Does Data and Information Management Seem Too Daunting?

If so, this new August 22 webinar — presented by Lisa J. Berry-Tayman, Esq., CIPP of Information Consulting — may help.

You may not give much thought to your data management. It’s an IT issue, right? Well, no. As the decision-maker, it is your job to determine how to manage the massive amounts of information accumulated by your business, from personnel records to financial information to inspection/structural documents and everything in between. The amount of data we have created and consumed has more than doubled annually over the past five years. This data, if not properly maintained, used, preserved and disposed of can cost your company millions in fines, litigation and lost work:

In 2012, an Indiana organization experienced a breach involving 20,000 records. At an average cost of $214 per record compromised, this breach cost the company over $4,000,000.

In a recent criminal action, the U.S. Dept. of Justice initiated charges against an employee for deliberately deleting 100 text messages between him and his supervisor in response to a possible litigation connection; that employee faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

According to a recent Gartner study, the average organization loses $8.2 million annually because employees lack the necessary information to effectively perform on the job.

Improper information control by an organization can be more costly and reputation-damaging than a human resources claim. Don’t put your company at risk – register today.

Definitely Wapner: Could a “Loser Pays” Civil Justice System Be What America Needs?

A new report from the Manhattan Institute asks a very intriguing question: If the losers in civil court cases had to pay the winners’ legal fees, would it cut down on the abundance of frivolous lawsuits in the United States? Naturally, they believe the answer is "yes":

In addition to being overly expensive, American litigation is all too often inefficient and unfair. The fees and expenses incurred by lawyers on both sides of a lawsuit are almost as costly as transfer payments to plaintiffs claiming injury. Mass tort litigation, for example, over asbestos, has been exposed as rife with fraud. Small businesses are regularly besieged with nuisance suits that they must settle if they hope to avoid crippling legal costs. Last year’s $54 million lawsuit against a small Washington-area dry cleaner alleging that it had lost a pair of pants was remarkable not only for the astronomical damages claimed but also the almost $100,000 in legal fees incurred in successfully defending against it. In American law, even when a defendant wins a lawsuit, he loses.

This study explores the likely effects of adopting a "loser pays" rule for attorneys’ fees in the United States. Loser pays, sometimes called the "English rule" but actually, in essence, the rule in place in the rest of the world, refers to the policy of reimbursement by the parties who lose in litigation of the winners’ legal expenses, including attorneys’ fees. This study argues that loser pays could be an important part of a larger effort to reduce litigation costs, better compensate prevailing litigants, and better align tort law with its goal of deterring socially harmful conduct. A loser-pays rule would discourage meritless lawsuits, but because any such rule should also ensure plaintiffs of modest means but strong legal cases access to justice, our proposal calls for:

  1. A robust litigation insurance industry similar to those that now exist in other loser-pays countries; and

  2. A cap on recoverable fees to eliminate the incentive that large litigants might have to attempt to "buy a verdict" under loser pays.

So what do you think? Is this true justice, or could it be unfairly manipulated somehow?