All posts in Legal Hold

A Warm Fire, a Hot Drink and a New Legal Hold Guide

Snow flakes, steaming drinks and friendly gatherings are some of the best parts of December – and no classic winter gathering is complete without a roaring fire. But practitioners know not all fires bring great memories: legal hold wildfires and resulting sanctions can dampen winter joy. Fortunately, Kroll Ontrack has just released a newly updated guide, Preventing a Legal Hold Wildfire, so that nothing ruins your winter delights.

The Sanctions Outside are Frightful

The December 1, 2015 FRCP amendments and this year’s court decisions, such as GN Netcom v. Plantronics, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93299 (D. Del. July 12, 2016), reiterate the importance of the duty to preserve electronically stored information (ESI). Recognizing your company’s or client’s duty to preserve, when it begins, what it entails and when it ends are key strategies that can save your organization time, money and stress.

But Proper Preservation is so Delightful

The newly updated guide from Kroll Ontrack, Preventing a Legal Hold Wildfire, has tips and tricks so that you do not get caught in the flames. This compact guide features 2016 case law and gives practitioners the starting points that they need to make their own strategies for navigating legal holds.

Since We Know Just Where to Go

Knowing what your organization needs to do and how to do it are two very different tasks; parties need to have their legal hold processes and systems in check. Kroll Ontrack has professional consultants for every aspect of the ediscovery process. And, when it comes to legal holds and how to implement them, Jackie Warner, one of our legal hold consultants, is a pro. Contact Jackie today for an initial legal hold consultation.

Ediscovery Data Collection: Fact v. Fiction

Getting off to a good start in an ediscovery project or computer forensics investigation is paramount. This places extreme scrutiny on the left-hand EDRM activities – namely, identification, preservation and data collection. However, developing the proper collection strategy in a specific matter is anything but turnkey. There are a number of reasonable methods for collecting data, which are often dictated by the facts and circumstances of the case. If you are new to capturing data, or a veteran with many projects under your belt, take five minutes to brush up on these fallacies and facts around data collection.

1. Fiction: Bit-by-bit imaging is required for a forensically sound collection.
Fact: As discussed by Nick Pietig, one of Kroll Ontrack’s consulting professionals, data needs to be collected with an eye toward preventing spoliation, while preserving metadata and ensuring defensibility. In most cases, a full forensic image is not needed and an active data capture will suffice for civil litigation. However, some matters (such as employment cases where a key player is suspected of intentionally deleting information) and some organizations (such as those in regulated industries or with global operations) prefer bit-by-bit imaging, because it is perceived to be the “safest” collection method, capable of standing up to rigorous scrutiny. Despite the type of data collection required, every collection must be forensically sound – meaning that all the files are preserved, along with the associated metadata necessary to prove that the information is authentic. To learn more, check out Nick’s data collection video.

2. Fiction: The volume of data collected is decreasing because of better targeting of key custodians.
Fact: According to the 2015 edition of Kroll Ontrack’s “Pulse Benchmarks,” the average number of custodians in a data collection is decreasing, from 65 in 2008 to 16 in 2014. In no small part, this trend is likely due to the fact that cost-conscious litigants are leveraging new collection methods and advanced pre-filtering technologies, combined with more effective custodian interviews. However, the overall volume of data in a collection is relatively stable or even slightly increasing, with 444 GBs collected on average in 2008 and 482 GBs collected on average in 2014. Even though parties are collecting data more diligently and custodian counts per matter continue to decline, big data is driving up data volumes per custodian, resulting in increased data volumes per case.

3. Fiction: Once you collect data, it must be transported for further processing or investigation offsite.
Fact: In many situations, after data is collected, it is transported to some other location for further analysis. However, there are scenarios where data cannot leave its premise. For example, some organizations, under certain circumstances, request that collection and filtering efforts be completed onsite to prevent the transport of irrelevant and sensitive data. In these situations, technology has evolved to collect, filter and process data onsite, so it never leaves the premises. Find out more about this mobile technology by reading a recent mobile discovery case study.

4. Fiction: Collection processes, once proven, need never change.
Fact: Because security measures, operating systems and devices are constantly evolving, collection processes also need to continually adapt. For example, new encryption protocols across all types of devices – from mobile devices to the cloud – are resulting in freshened collection protocols. As such, collection professionals need to research new techniques, investigate tools and perform tests to ensure the collection will accurately capture targeted data. If you are interested in learning more, don’t miss Kroll Ontrack’s November 16 webinar, Mobile Device Investigations: From Android to iPhone and Back, where Jason Bergerson will boost your understanding of how to leverage data from mobile devices in a forensically-sound manner.

#throwbackthursday: Don’t Get Burned by Legal Wildfires

Legal Hold

Happy Autumn! As the leaves start changing color and the infusion of pumpkin-flavored food dominates our culinary palates, let’s take a moment to look back to the days of Spring, with blooming flowers, baby birds, and…wildfires?!

Back in April, Kroll Ontrack launched a red-hot Legal Hold Guide that explored the importance of document preservation in litigation and regulatory matters. With data volumes on the rise, organizations need to have an effective legal hold plan in place to avoid being burned with spoliation sanctions.

Take the time to reminisce, but don’t get too comfortable. Be on the lookout next week for an exciting new Information Governance guide that promises to be wild…

Preventing a Legal Hold Wildfire: A Guide

Legal Hold

Fire is fast and can rage out of control in a matter of moments. Before you know it, everything around you is engulfed in flames. That’s why fire prevention strategies are so important. Nothing is more important than knowing how to recognize the dangers and what to do in the event of a fire emergency.

The same goes for document preservation in litigation and regulatory matters. These are most often reactive events. Once the embers are lit, the process and resultant document preservation can spiral out of control in the blink of an eye.

Don’t Get Burned in Litigation or Regulatory Matters

In a 2014 survey (Preservation Costs Survey – Final Report by William Hubbard), 100% of respondents reported issuing legal hold notices. However, out of that group, only 63% reported tracking those legal holds. With legal and technical revolutions taking place in the discovery landscape—much like a fire prevention or disaster recovery plan—organizations need to have an effective legal hold plan and process in place. Such a plan should consider established case law, civil procedure rules and industry best practices, and organizations should leverage legal hold resources to help them along the way.

Legal Hold: Case Law, Rules and Tips

Recent court decisions and procedural rule amendments reiterate the importance of the duty to preserve electronically stored information. The pending changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) notwithstanding, sanctions may be imposed on parties for failing to effectuate a proper legal hold, resulting in loss of relevant information. In some instances, this may even lead to a default judgment. Recognizing your duty to preserve, when it begins, what it entails and when it ends are key strategies that can save your organization time, money and stress and essential to any information governance or ediscovery strategy.

Don’t get burned by unknown or neglected preservation duties, ineffective legal holds or faulty deletion strategies. By following current case law, procedural rules and best practices, you may prevent the legal hold wildfire. But in the world of information overload, how do you find these tools?

A Legal Hold Guide by Kroll Ontrack

Kroll Ontrack has developed a legal hold preparedness guide to give you the tools you need. From tips and case law to the anticipated FRCP amendments, this guide will help your organization establish or validate your legal hold processes and procedures. Additionally, Kroll Ontrack’s Consulting Group is available at any point to assist.

After all, preparedness is essential, and only you can prevent preservation and legal hold wildfires. Explore Kroll Ontrack’s Legal Hold Guide today.