If you’re like me, you’ve dreamed of wielding a lightsaber and using The Force since you were a kid. The desire to pilot the Millennium Falcon may have begun to subside in high school, but even today you would probably join the Rebel Alliance if approached. And, if you’re like me, you’re pretty excited due to the recent confirmation of a release date for the new movie.
In December, Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be released in theaters in the United States, marking the first new Star Wars film in over a decade. The details and secrets of The Force Awakens, the 7th installment in the Star Wars franchise, have been kept under wraps by Disney since it was announced almost three years ago. In the internet age, we fear these things called “spoilers.” For those of you who may live under a rock, a spoiler is a piece of information that may give away a key twist in the plot, in effect spoiling the end of a movie, book, or TV show.
Now, if you’re like me, you’re trying your hardest to avoid hearing too much about The Force Awakens in order to shield yourself from spoilers. In effect, doing exactly the opposite of what you ought to be doing in your eDiscovery process: sticking your fingers in your ears and singing “la la la la la” until the deadline.
The key to avoiding spoilers is to keep all the details at bay. Sure, I know that Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford are all returning for this new Star Wars movie, but that’s about it. I’ve decided I’m okay with a few surprises. In fact, I would prefer it. I’ve found that the best way for me to enjoy a story is to not know what’s coming next.
Conversely, the ONLY way to enjoy litigation is to know exactly what’s coming. There’s a saying we use frequently at ZL: “with litigation, it’s best to win or lose early.” The only way to do that is to know exactly what you have: you need to spoil your case. In eDiscovery, you can’t be tepid - like me reading about Star Wars on the internet - and avoid the sensitive information. You have to effectively manage it, comb through it and identify details that could spoil a case before it even gets off the ground. No matter how bad the news is, it’s going to be less painful in the long-run to hear it earlier rather than later.
In theory, this is commonly accepted. In action, it is not as adequately performed. Allow me to outline a few Star Wars friendly tools you’ll need to help turn your eDiscovery team into case-spoiling Jedi:
- A repository that houses all the data in your galaxy – an archive more scalable than the Death Star
- The ability to preserve custodian data as if using the Force – your “Death Star” archive will likely need best-in-breed legal hold functionality, as well, since transferring data between space stations applications is slow and precarious at best.
- Be proactive, like when Han Solo pulled his blaster on Greedo – don’t wait for opposing counsel to come knocking before trying to capture the relevant data; keep it encased in Carbonite and defrost it when its retention period is up.
- Don’t be afraid of spoilers, like when Luke discovers who his father really is.