News & Resources in the eDiscovery Industry

Legal Hold Services – Things You Should Know About Legal Hold

Searching and organizing electronically stored information (ESI) for a trial can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. At Datamine Discovery, we offer eDiscovery and legal hold services to make the legal hold process easier.

The Basics of Litigation Hold

A litigation hold, or legal hold, is a process that informs relevant parties, known as custodians, to keep information that an attorney may need in upcoming litigation. This information will most likely be evidence in an impending trial or ongoing lawsuit and, therefore, can be court-ordered or self-initiated. Once a law office sends a legal hold, the custodian must send an acknowledgment that they received it and will comply with the required action moving forward.

Using a legal hold template, you can ensure that each hold will be clear and concise. Within the hold, the custodian should easily be able to identify why they are receiving the hold and explicit instructions on what documents must be preserved. This preservation process will include removing the usual record deleting process for all ESI and paper information.

The information collected and saved during the legal hold process is usually ESI, like emails, online chats, data containing files (PDFs and Word documents), and videos. However, the data can also be in the form of printed papers and logbooks.

The Step-by-Step Legal Hold Process

The legal hold process begins when an attorney anticipates upcoming litigation. At this point, the attorney identifies all the custodians and their specific contributions. Then legal hold is sent out to each custodian, and the attorney monitors their responses to see whether they must be re-notified or whether their managers should get involved. Once each custodian acknowledges the legal hold, the attorney can use the collected data as evidence in an upcoming trial. Once the trial is complete and the lawyer no longer requires the legal hold, they will release all custodians.

Legal Hold Software

Legal holds can be a manual or software-driven process. The manual legal hold process involves tracking custodian acknowledgment through handwritten spreadsheets. This can be daunting and difficult to manage as you cannot easily search for different custodians, making it cumbersome to follow up on those who have yet to respond.

You can use legal applications to circumvent these issues with the manual process; however, utilizing software also comes with difficulties. One of these difficulties includes software fragmentation, where attorneys or law firms use multiple platforms and end up mismanaging custodians or having security issues.

Therefore, legal companies use litigation hold services to integrate the legal hold process into one easy-to-manage process. Legal hold offers an automated service that can track custodian acknowledgment, send follow-up communications, and preserve the necessary ESI.

When deciding on legal hold software, it is important to consider the following:

  • Customizability: Legal holds should be in customizable templates, so specific details can be changed when needed.
  • Automation: Legal hold software can automatically send notifications and reminders.
  • Distribution: Selecting specific custodians or adding/deleting new or existing ones should be easy.
  • Price: The software price should be comparable to similar services but in line with its overall reliability and quality.
  • Collaboration: Invested parties should be able to exchange information without hindrance.
  • Scalability: The legal hold software you choose should fit your needs in terms of size, whether you are working on one legal hold or hundreds.
  • Trackability: Tracking and viewing all legal hold activity should be easy.
  • Release: When you complete a legal hold, all custodians and data should be able to be released simply.
  • Comprehensive: If needed, your legal hold software or provider should be able to perform additional eDiscovery services to maintain a smooth data monitoring process.

How To Outsource Your Legal Hold Needs

Rather than manually tracking your legal holds or using legal hold software to monitor your custodians yourself, you can look to legal hold eDiscovery companies, such as Datamine Discovery, to carry out the full legal hold process for you and your team.

To outsource your legal hold needs, you need to find a reliable eDiscovery company that offers trustworthy legal hold services and start the consultation process.

What Is Provided by Legal Hold Services Companies?

Many companies offer legal hold solutions discovery software. These companies help attorneys and law firms inform custodians of their obligation to preserve information for upcoming litigation or trial. They also assist in designing legal hold templates, which can be customized with things like the attorney’s name, the reason for the legal hold, and the custodian’s personal information.

On top of designing the legal hold document, legal hold companies also offer tracking of custodian compliance and automated reminders to those who have yet to acknowledge receipt of the legal hold. This automated process saves attorneys substantial time, which they would normally use to track custodians for multiple trials.

A legal hold company also uses an automated process to dive deeper into different cases, including the number of matters at hand, the number of custodians currently on hold and their responses, and whether there are custodians who are a part of multiple litigations.

The service also allows you to secure all custodian information even if employees leave their current position.

Legal hold companies allow you as the attorney to focus on the case rather than combing through and monitoring hundreds of different custodians. Using an automated third-party service ensures that maintaining legal holds will be a smooth process with no redundancy, wasted time, or security risks.

How Legal Hold and eDiscovery Work together

eDiscovery is the process of managing custodial legal holds and relevant ESI and paper information required for litigation or trial. eDiscovery services usually include legal hold, data processing, early case assessment (ECA), collection, hosted data review, production, project management, and data exchange.

Before data can be used in a trial and exchanged between different parties, it must go through a legal hold in which custodians secure relevant data related to litigation. These custodians agree to maintain specific information needed throughout a trial as evidence.

Legal hold is the first step in the eDiscovery process and, as such, requires careful handling. By utilizing a company that offers a wide variety of eDiscovery services, data can be exchanged through one secured network, ensuring top-notch security and process management. Many attorneys and law firms outsource this work to reliable companies experienced in the full eDiscovery process.

Legal Hold Management

Legal hold management includes monitoring the full legal hold process. An experienced consultant from an eDiscovery provider will manage everything from initial contact with a custodian to continuous correspondence and final acknowledgment of receipt of the legal hold. They can also monitor other aspects of the eDiscovery process, including data management, to ensure a high level of vigilance regarding the management of custodians and the data they agree to hold.

Legal Hold and eDiscovery Services Provided by Datamine Discovery

Datamine Discovery is a provider of eDiscovery, from legal hold services to project and data management for law firms. Attorneys will take advantage of this service when they need to secure large amounts of data and be able to easily search through it to use as evidence in an upcoming trial. A legal hold is the first step in this process and, therefore, extremely important to winning a case.

Datamine Discovery is a leader in eDiscovery services located in Boston, Cambridge, Providence, and New Haven. We specialize in legal hold, ECA, and data collection to ensure ESI and paper information are collected and stored in a secure and easily searchable manner. For more details about our eDiscovery services, contact us through our online portal or call us at 617-329-9530.

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