CAMBRIDGE, England and PLEASANTON, California, February 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Autonomy ZANTAZ, a leader in the archiving, eDiscovery and Proactive Information Risk Management (IRM) markets, (LSE: AU. or AU.L), today announced electronic discovery best practices to prepare financial institutions for the rise in class-action lawsuits and new State and Federal Government probes and regulatory initiatives anticipated from the subprime crisis. These best practices were discussed in length yesterday by a panel moderated by Nicole Eagan of Autonomy ZANTAZ at the Subprime and Credit Crisis Conference in New York, NY consisting of former Assistant US Attorney Bridget M. Rohde and a partner with Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo, P.C., Alan Winchester , Harris Beach PLLC, and Nicolas Croce , Inference Data.
Subprime fallout has already contributed to a rise in securities fraud class action litigation, which rose 43 percent from 2006 to 2007 according to research released earlier this year from Stanford Law School and Cornerstone Research. This increase was largely due to a surge in the Finance sector filings, which quadrupled from 2006, with over half the filings associated with subprime market disclosure issues.(1) The panel expects pattern litigation in this area, including securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation, to skyrocket in the coming year with suits similar to the recent filing by the City of Cleveland against 21 banks involved in subprime loans in the city. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has reportedly opened about three dozen cases related to the subprime market collapse, and the FBI has recently announced its investigation into 14 companies suspected of accounting fraud, improperly securing loans and insider trading.
"Subprime litigation, government investigations and new regulations are inevitable," said Ms. Rohde of Mintz Levin. "Starting an internal investigation right away can help financial institutions find the facts as fast as possible, assess exposure to risk, demonstrate cooperation, and prepare them for parallel investigations and litigations."
"A recorded phone conversation can be very damning evidence," according to Nicholas Croce , President of Inference. "There is technology available on the market today that can search, index and preserve video and audio recordings in conjunction with textual files and these sources of data can no longer be ignored."
"Policy management is another area often neglected by IT," added Alan Winchester , member of Harris Beach PLLC. "Proactive information management practices help control costs, ensure compliance, avoid sanctions, and increase efficiency by enabling organizations to uncover relevant information more quickly and identify obsolete information that may be deleted without fear of legal sanction."
Recommendations From the Panel Included:
Perform an internal investigation and early case assessment. Get ahead of the curve by getting early insight into the facts of the case, which allows you to assess the risks and whether or not settlement makes sense. Interview employees at different level and perform early case assessment (ECA) on real-time data, applying advanced analytics to uncover relevant information across all electronically stored information (ESI). These steps will frame the factual information and provide a foundation for cooperation.
Be prepared to place relevant documents under legal hold. Once you anticipate regulatory action or litigation, you must have a complete preservation of all relevant electronically stored information for all identified custodians. This is an important part of the amended rules of civil procedure. Relevant information must be locked down in real-time and securely collected when needed, and an organization must provide documentation about its processes and chain-of-custody to validate and confirm the completeness and accuracy of preservation procedures and implementation. Legal hold technology that preserves relevant information in email archives and centralized servers is a starting point; however, don't overlook the need to preserve information on PDA's, laptops and desktops. With the increasing mobility of the workforce, a large percentage of that information never gets stored on the corporate network, leaving an organization vulnerable to FRCP infractions and resulting sanctions or fines. Instant messaging, video conferences and voice recordings of phone conversations between lenders and customers can't be ignored as well.
Prepare for pattern litigation. Multiple requests for the same information will be highly likely in subprime litigation, government investigations and regulatory compliance. While some requests may be broad and other very specific, the use of eDiscovery software with sophisticated filtering based on keywords and concepts and de-duplication capabilities can create a collection of information for pattern litigation.
Evaluate information management policies. Avoid any possible malfeasance by making sure that employees adhere to information policies and data is properly preserved. Review the policies associated with data retention and disposition. Implement automated systems that can manage information in place rather than replicating and storing information in multiple repositories, further adding complication and expense to eDiscovery efforts. Implement real-time policy management to prevent accidental deletion of relevant information that is under legal hold.
