Document Hold Management: Helping Your Team Remember Their Obligations

It’s been six months since the lawsuit started.  You hired litigation counsel, and there was a burst of activity as you got ready to file (or answer) the lawsuit and produce documents that might be evidence to the other side.  Your litigation counsel emphasized the need for a “document hold” to preserve evidence and a memo was circulated to the right people in your organization describing what needed to be done.  Six months have passed and while the lawsuit is working its way through the system, it is not a priority for most people in your organization.

But new emails come in, documents are found, and conversations occur that could result in the additional documents that could be discoverable in that lawsuit.  At some point your business team may not remember that a document hold applies to them or that they need to be alert to follow the guidelines in the document hold memo.  Add the variable of new employees hired within the past few months whose job could touch on the matter involved and the risk becomes more apparent.

The solution is a regular and recurring process for reminding the right individuals of their document hold obligations.  Personnel changes in teams that touch the subject of the lawsuit must also be promptly addressed – including guidance to newly hired employees regarding document hold expectations and communications procedures.

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