Peer to Peer Magazine

December 2012

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 8 of 111

best practices Basics of E-Discovery: People Make the Process by Craig Strunk of City of Oakland As e-discovery software develops, it's easy to Not Just People, but Trained People get starry-eyed about the flash and bang of high-end collection and review platforms that are available today. Vendors are all too eager to demonstrate how their application can ease the pain of the e-discovery process. And no doubt these platforms are impressive. But even the most intelligent software in the world still can't think. It's the human element that makes for a successful outcome. Training is a cyclical process. Once or twice a year all staff should be informed of what a litigation hold is and what would be expected of them should they be deemed a custodian of pertinent data. Take this time to reinforce retention schedules and stress the importance of adhering to them. Once a litigation hold is received, everything must be held regardless of whether it should have been destroyed six months before. On a quarterly basis, remind those who have been flagged as custodians of their duties and reiterate the details of the litigation hold. Managers, supervisors and HR staff should have additional training to explain when it's appropriate to alert the legal department of potential litigation. The discovery plan should loosely define when a litigation hold should be placed. Dean Vanech, a partner at Podo Legal, recently commented: Not Just a Plan, but a Written Plan At the root of the e-discovery effort is the written discovery plan. A business should have a written discovery plan just like it has a written document retention schedule, computer use policy or emergency evacuation plan. In today's litigious society, it only makes sense to provide training for what to do in the event of a litigation hold (the requirement that a company preserve all data that may relate to a legal action when litigation is anticipated). Just as the evacuation plan can help your organization avoid loss of life during a crisis, a solid e-discovery plan can help to avoid sanctions and costly litigation. 10 Peer to Peer "A litigation hold must be put in place when a reasonable anticipation of litigation arises. So the exact point in time will differ with the facts of each case, and there are key sentiments that should clue you in as to when to initiate a hold. Is it when

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