Bridge the gap between Legal and IT. One of the organizational realities is the disconnect that exists between IT and legal when it comes to eDiscovery requests. Legal may be handling requests on a case-by-case basis depending on the priority and risks associated with each case. However, it would be wise for CIOs to implement an information management approach that supports pan-enterprise search for both business value and eDiscovery. Using this approach, all information could be managed in place and all data sources would be plumbed as one consolidated archive of information.
Biographies of Panelists:
Bridget M. Rohde is a Member in Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo's New York office and practices in the Litigation Section. She is in the White Collar & Corporate Investigative Practice. Before joining Mintz Levin, Ms. Rohde was Chief of the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York.
Nicholas Croce , president of Inference Data, has led the creation and development of Inference, the company's next-generation analytics software for electronic discovery. Prior to forming Inference, Mr. Croce served as president of Doar Litigation Consulting, where he was responsible for driving Doar's introduction of groundbreaking technologies for courtroom presentation used by the nation's largest law firms and Fortune 1000 corporations. Mr. Croce was also directly involved in helping set industry standards for courtroom technology within the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AOUSC).
Alan M. Winchester, Member, Harris Beach PLLC, is the leader of the e-info(sm) Electronic Information Counseling and Management Team of Harris Beach PLLC, which provides comprehensive document management services for both non-litigation and litigation scenarios. He practices within the Medical & Life Sciences Industry Team and in the Mass Torts & Industry Wide Litigation Practice Group.
To find out more about Autonomy ZANTAZ Proactive Information Risk Management solutions, please visit http://www.ZANTAZ.com.
(1) Securities Class Action Case Filings-2007: A Year in Review, Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse and Cornerstone Research
About Autonomy ZANTAZ
Autonomy ZANTAZ is the leader in the archiving, eDiscovery and Proactive Information Risk Management (IRM) markets. It is the only vendor that offers an entire spectrum of Proactive Information Risk Management solutions ranging from consolidated archiving of all information sources including email, IM, enterprise systems, voice and video, to discovery and review, advanced eDiscovery, real-time policy management and analytics - all based on a common platform, IDOL. ZANTAZ solutions, which support more than 100 languages, are available as on-site software applications or on-demand software services (SaaS), or a combination of both. ZANTAZ customers include 10 of the 10 top global law firms, 13 of the Fortune 25 and 14 of the top 20 financial securities firms. Customers include Abbott Laboratories, Capital One, JMP Securities, Johnson & Johnson, Liberty Mutual, Linklaters, Philip Morris International and the U.S. Department of Interior. For more information, visit www.ZANTAZ.com or call 800.636.0095.
Autonomy Corporation plc (LSE: AU. or AU.L) is a global leader in infrastructure software for the enterprise and is spearheading the meaning-based computing movement. Autonomy's technology forms a conceptual and contextual understanding of any piece of electronic data including unstructured information, be it text, email, voice or video. Autonomy's software powers the full spectrum of mission-critical enterprise applications including information access technology, BI, CRM, KM, call center solutions, rich media management, information risk management solutions and security applications, and is recognized by industry analysts as the clear leader in enterprise search.
Autonomy's customer base comprises of more than 17,000 global companies and organizations including: 3, ABN AMRO, AOL, BAE Systems, BBC, Bloomberg, Boeing, Citigroup, Coca Cola, Daimler Chrysler, Deutsche Bank, Ericsson, Ford, GlaxoSmithKline, Lloyd TSB, NASA, Nestle, the New York Stock Exchange, Reuters, Shell, T-Mobile, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Autonomy also has over 300 OEM partners and more than 400 VARs and Integrators, numbering among them leading companies such as BEA, Business Objects, Citrix, EDS, IBM Global Services, Novell, Satyam, Sybase, Symantec, TIBCO, Vignette and Wipro. The company has offices worldwide.
The Autonomy Group includes: ZANTAZ, the leader in the archiving, e-Discovery and Proactive Information Risk Management (IRM) markets; Cardiff , a leading provider of Intelligent Document solutions; etalk, award-winning provider of enterprise-class contact center products and Virage, a visionary in rich media management and security and surveillance technology.
SOURCE Autonomy Corporation plc