Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Greg Buckles. Published: 2017-09-03 20:00:00Format, images and links may no longer function correctly. 

I am one of the lucky Houstonians whose home survived Harvey relativity intact. We were fortunate to be able to shelter friends, help rescue those stranded and contribute to the recovery effort even as the run-off water put other areas under water. It has been hard to get my head back into work, but I wanted to call attention to my friend Craig Ball’s blog on post flooding data recovery and share a couple thoughts on disaster planning for eDiscovery. We make the “in case you get hit by a bus” joke about that one paralegal or lit support tech who knows where everything eDiscovery lives. But what happens when a bus named Harvey, Katrina or Sandy takes out the team and all regional support services? When a natural disaster costs upwards of $190 billion, you can bet that there will be reasonable disagreements over decisions made before, during and after that disaster. And our society generally resolves such disputes in the courts. A good example of reasonably anticipated litigation is the flooding around the San Jacinto river that some think resulted from the decision not to pre-release water from the upstream Lake Conroe dam.** But what happens when your legal staff are either refugees or volunteers helping clean up their community?

The litigation departments of most of my corporate clients are centralized at the corporate headquarters for efficiency. Global companies usually have disaster plans, regional resources and outside support to request extensions and step in where possible. But what about the smaller regional companies and firms? Most should have remote backups for communications and enterprise data. Few have effective cloud or remote backups of laptops and phones, especially when key decision makers are working remote or even through borrowed access devices.

If I am painting a worst case scenario, it is because I and some of my clients are living one in Houston. You cannot stop the rescue and remediation efforts to preserve ESI. If you don’t have a preservation plan that includes DR contingencies, that horse has left the barn. I guess my key take-away is the point that some eDiscovery functions should be treated as being mission critical and included in DR planning. The primary concern is contingency plans against the temporary or permanent loss of those key eDiscovery knowledge keepers. Your corporate data map should include information about potential system loss, DR and recovery time/limits. If you have a dedicated eDiscovery retained counsel, they need the plan and authority to manage ongoing deadlines if required.

I am thankful that my home office road out the storm intact and I have been able to respond to clients through most of this crisis, even if just to reassure them. Not everyone has been that lucky. If you want to contribute to the relief effort, I am recommending the J.J. Watt Foundation for a truly local effort. You can even see my lady and myself loading stranded motorists into our canoe during a break in the rains on the foundation home page for now. Points for anyone who spots other https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/houston-under-water-idUSRTX3DNFZpics of us around the web.

Stay skeptical my friends!

Greg Buckles wants your feedback, questions or project inquiries at Greg@eDJGroupInc.com. Contact him directly for a free 15 minute ‘Good Karma’ call. He solves problems and creates eDiscovery solutions for enterprise and law firm clients. His active research topics include analytics, mobile device discovery, the discovery impact of the cloud, Microsoft’s Office 365/2013 eDiscovery Center and multi-matter discovery. Recent consulting engagements include managing preservation during enterprise migrations, legacy tape eliminations, retention enablement and many more.

Greg’s blog perspectives are personal opinions and should not be interpreted as a professional judgment. Greg is no longer a journalists and all perspectives are based on best public information. Blog content is neither approved nor reviewed by any providers prior to being posted. Do you want to share your own perspective? eDJ Group is looking for practical, professional informative perspectives free of marketing fluff, hidden agendas or personal/product bias. Outside blogs will clearly indicate the author, company and any relevant affiliations. 

**Update: first class action lawsuits filed over reservior releases that caused flooding after the main storm had passed. Discovery will focus on prior knowledge and decisions during/after the storm. http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Homeowners-and-business-claim-government-owes-12174734.php

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