Category Archives: Civil Litigation

3 Really Important Things to Know When Contracting With Strangers Via Internet

  contract magnify

It’s a different world today than many of us grew up with because of the proliferation of electronically-oriented commerce.  With the increased used of “social media”, which are online methods of mass communication such as Facebook, Google+, and blogging, folks are constantly trying to enlarge their sphere of influence to garner customers and trading partners.  Certainly with these options available people are making connections that the world would have never dreamed possible even 20 years ago.

In part, driven by the overall decline in the economies of the Western world, people are taking their financial futures into their own hands and setting up businesses online.  It now seems commonplace to do business with companies when you have never met a single person who works for the company.  You have never met their salesperson, their distributor, their manufacturer or even their limo driver.

Because the “world wide web” is, well, worldwide, often these potential trading partners are located in other countries or on other continents.  There is not necessarily a problem with that as long as things are going well with that trading partner.  What happens when there is a dispute though and the parties are not able to solve it by amicable means?

Often a contract dispute occurs.  How that dispute is resolved will often hinge on three clauses:  the “venue” clause, the “governing law” clause, and the “mediation/arbitration” clause.  You may be thinking, “Well, if I have a problem with this trading partner, I will just sue them in small claims court!”  Not so fast.

Venue

Generally toward the end of the contract, probably on one of the last two pages, you will find a clause governing where the dispute is to be handled.  The chances are very great that the location, or venue, for the handling of the dispute is in the town, county, province, state and/or country of the party that drafted the agreement, not where you live.  This is therefore something to look for when entering into these 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.