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In summer of 2004, UBS bank was found by a judge to have “willfully destroyed” email evidence in a discrimination case. UBS was ordered to pay costs and a jury returned a $29 million verdict.
To protect your business, you must have a procedure in place to maintain email communications generated through business. Failure to keep these records can lead to rulings in litigation that your business willfully destroyed evidence. If this occurs, judge may issue significant monetary sanctions, automatically find you liable or take other harsh steps that assure a victory for Plaintiff. As if such developments are not bad enough, there exists a second risk associated with email communications.
Maintaining email communications, however, can have a downside. The problem arises, of course, when a communication contains statements that are damaging to your business. Yes, proverbial catch-22 situation.
To avoid such disasters, your business must develop a clear policy on email communications and train all employees to comply with that policy. Employees must understand business environment is not one in which jokes, flippant remarks and so on should be made in email communications.
Richard Chapo is with SanDiegoBusinessLawFirm.com - Go to our article section to read more business law articles.