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A year after the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure e-discovery overhaul, a pair of corporate studies has concluded that fewer than half of U.S. companies have a clear strategy for managing electronically stored information and only a fraction of information technology managers have addressed the issue. According to a new study by electronic discovery software and consulting company Kroll Ontrack Inc., only 43% percent of U.S. companies have a clear strategy for managing electronically stored information. Results from in-house lawyers in the U.S. also reveal that only 25% felt fully informed about relevant case law and regulations, 43% have a “good understanding” of applicable laws but could use more information and 31% reported either low to little understanding or hadn’t heard of electronically stored information. “The explosion of electronic information and the onslaught of new rules, regulations and laws have made it incredibly difficult for companies and counsel to stay on top of everything,” said Kroll Ontrack president Kristin Nimsger. Kroll Ontrack interviewed 402 in-house lawyers, about half each from the U.S. and U.K. Among information technology managers, only 20% are aware of the federal e-discovery rule changes and 6% have a system in place to address the rules, according to a separate study by data management software company CommVault Systems Inc. “The results bring to light how much of a disconnect still exists between legal and IT departments more than a year after the [federal e-discovery] amendments went into effect,” said Mike Ivanov, senior director and head of CommVault’s Archive Center of Excellence. CommVault’s results are based on an online poll of 374 information technology managers last month.

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