Each September for the last four years, I’ve had the pleasure to participate in a splendid e-discovery conference in Portland, Oregon called PREX, so-called because the whole event is devoted to PReservation EXcellence. It’s sponsored by Zapproved, but unlike other developer events, it’s less a celebration of self than a product-neutral effort to promote better practices in mounting a defensible enterprise legal hold. A bevy of prominent judges and thought leaders turn out to speak; but, the real star of PREX is Portland itself, resplendent in those precious, late-Summer weeks when one can count on abundant sunshine. If you’re looking for fine, fun education in excellent company, pencil PREX in for September 13-14, 2017. There’s no better time to visit Oregon, and no better event on the topic.
One of the panels this year was “The Perfect Preservation Notice.” I suspect I was asked to join because I’d written a widely-circulated paper many years ago called, “The Perfect Preservation Letter,” wherein I explored the desirable elements of the letter one should send to an opponent affording notice of ESI sought preserved in anticipation of electronic discovery. My title was tongue-in-cheek, as there’s no such thing as a perfect “form” preservation letter, a point I made as counterpoint to composer Steve Goodman’s claim to have written the perfect country and western song by virtue of the lyric,
“I was drunk the day my mom got out of prison
And I went to pick’er up in the rain.
But before I could get to the station in my pickup truck,
She got runned over by a damned ol’ train.”
Song: “You Never Even Called Me by My Name“
My message was that, though perfect isn’t the standard, neither is lousy. We can approach perfect by a modicum of thought and incorporating a few essential elements. Continue reading