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Litigation Hold Notice


Issued:
Responsible

POLICIES

Official:
Responsible Office:

March 2, 2010
President
Legal Counsel/Chief Information
Officer

Policy Statement

Policy Statement

The College has a legal obligation to preserve evidence and records,


including electronic documents that are relevant to a pending or
potential claim or action, such as a government audit, administrative
proceeding, or lawsuit. Upon notice of pending litigation or anticipated,
the College must implement a Litigation Hold Notice that requires the
retention of certain paper and electronic records for an indefinite period
of time due to pending state or federal litigation.
Each employee of the College is responsible for acting in compliance
with the Litigation Hold Notice regarding the preservation and
maintenance of evidence relevant to pending litigation.
The Office of Legal Counsel together with the Chief Information Officer
at the College is responsible for implementing the Litigation Hold
Procedures upon notice of the need for a litigation hold to preserve
relevant electronically stored information and paper documents.
Identifying instances in which a Litigation Hold Notice is required and
its subsequent implementation requires collaboration of multiple
individuals within the College, including the Records Coordinator.

Purpose

To define standards for preservation of evidence in compliance with


federal law regarding litigation holds, as well as to define the procedure
for implementing such holds when litigation commences or is
anticipated.

Definitions

Electronically Stored

Refers to all forms of electronic data and documents including, but not

Information (ESI)

limited to, metadata, electronic mail, word processing documents,


calendars, voice messages, videos, digital photographs, information in
personal digital assistants (PDAs), jump drives, home computers, and
in any location where data may be stored.

Evidence

Refers to hard copy and electronic/digital recordings, videotapes,


writings, material objects, photographs, drawings, diagrams, testimony,
or other things presented to the senses that are offered to prove the
existence or nonexistence of a fact.

Litigation Hold Letter

The communication that is distributed to preserve information and


prevent or suspend destruction of paper documents and electronic
data that must be retained during litigation.

Litigation Hold Procedure

The process whereby the College sends a notice to all involved


departments suspending the normal operation of document destruction
polices for particular records relevant to any pending or potential claim
or action. Notwithstanding the applicable records retention schedule,
documents that are subject to a particular Litigation Hold Notice must
be retained until the hold is removed.

Records Coordinator

The Records Coordinator, as designated by the Vice-President for


Business and Finance, has the authority and responsibility to dispose
of paper and electronic documents in accordance with approved
records disposition authorizations policies, per the College Records
Management Program.

Procedures

Notification of Litigation

1. All employees have an affirmative duty to inform the Office of Legal

Counsel when they receive notification of any claim or action or threat


of any claim or action against the College.
2. Employees are considered to be in receipt of notice of a claim or
action when they receive a complaint, summons, and/or other official
document(s) related to a lawsuit or claim.
3. The Office of Legal Counsel will determine whether the notification
received warrants issuance of a Litigation Hold Notice.

Employee's Notification of

1. Employees who have notice of any pending or potential claim or

Litigation to Legal Counsel

action against the College must inform the Office of Legal Counsel, in
writing, of the matter.
2. This notification must occur within two business days of their receipt
of the notification.

Issuance of Litigation Hold

1. College counsel will issue an Official Litigation Hold Notice Letter

Notice Letter

regarding the matter to the appropriate individuals within five business


days of receipt of notification of pending litigation.
2. The Litigation Hold Notice Letter shall provide the categories of
electronic and paper documents, including ESI, that must be retained
until further notice and that electronic information must be preserved in
its original electronic form, so that all information contained within it,
whether visible or not, is also available for inspection.

Employee's Compliance with

1. All employees who receive notice of the hold must give confirmation

Litigation Hold Notice Letter

of receipt of the hold notice along with a statement agreeing to abide by


the litigation hold within one week of receipt of the hold notice.
2. All employees who receive a Litigation Hold Notice Letter must
compile paper and electronic documents and data (including e-mails,
voicemails, videos, etc.) as instructed in the notice letter.
3. Electronic records must be retained in the original format (e.g.
burned to a disk/CD saved in a secure folder on the system server that
is not subjected to unannounced deletion, etc.)
4. It is the responsibility of the individuals to whom the litigation hold

notice is issued to retain all records that are responsive to the notice
until they receive written notification that the litigation hold has been
removed.

FAQs

What is anticipated litigation?

Litigation is anticipated where the College receives information that a


claim or dispute has arisen which has a strong possibility of becoming
litigation. This is a fact specific inquiry which shall be done in
consultation with the Office of Legal Counsel. Some examples include
EEOC complaints, Office of Civil Rights complaints, government or
internal investigations, and claims filed with the Claims Commission.

What happens once I receive

The Litigation Hold Notice will provide the description of the materials

the Litigation Hold Notice?

that need to be protected as well as how the information should be


stored. The Office of Legal Counsel will provide guidance throughout
this process and the Information Technology Division will assist
employees in storing relevant ESI.