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Although there is plenty of ­guidance in case law and in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure regarding court-supervised electronic discovery, companies responding to government requests find themselves on a journey without a road map. In the absence of court supervision or rules, and given the tendency of government investigations to change focus over time, a responding company cannot hope to identify and preserve every byte of relevant electronically stored information. There is an element of fortune-telling inherent in every preservation effort. The importance of forensic analysis in recent cases, however, suggests that preservation of hard drives should be a high priority.

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