North Carolina revises eDiscovery regulations
August 17, 2011
Beginning October 1, recent amendments to the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure will go into effect, providing more explicit guidelines for eDiscovery within the state's legal system.
Under the new regulations, all involved parties are required to meet and discuss the limitations and timelines for the discovery of electronically stored information (ESI) prior to the commencement of a trial. According to eDiscovery Daily, the amendments formally define ESI to include date sent, date received, author and recipients of all communications. However, additional discovery requirements can be ordered by the court or agreed upon by opposing counsel.
Another important addition is an amnesty clause that would safeguard parties from sanctions relating to lost data. Organization's demonstrating "routine, good faith operation of an electronic information system" would not be culpable for misplaced ESI. This provision mirrors the amendments made by Wisconsin and Connecticut courts earlier in the year.
As a number of states adopt formal stances on eDiscovery, companies would be wise to review their processes to make sure they align with the latest legislation. And if recent changes are indicative of future trends, the establishment of strong ESI management procedures may be more important than ever.