A November 2006 survey by Computerworld indicates that most companies are not prepared for the rule change. The popular magazine reports that a survey of 170 IT managers and staffers showed: 32% were not prepared at all; 6% somewhat unprepared;4% halfway prepared; 11% somewhat unprepared; 5% completely prepared; while a whopping 42% said they did not know the status of any preparation efforts. My guess is that most who said they did not know are in fact unprepared. This means the vast majority of IT departments, perhaps as high as 80%, are not ready for e-discovery. The follow-up question seems to confirm that.
The magazine then asked IT if they knew who was in charge of preparing for e-discovery: 35% did not know; 27% said no one; 20% said IT; only 8% said in-house legal counsel; 5% the compliance department; with the last 5% saying other.
That eight (8%) percent figure is surprising. You would think that the legal departments would have a bigger presence. It does not say the size of the companies polled. I would suspect many were small to midrange, with limited in-house legal staffs. Regardless, this survey confirms the suspicions of many commentators that corporate America is still not prepared to respond to electronic discovery, and that disastrous, Coleman v. Morgan Stanley type e-discovery cases are likely to continue for many years to come.
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