“Companies today face significant and disruptive challenges, from increased disclosures and obligations in multiple jurisdictions to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its unanticipated effects on business globally. To effectively and transparently manage an organization and ensure it is meeting these challenges, boards need an effective and adaptive corporate governance program. Corporate governance can be enhanced and improved by the explicit integration of a well-conceived information governance program—an efficient and cogent framework for enterprise information management—that will help companies lower risk and enhance their value propositions.”
“In the early 2000s, a series of civil lawsuits against giant corporations illustrated the disastrous consequences that could ensue if a defendant failed to provide electronic evidence such as company emails or records.”
“Big corporations rallied for changes and got them. In 2006, the rules that govern federal litigation were changed to create a ‘safe harbor’ that would protect companies from consequences for failing to save electronic evidence as long as they followed a consistent policy and, when put on notice of imminent litigation, preserved all relevant materials.”
Todd Rains, Chief Administrative Officer of Shumaker shares his experience on the steps his firm took to assess their current state of information governance and identify the steps to transition to a “paper-lite” environment, supported by strong information governance (IG) policies and processes: “Interview with Shumaker” —
“Our costs had been escalating because of a retention policy that had us storing physical records for an excessively lengthy period of time. It became clear that we needed to create the ability to destroy records in a cost-effective manner.”
“An October 2018 decision issued by the Maryland State Bar Association’s Committee on Ethics was the first of its kind in the US. While the bar did not seek to opine on the obligations of law firms under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it provided an interesting glimpse into how US-based bar associations, and law firms, will need to be mindful of the regulation.”
“For years, the perception has been that old-school records managers attended the MER Conference. In fact, attendance this year covered the entire spectrum from corporate to legal and government. Yes, there were records folks, but there were also many people from the C-suite, information technology, privacy, and security. Were it my place to do so, I would re-cast the MER Conference as an information governance event.”
“Information governance and the protection of corporate data are top concerns for law firms. To ensure standards are met, some clients are now tying payment to compliance with Outside Counsel Guidelines (OCG). OCG have moved from guidelines to actual contracts that provide for indemnification of the client for cyberbreach and violation of privacy laws, and require firms to explicitly secure the client’s data.
Interview with: John Churchill, Records Department Manager, Nelson Mullins
Nelson Mullins is an Am Law 100 firm with headquarters in Columbia, South Carolina, where John Churchill has served as Records Department Manager since 2007.
“I manage a department of 30 people, including a team of five supervisors on the ground, four of whom have responsibility across our 25 offices and are constantly traveling. The fifth supervisor is based at the Records Administration Center, and is the systems administrator for FileTrail.… Read more