In the wake of Arthur Andersen’s 2002 conviction for destroying thousands of paper and electronic documents relating to its audits of Enron, many companies remain fearful of enacting or enforcing strict document retention policies. Although its conviction was overturned three years later, Arthur Andersen was initially sentenced to a $500,000 fine and five years of probation, effectively ending its operations.
Arthur Andersen’s high-profile implosion, coupled with the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the flurry of press and commercial advertising focused on data preservation in light of the recent amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, have left many in-house and litigation counsel essentially feeling that they can never advise their clients to throw anything away.
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