Business Database Systems – What Litigators Need to Know

Anne Kershaw, Owner and General Counsel, Reasonable Discovery, LLC

Most organizations these days are run completely through database systems for virtually all aspects of the business: Accounting (including billing, banking, and asset management), Inventory, Human Resources, Sales, Contract Management, IT Management (including privacy monitoring and user access management), Building Access, Shipping, Vehicle Management, Marketing, Advertising, Engineering, Customer/Dealer Relations, Legal Operations, etc. Indeed, apart from the Litigation and Regulatory Compliance Groups, you would be hard-pressed to name an aspect of a business that does not involve database systems. While employees still use email and create stand-alone documents, even these communications are likely to end up being stored in, or tethered to, a business database system in addition to their original location. Indeed, these business systems are so vast and muti-functional, co-workers performing different job functions may not even realize that they are accessing the same database system. Since these database systems are effectively running the business, there is no question that they contain data and information that is helpful in investigating, defending, or prosecuting a litigation.

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Data Management Consultant January 2024 Vol.17, No. 66, Winter 2024

Anne Kershaw

More As an attorney and a nationally recognized data, litigation, and business information consultant, Anne Kershaw provides independent analysis and innovative recommendations for the management and e-discovery of legacy and active data, including backup tapes, file shares, email and archives. Her practice includes the design and implementation of protocols for the preservation and collection of data for discovery and the execution of data management and disposition recommendations. Anne also serves as a testifying and consulting expert, defending or challenging e-discovery processes and dispositions of accumulated legacy data.

Data Management Consultant January 2024 Vol.17, No. 66, Winter 2024