Here’s now LegalHold helps with notice version management, one of the most cumbersome parts of the legal hold process.
The Problem? Multiple versions of a hold notice
When legal holds are issued by Legal departments, it is normally in the form of a hold notice or preservation notice email which is sent out to possible custodians of data/information. It is the recipient’s responsibility to make sure they comply/respond to the hold and thus the organization can maintain their compliance rates, which reflect the defensibility of their legal hold processes.
The content of hold notice email that is sent out may be a part of an existing template but is normally thoughtfully and individually catered to the scope of the matter in question. The interview questionnaires that are added to the hold also usually depend on the scope and description of the matter.
This gives the recipient the individual details of the case. They can then decide on whether they want to comply with the hold or not, or if they are holding any relevant information for the matter.
Now, the scope of a Legal matter is fluid and can change periodically due to unforeseen circumstances. So, if a legal hold has already been issued for the matter, it can now be a challenge to send an updated version of the notice (based on the change in scope of the matter).
Custodians now will receive a new email for the same hold, and after reading the updated notice can change their compliance status and also change their responses to the questionnaires or in some cases they are presented with a new questionnaire.
The tracking burden on the legal department
In order to track the entire audit trail of the hold and be fully defensible, the onus is now on the legal department to show all the versions of the hold notice, all the custodians’ responses to them, and also if the responses were changed based on the issue of the new notice.
This can be a very tedious and cumbersome process, as there can be possibly hundreds of custodians on a single hold. Each of them can have multiple responses to multiple versions of the hold notice for the same legal hold.
The content of a hold notice email that is sent out may be a part of an existing template but is normally thoughtfully and individually catered to the scope of the matter in question. The interview questionnaires that are added to the hold also usually depend on the scope and description of the matter. This gives the recipient the individual details of the case and then they can decide on whether they want to comply with the hold or not or if they are holding any relevant information for the matter.
Mitratech LegalHold has built-in version management capabilities where multiple versions of the hold notice can be created and sent for the same hold. Once a new notice is updated and before it is sent out, the hold administrator has a choice whether they want the compliance reset for all custodians or not dependent on the nature of the change to the notice.
If the scope of the matter has changed dramatically, the admin would want the custodians to re-read the updated notice, and comply again. If the change to the notice is small – like fixing a typo – then the custodian’s original compliance can still be valid.
The system also tracks all versions separately, and these details are captured on the hold history so the hold admin knows when the new version was sent out and by whom. There is also the built-in capability to view and access all the different versions of the notice, and additionally access the custodian’s responses to all the versions.
If a custodian has changed their response or updated their answers to the questionnaires based on the new version, this is captured as well for the full audit trail. so defensibility can be shown among all versions of hold notices for the same legal hold.