Practical Law Feature Article: How to Issue a Litigation Hold and Collect Relevant Company Data

May 21, 2014

Practical Law logo newWhen a company anticipates or becomes a party to litigation, an investigation or an audit, it must take the proper steps to preserve all relevant information. This includes:

  • Suspending routine document deletion.
  • Issuing a litigation hold.
  • Locating all the data within the company.
  • Collecting relevant data.

The failure to timely issue a litigation hold notice can subject a company to severe sanctions, including monetary penalties, adverse inference jury instructions, default judgment or dismissal.

Practical Law has compiled a list of resources in its Litigation Hold Toolkit to assist counsel in this process. The Toolkit includes a Practice Note that explains how to properly implement a litigation hold notice and a Checklist that outlines the key steps to the process. It also includes a Standard Document, with explanatory notes, to be used by practitioners so that they can quickly implement a hold.

The Toolkit also includes a series of Standard Documents and Checklists intended to assist in data collection, the arduous process of gathering information about the possible locations of data relevant to the dispute within the company. The data collection resources consist of model questions for counsel to use in their interviews with IT personnel, document custodians, and the human resources and records departments. The questions cover a variety of areas, including those that may be overlooked when examining the scope of a company’s data.

To see the full list of resources, visit Practical Law’s Litigation Hold Toolkit.