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.