Canada has been gracious enough to offer themselves up as an example of why having an eDiscovery system in place is really important.
It has been reported that in British Columbia, many email correspondences that occurred between the executive branch and the cabinet during one of the biggest business deals in Canadian history: the sale of BC Rail to CN Rail have been accidentally or mistakenly deleted.
According to The Globe and Mail, "Wiped out, according to George Copley, a lawyer representing the B.C. Executive Council, are four years of tapes covering the crucial period when the government negotiated the sale of BC Rail to CN Rail."
Not only is it embarrassing to admit that these errors occurred, it's also very expensive. This case has the potential to be one of the most expensive ediscovery cases ever in Canada.
Not Just Any Strategy
Implementing eDiscovery for the enterprise creates some organizational challenges, such as whose responsibility is it to search and discover? Some point to IT, while others point to Human Resources. The truth is -- as the Canadian government is learning -- is that having a fast, dependable and well-organized compliance strategy to protect your company in the event of an eDiscovery request, is the responsibility of the enterprise period.
Saving Face & Legal Trouble
Of course, eDiscovery isn't just about saving you time, money and embarrassment, it's about effectively managing, archiving and accessing all the information across the enterprise, in all formats so that it can be easily searched and tagged, hopefully saving your company from the possibility of litigation. A well organized company is not only a more productive one, it's one that is proactive rather than reactive.
As for Canada, considering that the defense argues the accused men were acting on the orders of their superiors -- and maintain the e-mails could prove that, it's not hard to figure out why those deleted emails might have helped the prosecution build their case.