Extract from Meg McLaughlin’s article “5 Tips to Improve Custodian Compliance by 70% or More”
We all know that legal holds are essential for ensuring evidence is preserved. But how do you get custodians to acknowledge legal holds the first time, not the tenth? Legal holds can cause a lot of stress if you don’t have a good process for issuing and tracking them — but it doesn’t have to be that way! If you ever find yourself scrambling to draft, track, and follow up on legal holds, here are five tips to make them less painful and more effective:
1 – Simplify your legal hold language
Legal professionals know what holds are and why they are important but those who work elsewhere in a company, like finance or R&D, probably do not. A big reason for low compliance rates is that custodians don’t know what a legal hold is or why it’s important, so make your holds easy to understand. Strike a balance in length — making your hold too short risks leaving out important information, while making it too long may cause readers’ eyes to glaze over. Remove legalese in favor of plain language, spell out clear actions that make it easy to comply within a defined timeframe, and make sure your formatting makes it easy to digest the content.