Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Morgan Stanley Fined Over Missing Emails

Document retention is important. Document retrieval is more important. I have this discussion with clients all of the time. We spend tons of money storing documents, but put a summer intern in charge of document retrieval. What good is it to store the documents if you can't find the documents when an arbitration or regulatory investigation takes place

Morgan Stanley is learning the lesson the hard way. After losing a significant litigation matter over their failure to retrieve emails, and then being smacked with a class action lawsuit by investors who have sued, and not received emails during their arbitrations, the SEC has now fined Morgan Stanley $15 million for failing to turn over thousands of internal emails sought in two major investigations.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said the big Wall Street firm failed to produce "tens of thousands of emails'' that were repeatedly demanded by regulators over a five-year period, beginning in 2000. The firm's failure to comply with the SEC's demands "compromised'' the two investigations.

The lesson - spend some money on retrieval systems!
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