By: Christian J. Schulte – Published in the BizWest Thought Leaders column in April 2017
The title comes from journalist Olivia Nuzzi, reminding us that technology, however useful, can bite us. Nowadays, evidence in lawsuits can be mostly emails, instead of more carefully edited letters and memoranda. This matters, because people write stupid things in emails they would not elsewhere. Policy and training do not help, and even if they did, there are limits; candor among coworkers is too important.
So, when faced with a lawsuit, it can be tempting to try to delete and cover up damaging internal emails, even from your own lawyers—but do not. Emails propagate in a network like rabbits in a field, and everything eventually comes out. Better to get the worst into your lawyers’ hands quickly, to help them help you develop a strategy to deal with it early on.