J. Kent Holland wrote a great article in his monthly Construction risk report about discovery of electronic information. Electronic Discovery Requires Cooperation between Opposing Counsel The article focused mostly on which emails between a CM(Hill International) and their client were admissible based on the keywords within the emails. Because the CM was using general email for project communication where each email could not be differentiated between Hill’s multiple clients. The courts had to severely restrict the clients keyword ESI search to not expose emails from other Hill clients. Had the cm and client used a collaborative project management system for all communication then all communication for that clients projects would have been filtered before the keywords were applied. This would have eliminated the need for the court to even intervene in the discovery process for this case. CM’s and their clients need to be careful how they communicate as this case shows their is the potential for your email to be discoverable even if they had nothing to do with the project in question.
This case is a good example of why you should consider a true collaborative project management application like EADOC instead of an Enterprise project management application(Primavera) as Hill International uses. With a true collaborative application all information including communication is kept with each individual project eliminating the potential for discovery to cross project communication lines.