Just came across a good article at Law.com dealing with the implementation of new e-discovery rules that are forcing companies to turn over damning evidence that has been stored electronically.
General Counsels are pulling their hair out trying to educate their managers and others that email often lasts forever and that they should not opine as to the reason an employee was fired, etc. using email.
The article features several types of emails that cause the most trouble. Some of my favorite opening lines from emails:
"Don't put this in writing, but ... "
"This is off the record," started the e-mail that in fact put it all on the record; and
"We may be in breach of contract, and here's why."
And of course there are the HR-related emails:
"I can't believe she's pregnant at such an inconvenient time at work." and
"we need to get rid of the dead wood."
The message is clear: Employers must continue to train and retrain employees on what is an is not appropriate subject matter for an email. And for Plaintiffs, be diligent about seeking production of emails in discovery. There's gold in them there hills.