I’m sure if push comes to shove we could find whatever we need to defend ourselves. But when I think of DMS and document management and retention, we should not be looking for problems. Like the day I asked the Highway Patrol guy why HE was speeding to give me a ticket. Wasn't that unsafe too?
As AIIM's John Mancini says:
No need; the problems certainly will come looking for you! The sad truth is that you don’t have to have done something wrong to have a suit brought against you. But if you can demonstrate to opposing counsel that you can readily produce documentation that counters the claim, the whole matter may simply go away before it ever gets started.
Consider, for instance, a dispute over a beneficiary change made to a life insurance policy, which dictates who is supposed to receive possibly significant sums of money following an accident or death. Being able to prove in a preliminary meeting that the change was properly authorized likely would keep the problem out of court – but this can’t happen without a system for tracking and auditing such forms.
Even if the case does go forward, you still must be able to produce court-ordered documents in a timely manner or face fairly significant penalties. Morgan Stanley, for instance, once was fined $1.6 billion in part for its inability to produce email evidence. No one I know wants to risk that kind of punishment! So if nothing else, consider information management as a sort of litigation insurance policy – if you ever need it, you’ll sure be glad it’s there.