Practice/Industry Group Overview
From its inception, Cohen Seglias has stayed on the cutting edge of technological changes in the business world. We recognize, however, that as technology changes, some businesses adapt while others can become overwhelmed. While many law firms focus on electronic documentation from the point-of-view of e-discovery, Cohen Seglias’ philosophy is to educate our clients about proper document retention so that our clients do not become victims of the technology steamroller.
Businesses continue to strive for a paperless office. Now, rather than drowning in paper, however, they are drowning in email and new ways of communicating. How does a company deal with instant and text messaging systems, server-based voicemail, online storage of sensitive files such as health records, insurance claims, and financial databases let alone emails and documents saved only on smartphones, tablets, laptops and the like?
Cohen Seglias works closely with its clients and their IT departments to formulate retention policies and processes that actually work for companies in this rapidly changing environment. Through in-house seminars, we teach our clients and their employees sensible document retention and preservation plans tailored to their organization’s specific needs.
With our Labor and Employment Group, we also assist our clients in revising their company handbooks to protect them from liability that could arise from the misuse of technology. What are the employment ramifications of social networking sites, microblogging services and Internet blocking? Pre-litigation education and planning becomes the key.
Cohen Seglias is also well situated to address the issues relating to e-discovery that arise during litigation. The legal developments relating to electronic documents and liability associated with the mishandling of data and information have been staggering. We take those risks to heart in not only assisting clients in navigating through litigation hold letter scenarios but in accessing, understanding and acting upon a huge quantity of electronically stored information (ESI) without breaking the client’s budgets.
Our approach is tailored to meet the needs of each client and each case. The management of ESI in an efficient and cost effective manner is a cornerstone of the Firm’s litigation services. Our attorneys are experienced in cost recovery, attorney-client privilege protection, early case assessment and engaging forensic experts but are also skilled in the most advanced collection and search methods, having supervised document reviews on every scale.
- Our client, a large solar contractor, was engaged in a non-payment and delay/impact claim with a solar developer involving four separate school districts and sixteen separate schools. The contract required arbitration to take place within six weeks of filing. While the opposition was mired in paper documents and .pdf’s, Cohen Seglias was able to marshal a team to work with the client and its IT personnel to collect documents by identifying document custodians and repositories scattered throughout various internal databases, network drives, intranet web space and personal electronic files. Cohen Seglias collected and reviewed the ESI efficiently while minimizing the disturbance to business operations and keeping costs significantly lower than if paper review or a linear document review platform was utilized. Ultimately, Cohen Seglias, through search terms, issue searches and sampling techniques, not only prepared for the fast track arbitration but assisted the client in obtaining a favorable settlement.
- Our client, a large mechanical contractor, had a large claim for extras on a public project. Cohen Seglias informed the client of its need to place a litigation hold on all paper and electronic documents. We met with the client and its IT department, explained the import of a litigation hold and walked them through the process of advising all of their employees how to manage through the hold. Cohen Seglias then led the collection efforts protecting against manipulation of the native documents and metadata. As a result of these in-house conversations and actions, Cohen Seglias was able to defend against allegations that documents had been destroyed.
- One of our general contractor clients had questions with regard to electronic document management on a project-by-project basis. Its project superintendents were keeping project records on personal laptops without server back-up. Cohen Seglias assisted the client in formulating a document retention policy to avoid issues of lack of control and provided in-house seminars to the project superintendents on the importance of following the newly installed policy and systems.