Legal holds for businesses: How to prepare when facing litigation

A laptop with a staff of legal sign o the side

(Note: CrashPlan does not provide legal advice. While the information on this site refers to legal issues, it is not intended as legal advice or as a substitute for the particularized advice of your own counsel.)

Data is the core of all business. It generates insights to drive operations, strategy, and growth. It is the connecting force between you and your customer base. And in many cases, it carries sensitive information that your business has been entrusted with. Protecting that data is paramount, and the legal hold process is one way to do so. This article will explain how technology can support you during potential legal holds and eDiscovery processes. 

When litigation is reasonably anticipated, a legal hold instructs businesses to preserve all forms of relevant data. Legal holds can cover a broad spectrum of data ranging from emails and documents to databases and physical files. 

Neither small businesses nor large corporations are immune from the legal hold process. Between 2000 and 2020, 99% of Fortune 500 companies made payments to plaintiffs for discrimination or harassment. 

What Is eDiscovery?

The term eDiscovery (or electronic discovery) is the process by which electronic data is sought, located, secured, and searched, with the intent of using it as evidence in a civil or criminal legal case. eDiscovery can be carried out offline on a specific computer or it can occur across an entire network.

Legal holds and eDiscovery are deeply interconnected. Legal holds require a company to preserve potentially important data so it may be examined during the eDiscovery process. This prevents the loss or destruction of potential evidence. If you unlawfully destroy such evidence, you can face severe legal consequences, so legal holds are crucial to ensure compliance. 

The thought of a legal hold may chill the hearts of business owners and managers everywhere, but you can take steps to protect yourself. Backup services like endpoint backup have built-in technologies to make legal hold compliance and the eDiscovery process as painless as possible.

Control the Scope

Automatic backup technologies can be set up to incorporate as much or as little data as you want. Legal holds can involve many types of data, including email, chat, and instant messages. In some instances, file metadata can also be relevant. 

Follow the Data

Backup services offer detailed control over roles and permissions. Chain-of-custody validation is frequently relevant during eDiscovery.  Your team can track what changes were made, by whom, and when.

Remain Invisible

A legal hold doesn’t impact user experience within endpoint backup systems like CrashPlan. Endpoint backup solutions make it seamless for a user to remain in compliance with legal holds. From the user’s perspective, there’s no difference between a standard backup and a legal hold backup.

Have a Policy

A comprehensive backup plan is the best tool for complying with legal holds. Backup services should allow you to specify exactly which files need to be preserved. If a file is deleted later, the endpoint backup service will maintain a copy of it. 

A legal hold can be complicated, and you don’t want to overlook any data. An attorney specializing in this area can guide you in how you can best comply with the legal hold. 

CrashPlan is an advanced endpoint backup service designed for modern businesses. It offers functionalities that help manage legal holds and the eDiscovery process.

Unlike Cloud Collaboration Platforms (CCPs), CrashPlan provides true backup for all past and present data, making it easy to recover files from any point in time. This is particularly valuable during a legal hold, where data from various timelines may need to be accessed. Furthermore, CrashPlan has the most up-to-date security standards. It encrypts all data during transmission and storage, ensuring the integrity of sensitive data.

CrashPlan can make preparing for a legal hold significantly easier. You can rest assured knowing CrashPlan securely backs up your data so it is ready for eDiscovery when a legal hold is activated. Get a Free Trial today