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Alextronic Discovery
An Electronic Discovery Blog covering News, Articles
and Thoughts for the Legal and Corporate Community Author: Alexander H. Lubarsky, LL.M., Esq. - alubarsky@enterusa.com - Tel. (415) 533-4166 OR 800-375-4222 THIS BLAWG IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH THE WEB SITES WWW.DISCOVERYRESOURCES.ORG OR WWW.DISCOVERYRESOURCES.COM


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Metadata and Retetention Policies 'Down Under''? You got that right, Mate!  

Metadata and Retention Policies 'Down Under''? You got that right, Mate!

OK, now we can safely say that the little niche cottage industry called e-discovery has gone global.

This year marks the first substantial changes tot he Australian civil code concerning (gulp) data retention policy best practices and metadata handling. And you thought them Aussie's only handled boomerangs, Fosters and Vegemite.

This month in Sydney a smattering of attorneys, government officials, corporate counsel types and didgeridoo IP professionals will converge around the barbie and discuss natives ... but not the aboriginal type that hang around Uluru and Alice Springs. No, these folks will be 'men at work' discussing the new rules regarding the handling of electronic data and electronic evidence that have been propounded in Victoria and which is taking hold around the red-rock nation/continent from the Sydney harbor all the way to the opal mine shafts of Coober Pedy.

How can a Yankee get an invite to speak at this gig?

I miss Australia. I spent a few weeks there with my wife in the late nineties scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef and grilling shrimp when we weren't shopping for aboriginal art and ornate boomerangs. I recall when my dive master, Peter Andrews, asked me as we returned to shore from a mesmerizing fifty foot wall dive off of Port Douglas, "So mate, what is it you do up there?"

"E-discovery consulting mostly" I said, quickly realizing that Peter knew as much about e-discovery as I did about the mating habits of a wallaby. Peter scratched his head and I tried to explain load files, deduplication, retention policies, litigation hold protocols and metadata to him. After a good ten minutes he suggested we talk about cricket and tap the keg of Victoria Bitter that was knocking around the scuba tanks as we zig zagged through the reef.

I was amazed at how clean and well organized Australia appeared to be as a whole. Each time I would compliment the Aussies on the near-Utopian society they had crafted from a once squalid penal colony, they reminded me that they paid income tax at rate near fifty percent and, in some cases, more.

"Thanks for that" I would comment as I strolled the clean and well lit streets and admired public masterpieces such as the Sydney Opera House.

It looks like those inflated tax dollars will now be used to pay legislators who will likely have to learn of the saga of Laura Zubulake and Coleman Holdings.

I admit that I am not familiar with the British style common law that Australia has adopted and that I can guess that the judicial rules committees made the right decision keeping the Tory wigs and rejecting rules that would call out for protracted, over inclusive, cost-prohibitive data discovery as far as settling on the more appealing accouterments to liven up the courthouse. Suffice it to say, however, that I would bet dollars to donuts - no, make that dollars to lollies - that somewhere out there in the land down under, a koala bear custody dispute will turn on that one deleted yet recoverable email that came back out of nowhere to sting the defendant like so many boomerangs. It is the empowerment of the Australian barrister and solicitor to get to the truth via digital evidence that will turn the land down under right side up.

Hell, if they're serving Balmain bugs at these Australian e-discovery events, I'll swim there myself and present my paper on the comparative landscape of the FRCP and the new E-discovery rules adopted by the Queensland Supreme Court in Brisbane.

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posted by Alexander | 9:06 PM

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