Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

E-mail retention a must after Morgan Stanley case

Filed under
Legal

Banks and broker-dealers are obliged to retain e-mail and instant messaging documents for three years under U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules. But similar requirements will apply to all public companies from July 2006 under the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform measures.

At the same time, U.S. courts are imposing increasingly harsh punishments on corporations that fail to comply with orders to produce e-mail documents, the experts said.

Where judges once were more likely to accept that incompetence or computer problems might be to blame, they are now apt to rule that noncompliance is an indication a company has something to hide.

"Morgan Stanley is going to be a harbinger," said Bill Lyons, chief executive officer of AXS-One, a provider of records retention software systems.

"I think general counsels around the world are going to look at this as a legal Chernobyl," he said.

Wednesday's $1.45 billion verdict against Morgan Stanley in West Palm Beach, Fla., was the product of just such a negative ruling on e-mail retention, which is also expected to form the backbone of the Wall Street firm's appeal.

Other cases have also resulted in rulings on e-mails.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Gaming

Leftovers: Software

today's howtos

ACPI, kernels and contracts with firmware

This ends up being a pain in the neck in the x86 world, but it could be much worse. Way back in 2008 I wrote something about why the Linux kernel reports itself to firmware as "Windows" but refuses to identify itself as Linux. The short version is that "Linux" doesn't actually identify the behaviour of the kernel in a meaningful way. "Linux" doesn't tell you whether the kernel can deal with buffers being passed when the spec says it should be a package. "Linux" doesn't tell you whether the OS knows how to deal with an HPET. "Linux" doesn't tell you whether the OS can reinitialise graphics hardware. Read more