The lead feature story of the Wall Street Journal today is Age of Discovery – How Morgan Stanley Botched A Big Case by Fumbling Emails (subscription req’d). If litigants have not already been put on notice about e-discovery, this article is the wake-up call. 

Both the underlying dispute between financier Ronald Perelman and investment banker Morgan Stanley and the e-discovery problems have been previously reported. This article is noteworthy because it elevates to front page status the issues of managing e-mail in the discovery process. (The court found that Morgan Stanley “deliberately” violated production orders and, as a sanction, instructed the jury to assume the company helped defraud Perelman.)

Corporate America now stands warned that they have to get discovery right or face serious court sanctions. And the article does not make quite as clear as does the court’s decision the dangers of doing “home grown” e-discovery management.

FLASH UPDATE: As of about 3pm today, newswires report the jury in this trial awarded Perelman damages of $604 million.