Extract from John Tredennick’s article “Legal Holds for Smart Teams: Tips for IT Professionals Working with Legal to Preserve Company Data”
Increasingly, courts require legal departments and their outside counsel to supervise the preservation process and to certify that reasonable steps were taken. In most cases, lawyers must rely heavily on Information Technology (IT) professionals to execute the mechanics of the hold and ensure data is preserved correctly. After all, IT knows and works with the company’s systems, networks. And, if legal preservation obligations aren’t met properly, penalties for that failure can be substantial.As I recently wrote about in Law360, when litigation or a government investigation looms, a corporation has a duty to identify and preserve data (documents or other electronically-stored information) that may be relevant to the matter. This requirement, imposed by the courts as well as government regulators, is known as a “legal hold” or sometimes a “litigation hold.” It stems from the duty to not destroy relevant evidence that may be required for a judicial proceeding.
In this blog, we provide insight into the respective roles of legal and IT and how they can work together to make the legal hold process more efficient and fulfill the company’s legal obligations.