How do you handle your legal hold process?

May 3, 2013

document reviewIn speaking with our corporate customers during some recent market research, we heard the same story over and over again when it came to their current legal hold process. It was painful, tedious, and risky.

  • Painful because they were most often using products like Outlook, Excel, and Word to send out notifications, keep track of acknowledgements, and compile answers to interview questions. They were virtually starting from scratch each time…having to dig up the letter or survey they used on the last hold, buried somewhere deep in their email archive, to even start the process.
  • Tedious because, once the hold was sent, they were trying to use things like email read receipts and cumbersome spreadsheets to track hold acknowledgements. We all know that read receipts are not necessarily a reliable way of assuring that someone did…or, more importantly, did not…read an email you sent. So, when they weren’t certain of what was going on they then sent more emails or made phone calls or went and spoke to the custodian in person. They then did this over and over for each custodian.
  • Risky because they were using tools that were never intended for legal hold management to manage their legal hold process. It all lead to a trail that couldn’t easily be documented or defended based on a collection of scribbled notes, email replies, and memory.

Add to all of this the fact that the courts are growing more and more intolerant of spoliation claims. As a result, sanctions for such claims have risen 271% since 2005! Based on this, the risk associated with inadequately handling a hold has become untenable. And, one bad hold is all it takes to suffer these consequences.

Want to learn more about what you should think about when establishing or improving your legal hold process? Check out this recent article on the ACC website that shares the top 10 things to consider.