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December 20, 2006


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Peter Mojica

It's difficult being the poster child for mis-management of e-mail in todays heightened regulatory environment. It seems that their continues to be a mis-match in expectations between regulators, such as the NASD, and the firms being regulated. Take the above article statement that ---- Many other of the firm's e-mail messages were maintained on individual users' computers and therefore were not affected by the attacks, regulators said. Yet Morgan Stanley often failed to search those computers when responding to document requests. --- I guess the real question is did anyone specifically "ask" for the local computers to be searched, if not, then did MS have a belief that searching those computers would have yielded any results, remember the yield could just have easily been supportive of MS efforts, so not searching would not appear to be by intent. The claims to search for electronic information across an entire organization are really out of control, the nature of todays technology allows for the information to be propagated to literally thousands of locations instantly, of searching the "most obvious" should be the order of the day, anything over and above, outside of extra-ordinary evidence to the contrary should be fully burdened on the plaintiff with zero prejudice on the defendants positions. The case can just as easily be made that ever printer tray from which any computer can print to should be searched, and every desk draw, etc. The information propagates to quickly.

Me personally, I'm getting into the habit of using email, ONLY, when I want a permanent record of an interaction to exist, otherwise I find myself picking up the phone more and more often.

Also, the miscommunication comment between Legal and IT in the above article, if accurate, should be cause for dismissal. Stakes are to high for poor execution.

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