Legal toolkit for storage systems


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Legal holds
Preservation/Collection is the next and probably last piece that directly involves the storage team. Preservation is the process of protecting data that may be needed in the litigation, and there are big penalties for failing to do this right. For this step, IT needs a legal hold tool. PSS Systems is widely recognized as the leading legal holds vendor, while Exterro Inc. is a newcomer in this area. But any product that can enforce policy against stored data could work. Ideally, the legal hold tool should identify and preserve both centrally managed documents and distributed documents, including those residing on desktops and laptops.

A key part of the legal hold process is communication; the tool should therefore assist in alerting people of the hold and monitoring compliance (see "Ediscovery readiness assessment," below). This means immediately notifying custodians and anyone else in possession of relevant data. The tool also needs to track responses acknowledging the hold, generate hold reminders (usually every 60 or 90 days) and then track reminder acknowledgments. Along the way, the tool should document every message sent and each acknowledgment. The amount of messaging quickly adds up.

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This was first published in May 2008

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