As e-discovery reaches across borders into Asia, global companies face new and often unfamiliar challenges. Whatever the nature of the case, if it involves electronic information stored in China, Japan, Korea or elsewhere in Asia, be advised: You’ll be managing case files differently than you would be if you were in the United States.
The challenges presented in managing electronic files in Asia stem from many causes—some geographical, some technical and some cultural.
In Asian countries, the laws governing data and privacy are quite different than in the U.S. For example, in China, collecting and exporting data involving “state secrets” can get you thrown in jail. In Japan, taking data out and hosting it in the U.S. may cause you to lose your client.
Language, too, presents multiple challenges. The so-called CJK languages (Chinese, Japanese and Korean) are the most difficult to process, search and review. Mangle the processing and you lose your data. Mess up the search and you may as well have lost your data. Either way, your review becomes costly and ineffective.
In an article published in the February/March 2013 issue of Todays General Counsel magazine, “Challenges of Asian Language E-Discovery,” John Tredennick, President and CEO of Catalyst, and W. Peter Cladouhos, Esq., firm-wide Practice Support Electronic Discovery Consultant for Paul Hastings LLP, outline some of the most common, and the most critical, challenges companies face when handling Asian data and keeping Asian e-discovery on track and on budget.