Extract from BIA’s article “Litigation Hold Reminder Template”
What is a litigation hold reminder?
Litigation hold reminders are messages routinely sent to custodians on litigation hold to remind them of their continuing obligation to preserve data relevant to the matter.
Why do I need a litigation hold reminder?
It’s not unusual for years to go by between the start and the final disposition of a matter. Given that, Courts have set the expectation that parties will routinely remind custodians of their continuing preservation obligations. Usually, parties also have an obligation to preserve new relevant or responsive data. Any new documents, emails and other data created must be preserved as well. A proper litigation hold reminder notice to your custodians should cover this requirement.
Am I legally required to send out litigation hold reminders?
While there is no written state or federal law or regulation that specifically defines and requires written legal hold notices or reminders, there is substantial case law that outlines expectations and best practices, most of which requires that preservation methods continue throughout the course of a matter. In short, parties have a legal obligation to ensure that all potential responsive and relevant data is identified, collected and produced in a given matter. To fulfill this obligation, a party must take steps, one of which is issuing and maintaining effective litigation hold instructions. This is especially important in longer-term or particularly contentious cases. In the end, diligent issuance of legal hold notices and effective, routine reminders can go a long way toward preventing sanctions, spoliation claims, and fines.