Remember the days when hardly anybody had cell phones or laptops? Business and communication used to be conducted by written memos and filed away in storage units. The old system of paper storage is rapidly changing. What does this mean for attorneys who seek evidence as they advocate for their clients? This means that attorneys will increasingly need to focus their attention on electronic documents, memos and e-mail as a source of evidence to support their clients’ claims.
Today’s Arizona Daily Star contains a discussion about the increasing relevance of electronic mail, presentations and digital documents in litigation. Large companies who face litigation over faulty products face questions about whether company employees were aware of product defects and simply ignored defect dangers placing a desire for profits over safety. Digital evidence, if cost-effective and appropriate to obtain, may shed light on several important issues in litigation. Electronic mail can possibly shed light on what company employees knew and did not know and whether a company made a decision to release a faulty product knowing its dangers. Companies must preserve electronic evidence if faced with exposure to litigation over defective products. Today’s article in the Arizona Daily Star contains examples of how electronic discovery can facilitate the evidence-gathering process in the right circumstances for people who suffer injury. If you have suffered harm and believe you have been a victim of a defective product, seek advice from an attorney who can then decide whether to forward an evidence preservation letter to company representatives. Should a company or a prospective defendant destroy evidence after receiving notice of a possible lawsuit, it faces separate penalties. As the document storage techniques change in product liability litigation, attorneys seeking information will likely adapt as well in the appropriate circumstances.