Businesses Generally Ignoring E-Discovery Rules
The AC post to which I'm replying is spot-on as to what many large comapnies are facing.
Courts are getting more savvy and are declining to impose blanket obligatons to preserve (or, heavens forbid, produce) "all" information.
Lawyers who understand the costs of information management are successfully narrowing the scope of what needs to be preserved (and produced), in order to let the company move on with its normal business.
The leading treatise / think-tank on eDiscovery issues, The Sedona Conference, captures this notion:
A party's preservation obligation does not require "freezing" of all electronically stored information, including all email. Organizations need not preserve "every shred of paper, every email or electronic documents, and every back-up tape," nor do they have to go to extraordinary measures to preserve "all" potentially relevant information.
Comment 5.g., The Sedona Principles Addressing Electronic Document Production, Second Edition (June, 2007).
Of course, lawyers on the other side of the argument try to get closer to "all" than the people on the responding side. Figuring out where the line should be drawn continues to be the tricky part.