Think you have a lot of e-mails? Those who work within the e-discovery process — the handling of electronic information and documents for litigation purposes — most likely have more.“Many of the smoking guns in a lot of these cases reside in e-mail,” said Catherine Parente, CPA, ABV, CVA and partner-in-charge of the consulting services department at CPA and business advisory firm Carlin, Charron & Rosen LLP. She added that one of the cases she’s currently working on includes four boxes of records, two of which contain printed out e-mails.

“Years ago, you wrote everything in letters,” she said. “You sent out correspondence and you were very formal in your communication. With the advent of e-mail, a lot has become very informal and quite often [involved parties] will say things that will get them into trouble.”

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