Google recently starting promoting a new service App they call Google Message Discovery which creates a new, huge change for e-Discovery. This service uses Postini which provides email filtering for hundreds of companies. When Google acquired Postini in 2007 many wondered what the heck’s going on? How did email filtering services fit in to the Google game plan? At a flat $45 per user per year for up to 10 years without additional costs for storage, this new service App creates a cloud email service that will likely have a monstrous impact on e-Discovery.

How does it work?

With no new costs to users subscribers merely employ the Google Message Discovery that stores all emails and attachments on Google’s servers. Users may establish retention periods for different categories of email users and groups. The process is built to provide support for litigation hold and legal review. Searches are easy and allow most anyone to review emails and attachments without the need for any sophisticated proprietary e-Discovery software technologies. Also the cost to store e-Discovery email and attachments will be fixed.

Of Course There are Issues

Google Message Discovery seems to be great for managing email going forward, but legacy emails still need to be managed and will be litigated for some time to come. It also remains to be seen how the courts will deal with attorney-client privilege issues, confidentiality of intellectual property, and a myriad of other evidence issues.

What’s the Impact on e-Discovery?

Without question Google’s new service may be the greatest change on email discovery since courts finally realized that 95% of all information is electronic and started requiring parties to deal with electronic evidence. What makes this new service so extraordinary is that there is a fixed cost, no new hardware or software required, and litigation support is built in. Google demonstrates again that it is so creative, but undoubtedly the Google Message Discovery will change the way courts will see email discovery.

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