Critical steps to creating a consistent preservation hold process
Improving efficiency, reducing risks, and meeting preservation obligations
Any organization subject to large, complex, high-stakes lawsuits or investigations requires a repeatable process for preserving potentially relevant electronically stored information (ESI). Yet for many organizations, the preservation process is often chaotic, time-consuming, and error-prone.
Six steps to help improve the preservation hold process
The preservation process is often challenging because organizations rely on disparate technologies or manual processes to support preservation efforts, with potential mistakes occurring due to poor coordination and sloppy hand-offs. These errors are frequently amplified by the many complexities and challenges that can complicate the preservation efforts. Having a legal hold process that preserves data throughout the eDiscovery life cycle-from initiation to release and data deletion-is critical.
Suggested steps include:
- Step 1: Understanding the legal hold life cycle
- Step 2: Avoid common preservation mistakes
- Step 3: Understanding legal ramifications of failure
- Step 4: Eliminate manual processes
- Step 5: Track employee changes
- Step 6: Be proactive and educate
Result: A cost-effective, defensible process
Preservation obligations are generally well understood by corporate legal teams. Where many organizations struggle is in developing preservation processes that help ensure these obligations can be sufficiently met in a defensible, cost-effective fashion. Many legal hold mistakes can be traced back to a lack of planning, an over reliance on manual, error-prone methods, and poor communication between various stakeholders involved in the process. By following these steps, organizations can effectively modernize their preservation process, thereby reducing risk and improving efficiency.