While records and information management (RIM) requires a multidisciplinary approach, qualified legal counsel is often in the best position to ensure compliance with myriad record retention laws and to help companies significantly reduce storage and litigation costs. Following are some RIM concerns and why properly trained legal counsel is the best choice for handling it:
- Content management with audits and litigation in mind: Legal counsel should assist all company functions in understanding what to write and what not to write.
- Accurate assessment of company documents: Because legal counsel is cross-functional, it is in a prime position to inventory records across the company and help determine where and how records should be retained to facilitate a reasonable turnaround if the data is requested.
- Proper retention of key records: This involves legal requirements and takes into consideration the duration of the statutes of limitations. Records must be retained long enough to substantiate claims or defenses in audits or litigation.
- Defensible disposition: There is a cost associated with the retention of electronic data that is redundant, obsolete and trivial, so-called ROT, as well as outdated key records. Legal counsel can provide guidance for the proper disposition of data before a legal hold occurs so that a company can reduce its review and production costs and, potentially avoid having to explain misleading and/or poorly written documents during litigation or audits.