooks in his suit against an Oklahoma hospital for failing to build a women’s health facility in return for a $500,000 donation demonstrates that it took a big name donor to draw attention to this issue.  Mr. Brooks had alleged that the agreement occured at a meeting and the promise was made orally.  This is a fairly common situation in big dollar fundraising.

How much of a hospital facility will $500,000 build?  Answer:  Maybe a couple of hallways.  Hospitals are some of the most expensive buildings to build, except for, perhaps, high security structures for, say, the President of the U.S.  Ask any contractor who builds hospitals and you will learn that the building does not require HVAC, water, electricity and plumbing, but it also possesses complicated communications systems, a distribution network for gasses and other needed delivery systems. Continue reading

IT Options for Easing Litigation Hold for E-Discovery

We have been in the computer age for several decades now.  In most sizeable companies, a considerable amount of communication occurs in electronic format and is never printed onto a semi-permanent medium like paper.  Over the years, the courts have developed permissions for parties to discover this information during the course of the lawsuit.  No longer may a company hide its’ operations under cloak of electronic communication.

The federal courts were the first to adopt written standards for exchange of electronic information during discovery.  “Discovery” is a term meaning that stage of a lawsuit, or litigation, where all parties to the suit obtain access to relevant papers, information, physical objects, locations and witnesses pertinent to the issues in the case.  The reason discovery exists is so that everyone in the suit is accorded their procedural due process rights, as guaranteed by the U.S. California and Nevada constitutions.

Professionals in both law and technology converged to develop standards to give others in the lawsuit some sort of assurance that the party producing the information was indeed producing all of the information and had not deleted it.  Naturally the party asking for the information wants all of it, not just selected portions the responding party decides to reveal.  If the asking party had its’ way, the responding party would keep everything it ever did and never get rid of it.

As technology and the use of it expanded in commercial settings, companies began to realize how expensive and burdensome it is to keep all communications.  You hear some workers complain that they easily receive 200 emails per day.  Multiply that times the number of employees and one can see that data starts to build up, requiring physical assets, computers and servers to retain all of this data.  Companies began to want to delete stale data for the reason of expense and for security’s sake.

Enter the “litigation hold”.  The federal courts and the State of California developed law that requires a company who understands that they will be involved in litigation to put a “hold” on the destruction of electronic and other material that may prove relevant to the case.  In addition, now, parties, knowing they will likely enter into litigation, will ask the other parties to put a “hold” on destruction.

Electronic discovery or “e-discovery” or exchange of electronic communication is often very expensive on both sides and is not used in all litigation.  IT professionals are employed to do the exchange, and they all charges fees.  Reviewing the information obtained is very expensive because most of what is produced is not even relevant to the legal issues at hand.

Nevertheless companies are looking for inexpensive ways to manage e-discovery.  There are many vendors which provide services and products in this regard.

One of these is google.com.  The following indented text is from the google apps website:

Archiving and e-discovery tools for Google Apps

Compliance and e-discovery risks exist for organizations of all types today. A proactive strategy for managing these risks includes email archiving and search tools that allow organizations to respond quickly and effectively when the need arises. Google Apps customers can purchase archiving and search tools as an add-on product for Google Apps.

Archiving and e-discovery, powered by Postini, provides the ability to:

  • Allow administrators to search a centralized email archive
  • Set email retention periods for up to 10 years to comply with corporate policies
  • Implement litigation holds to preserve email messages
  • Identify and export email messages for further analysis & review

Archiving and discovery tools are available as an add-on for Google Apps for Business and Education Edition. If you are interested in purchasing Google Message Discovery, please contact sales.

If you are interested in standalone versions of Postini Services for your existing email server, please visit the Postini website.

Check out our “Archiving and discovery for Google Apps” datasheet for more information.

Archiving and e-discovery tools for Google Apps

As a service to our readers and clients, we wanted to pass on the google information.  Please use this service at your own risk and do your due diligence to assure yourself that this is the right service for you. Please note that we obtain nothing by way of providing this link or information.

New Laws for California Contractors

Several new laws that took effect on January 1, 2012, may affect your business operations and employees.

  • LLC companies may now be licensed as contractors;
    certain types of misrepresentation of information in a mechanic’s lien voids the claim;
  • a new requirement for workers’ compensation insurers to notify CSLB if your policy is cancelled;
  • different penalties for not paying the general prevailing wage on a public works project (does not affect private works);
  • a new requirement to re-certify your workers’  compensation insurance exemption at the time of each license renewal;
  • requirements for notifying CSLB when a license qualifier disassociation takes place; and,
  • a new alert is sent to CSLB from the Labor and Workforce Development Agency when employees are misclassified as independent contractors.

Please contact our office or the Contractors State License Board if you have any questions about these changes.