Having just returned from the largest ACC (Association of Corporate Counsel) 2011 Annual Meeting in Denver, I had some conversations that were unexpected. I was surprised by the openness to new ideas from a group of highly educated, extremely successful General Counsels, at the top rank in their companies. They came to learn and to exchange ideas about how to meet current legal and business challenges. Most sessions were full, with panels consisting of both sides – Inside Counsel and Senior Executive as well as Counsel from Law firms.
When I asked a 20-year veteran GC about this format, she said “If we left it to our outside counsel, we’d never do anything. He is always looking for “perfect” and we are trying to determine the best approach based on what we know and on existing resources.” Things, it seems, are seldom black and white, but a matter of interpretation.
And that is much like information and discovery. GCs are trying to make best use of scarce resources to move, as best they can, towards a comprehensive information management program, consistently implemented across their entire organization. Their efforts will demonstrate “good faith” that will be viewed most favorably by the courts when companies face a discovery request or litigation.
Many vendors exhibiting at the show were selling legal services or technology, including eDiscovery.
As the custodian for 97% of the Fortune 1000 records and information, we are most likely already doing business with you. We help our customers manage their information over the entire lifecycle, so it is available when needed, in a format they can quickly access – physical or digital. We also provide discovery services to cull, organize and convert paper to digital images, code, unitize, redact, Bates Stamp and load this information into a review platform to speed the review process. We can even restore your backup tapes. By dramatically reducing data sets early in the process, you realize substantial savings in imaging costs and attorney review time. And we can do this in a way that fits easily with organizational resources and systems as they are now. And we are able to fit to requirements as they evolve.
Our theme at the ACC show –”Information Management as Art Form” – really resonated with attendees. Maybe that is because the best attorneys realize that nothing is black and white. Perfect does not really exist. It is always a matter of interpretation.