A Guide to ESI Preservation Responsibilities 2016
The litigation-related duty to preserve relevant evidence, which extends to both electronic and hard copy materials, is well established and widely known in the legal community and the business world. Despite broad familiarity with this obligation, many corporate litigants continue to be subjected to severe sanctions due to judicial intolerance for the failure to preserve electronically stored information (ESI). While some such sanctions involve the imposition of legal fees, in many instances courts have issued severe adverse jury instructions, effectively destroying a litigant’s chance of prevailing or waging an effective defense.
In today’s legal climate, a company’s seemingly innocent delay in implementing an appropriate method and “reasonable steps” to preserve ESI may be highly problematic. The duty to preserve relevant evidence, including ESI, remains too important to ignore, not only for those individuals engaged in litigation on a daily basis but also for company management seeking to control costs and expenses.
This white paper guides litigants through their responsibilities to preserve evidence and provides valuable information on implementing a defensible legal hold process. While reading this paper is an important first step, there is no substitute for a thorough discussion of a company’s specific circumstances as they relate to the matter.