In an article published in Construction Executive on August 12, 2020, Kelley Halliburton discusses successful collection of electronically stored information (ESI) in construction litigation.
“Construction projects now have huge amounts of electronically stored information (ESI) including contract documents; drawings in both CAD, PDF and other formats; schedule files such as Primavera; spreadsheets; photos; job cost control software files; formal correspondence; and an ever-expanding amount of email communications. Successful collection of this ESI can be critical to the success of litigation in construction cases, where often very complex facts will need to be gathered to support a claim or defense,” explains Halliburton.
As soon as litigation arises, a litigation hold must be put in place and automated deletion of data must be stopped. After a litigation hold is in place, there are numerous important steps to follow, including analysis of the ESI and the people with the data, and interviews with employees that have relevant information to determine their personal data management practices and help decide where and how to collect their data. Once these steps are taken, a document collection plan can be created and implemented.
Halliburton concludes that, “by putting document management and retention procedures in place in advance, understanding the ESI involved in a construction project, developing a data map and collection plan, and utilizing and documenting defensible collection methods, construction companies can make sure that the information necessary for supporting legal claims or defenses is available to counsel and increase the chance of a successful result in the litigation.”
For the full article, click here.