"Having a good e-discovery strategy is an organization's first line of defense in a court proceeding. If an agency must deal with litigation, attorneys for all parties will likely request documents that may only exist in electronic form. In the past, if correspondence was requested, an organization would try to produce all the relevant memos and letters employees had written. Instead of instant messages, you rounded up all the sticky notes in your office. Now, many of those documents exist electronically.
On Dec. 1, 2006, amendments were made to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, including changes mandating that electronic documents in federal court are to be treated, legally speaking, the same as paper documents. The rules govern how federal courts deal with discovery requests in civil proceedings. It's important for state and local governments to be aware of them because state and local courts generally reflect federal court practices. That's where the amended rules come in - they're part of an effort to eliminate a lot of uncertainty surrounding e-discovery.
Texas, like some other states, proactively changed its procedures prior to the federal rule amendments. David Halpern, the assistant attorney general at the Texas Office of Attorney General (OAG), said that while the amendments raise awareness, Texas had already moved on e-discovery."