The basis for Legal Hold and Data Preservation Best Practices was the exceptional work by the group of presenters at the 2012 Conference on Preservation Excellence, held in Portland, Oregon in late September. The conference focused solely on the area of data preservation best practices. The presenters wanted to address a recurring issue heard at e-discovery events that found only limited attention being given to data preservation; often followed by a speaker blurting out “We could spend an entire day on preservation.” Well, we didn’t spend an entire day — we spent two.
The level of dialogue and depth of discussion on litigation holds and data preservation at the conference was unprecedented. Following the event, at which appeared many nationally recognized experts in electronic discovery and in-house practitioners from around the U.S., the consensus was that the event succeeded in demonstrating that preservation is a unique field of focus.
This Guide on “best practices” continues the goal of helping lead legal professionals on the path to excellence in legal holds and data preservation. Many organizations are working to instill sound data preservation processes and creating awareness internally among various groups of the importance of meeting the needs of the courts. However, few would rate themselves as achieving a level of excellence.
This Guide coalesces the discussions of some of the best minds in electronic discovery to discuss the Aristotelian Ideal of what litigation holds and data preservation can be, not necessarily what it is today. The real opportunity is to take the concepts and apply them in your workplace to achieve the following:
Be better and more confident at what you do.
Reduce your risk.
Lower your costs.
Strengthen your leverage when litigating.
Make your time more productive.
Make your co-workers’ time more productive.
Annoy the courts less.
You are an integral part in advancing the practice of data preservation. The knowledge you gain by reading this Guide is a concrete step in advancing the level of expertise in our community. Together we can improve how organizations of all shapes, sizes and industries approach the task of responding to a preservation obligation while building a valuable knowledge base for all to do better.