An Accidental Disclosure

An Accidental Disclosure is Just Waiting to Happen with eDiscovery: eDiscovery Trends

It’s what keeps eDiscovery managers up at night – the possibility of an accidental disclosure of sensitive information and the consequences associated with them.

As discussed in this article from Law360 (E-Discovery Has An Accidental Disclosure Problem, written by Sarah Martinson and available here), accidental disclosures like the recent one in which a subsidiary of legal services provider Epiq mistakenly publicized sexual abuse victims in the bankruptcy case of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich, Connecticut, are far too common.

Inadvertent disclosures of personal information like Social Security numbers in litigation don’t typically get public attention, because the incidents happen between attorneys and opposing counsel without getting publicly disclosed. But they can still happen and can still cause issues even there.

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Sarah’s article includes comments from eDiscovery experts such as Mary Mack, CEO and chief legal technologist at EDRM, Tom O’Connor, director of the Gulf Coast Legal Technology Center, Allyson Haynes Stuart, law professor at Charleston School of Law and me(!). Her article dives into the Epiq inadvertent disclosure and one from Wells Fargo from back in 2017 (which I covered at the time on my old blog, and I admittedly have used extensively over the years as an eDiscovery disaster from which to learn in my eDiscovery PM presentations).

Those are just two examples of eDiscovery disasters and Sarah’s article lays out some great advice from each of the experts. I won’t steal her thunder, you can check out her article here.

I will say that a key overriding theme of the article is education and technical competence. Developing a reasonable understanding of eDiscovery and technology won’t completely eliminate the possibility of an accidental disclosure, but it will reduce that possibility significantly. Without it, you greatly increase your chances of being covered as an eDiscovery disaster here, on Law360 or any other publication that covers legal technology.

Educate yourself to help protect yourself. You do want to sleep, don’t you? 😉

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So, what do you think? Have you ever experienced a high-profile eDiscovery disaster? If so, I may have already covered it at some point! 😀 Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

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