We are happy to provide assistancein creating a defensible & efficient preservation plan
eDiscovery Preservation Services
Given the complexities of the e-discovery process, having experts like Gillware on your side can provide accuracy, completeness, and overall more favorable outcomes with your e-discovery process, including lower costs.
Though many think the preservation stage is only concerned with the issuing of legal holds, there are multiple components including the formation of a defensible and efficient preservation strategy as well as the subsequent preservation of relevant documents and electronically stored information (ESI).
- Creation of Preservation Plan
- Preservation by Collection – Preemptive collection of data ensures data preservation
- In Place Preservation of Complex Systems
- Data Spoliation Analysis – Analysis of produced data to determine if preservation order was followed
- Preservation Reporting/Documentation
We can assist you in Preservation by Collection & documentation of the entire preservation process.
What is a Legal Hold?
The issuing of legal holds is generally the first step in the preservation process. A legal hold is issued by attorneys to their clients stipulating that relevant evidence be preserved when litigation is either known of or reasonably foreseeable. The responsibility for compliance falls upon the subjects of the case, although attorneys, the IT department, and experts (including Gillware) should help clients with the preservation process where necessary.
There are multiple strategies for implementing an effective and efficient preservation plan. The first is custodian self-preservation. Custodians are the owners of relevant ESI within a given case, so custodian self-preservation naturally entails the data owners looking after their own ESI. Attorneys will issue legal holds and letters of preservation to all custodians but the process thereafter relies on the custodians’ abilities to preserve their own data.
Unless the custodians themselves are intimately aware of the e-discovery process and have done it before, it should be pretty clear how many issues this strategy could cause down the line since the case is relying on custodians’ abilities to handle everything themselves.
Preservation by Collection
Another strategy for preservation is known as Preservation by Collection. This strategy generally involves outright copying and backing up all data/metadata/cloud data as soon as it is identified as potentially relevant in the identification phase. One of the positives of this strategy is that it protects ESI regardless of custodian action and can prevent issues later on since there will be plenty of ESI collected, a sort of ‘take no chances’ strategy. The drawback to this is that there are more upfront costs involved with collecting so much ESI, including the potential system downtime required to back up relevant ESI.
Similar to Preservation by Collection, In-Place Preservation is advantageous in that custodians are unable to modify relevant ESI and it is therefore protected throughout the e-discovery process. In-Place Preservation is also easy to implement, so there’s no large strain on IT staff or other resources. Likewise similar to Preservation by Collection, a drawback to this strategy is that sealing off mailboxes and portions of data can be disruptive to business continuity and can create some pretty unhappy staff if they require access to that data in their day-to-day work.
The Gillware eDiscovery consultant team is more than qualified to assist you with any aspect of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model.
Having experts like Gillware on your side can provide accuracy, completeness, and overall more favorable outcomes with your e-discovery process
When it comes to the preservation stage, we are happy to provide assistance in creating a defensible and efficient preservation plan that makes sense for your specific case, keeping preservation requirements and cost in mind. Assuming limited resources, there is always a delicate balance to strike between thorough ESI preservation and mitigating excessive downtime/financial burden for the organization involved.