Frequently Asked Questions

eDiscovery, or electronic discovery, is the process of locating, preserving, collecting, and producing electronically stored information, or ESI, for use as evidence in civil litigation, criminal proceedings, or internal investigations. It involves searching for, extracting, and analyzing information from various electronic sources such as emails, databases, social media, and cloud servers. The goal of eDiscovery is to locate and produce any electronically stored information that could be used in legal proceedings.

A legal hold (also known as a litigation hold) is a process used in eDiscovery to ensure that all relevant documents, data, and other information are preserved, so that they can be used in the event of a legal dispute or investigation. It is an obligation imposed on organizations to preserveall relevant data and information when litigation, an investigation, or an audit is reasonably anticipated. This helps to ensure that all information, regardless of where it is stored, is identified and preserved in an accessible form.

Organizations must preserve all potentially relevant electronically stored information (ESI) in a legal hold. This includes emails, documents, and databases, as well as electronic versions of paper documents, such as scanned documents, photographs, and videos. In addition, organizations must preserve metadata, which provides valuable information about the documents and their related history (e.g., when the document was created, shared with whom and when, opened by whom, and where it is stored).

The legal hold process typically consists of several steps. First, the organization must identify and track custodians, the individuals in possession of potentially relevant electronically stored information (ESI). Second, the organization must collect, preserve, and secure the ESI. Third, organizations must ensure that any legal holds issued remain in effect throughout the duration of the case or investigation. Finally, organizations must review and monitor the ESI to ensure its accuracy and completeness.

Failure to adequately execute a legal hold may result in serious consequences for an organization. These consequences can include sanctions, fines, and other penalties imposed by acourt, regulatory body, or other authority. It may also lead to an unfavorable outcome in a legal dispute due to the destruction of evidence or other violations.

Organizations should adopt best practices for a legal hold to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. This includes establishing clear policies and procedures for identifying, collecting, and preserving relevant electronically stored information (ESI). Organizations shouldalso deploy technology solutions to automate and streamline the legal hold process. These solutions should include features to easily identify and track custodians (people who personally possess and are in charge of the information that needs to be preserved), securely collect and preserve data, and monitor and enforce legal holds.


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