Use a solid, reliable, form Litigation Hold Letter.
Court decisions are now requiring you to give written "litigation hold" instructions. Use this form to tell both you and your clients, quickly and efficiently, what needs to be done immediately to prevent destruction of ESI.
This form is the way to do it!
Litigation Hold Letter to Client shaves 80% - or more - off the time you would otherwise take to develop a letter of this quality.
Give instructions when the courts demand you do it: as soon "as litigation is imminent". And do it as the court decisions now require -- do it in writing. And have in the instructions, the items the courts look for when deciding whether you took adequate steps. The Lawyer Trial Forms litigation hold form is a comprehensive three page form letter to your client, with electronic, ESI, e-data, evidence preservation advice to your client. Litigation Hold Letter to Client is designed to be clear advice, so your client will not be confused.
The form is also your own checklist of what needs to be done by you -- the responsible attorney -- in directing your client. Litigation Hold Letter to Client also has more -- additional pages of advice to attorneys. It's the best quick, no-nonsense, way to get going in the right direction. "Preservation of Electronic Files begins with a "Litigation Hold".
Litigation Hold Letter to Client is designed to give you a psychologically effective path to communicate the serious nature of the client's obligation to preserve evidence. Guide clients so they do not make critical - but common - mistakes.
This is e-discovery and e-evidence advice of a senior attorney mentor.
Aside from the obvious time saving to you (at this price if it saves you 15 minutes, it's worth it) there are three basic facts that mandate using a solid, reliable, form for your Litigation Hold Letter to Client.
The key phrases are "adequately instruct" and "as soon as litigation is imminent." Courts say that in most cases "litigation is imminent" when the client walks in the door seeking an attorney. An attorney's failure to "adequately instruct" the client and get involved in document preservation "as soon as litigation is imminent" has caused courts to impose severe sanctions on the attorney personally. The word "adequately" is the adverb the courts are all tacking on to the verb "instruct" when they say the attorney failed to "adequately instruct" the client on what ESI has to be preserved and how it must be preserved. The courts are not lenient on the attorney who waits until a demand from the opposition before instructing the client on what ESI to preserve and how to preserve it. Litigation Hold Letter to Client gives you not only a summary of important information, but also an additional specific "Checklist for Attorneys", with steps the courts expect you --- personally --- to take with your client.
The fact is that in today's world most documents and data are electronic, so failure to preserve electronically stored evidence (ESI) destroys evidence as the computer overwrites data and meta data! The courts now impose the affirmative duty on you to preserve your client's ESI for the adversary to discover! And there is a lot to discover. Studies at the beginning of this 21st century showed that over 90% of most correspondence and data is stored electronically, not in file cabinets. Now a few years later, ESI is approaching the 98% mark! Most external and internal correspondence is either e-mail or it is written on a computer, and the sender's copy is kept electronically. Moreover, the chances are that some of your client's evidence --- to help your client --- is probably in electronic format. If it is not preserved properly, you may not be able to introduce it into evidence as the required "original" document. Litigation Hold Letter to Client gives your specific instructions to your client.
Electronically stored information includes metadata. The simplest definition of metadata is that it is information (data) generated by a computer about a particular content (data). For example your office computer contains the metadata of the date a file was last changed, and probably indicates a new "change date" when the file is simply copied to some other place. Hence, your client copying a critical letter to a CD to save it "unchanged" may in fact write a append a new meta data "date of change" to the file that raises the jury's suspicion that the content of the letter was changed after the litigation started. Your client, if not properly instructed, may lose the case because of your failure to issue proper "litigation hold" advice.
The 2008 shock wave from Qualcomm Inc. v. Broadcom Corp., where millions of dollars of sanctions were awarded and top of the profession attorneys were referred to the bar board for insufficient actions to protect data from ignorant destruction, is a wake up call that a lawyer cannot sit in his office and simply ask the client to tell him of any relevant possible evidence. In sanctioning the defense's top lawyer, a senior associate, and a junior associate to be sanctioned, the decision repeatedly voiced the theme that attorneys are responsible to actively and adequately supervise their client's collection and production of documents.
The 2010 shock wave from Pension Comm. of Univ. of Montreal Pension Plan v. Bank of Am. Secs., LLC, 2010 WL 184312 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 15, 2010) came from the analysis and definitions of attorney negligence, including the statement that: "The failure [of an attorney] to issue a written litigation hold constitutes gross negligence because that failure is likely to result in the destruction of relevant information." [Emphasis supplied.]
Litigation Hold Letter to Client gives your specific instructions to your client. No litigation lawyer can be without a standard Litigation Hold Letter to Client. This form contains both a quick summary of basics you need to know, and also a form of letter that gives instructions that the courts consider "adequate instruction".
Litigation Hold Letter to Client prevents some critical mistakes in how and what you tell the client, and in what you do. Litigation Hold Letter to Client has both "Tips to Attorneys" and also a "Checklist for attorneys" .
The Checklist and the Tips for attorneys contains the minimal steps you must take to comply with courts that follow Zubulake style standards. (If you want to see the content of much of the checklist, without the "Tips to Attorneys," it is provided by us to you as a free PDF here. We provide most of the checklist freely, because our business vision statement is: "Making Good Lawyers Better".)
The oft-cited Zubulake case declared: "it is not sufficient to notify all employees of a litigation hold and expect that the party will retain and produce all relevant information. Counsel must take affirmative steps to monitor compliance..."
You need the "tips for attorneys" on #ELEC3320. Litigation Hold Letter to Client. For example, some uninformed lawyers readily accept documents which have been ‘dragged and dropped' onto a CD burned by their clients or their adversaries. Either those lawyers have reached an agreement with adverse counsel that such a copying is sufficient, or they are making a big mistake. (Copying onto a CD or using some other methods loses some the metadata, perhaps the metadata critical to authentication of the evidence, or the metadata that tells what the document said before litigation started, and who made the change after the litigation started) You don't want your client making that sort of mistake.,/
Chronologically, the first ESI mistake to avoid is failing to tell the client, (A) early and (B) clearly, what they must do to must preserve existing ESI. This mistake is a novice lawyer mistake, but also is an all too common mistake made even by senior lawyers. If the reported cases involving senior partners at big law firms is an indication, too many lawyers simply do not know their ESI obligations before suit, obligations that exist as soon "as litigation is imminent".
You do not have to be one of those lawyers!
Click the "Buy Now" button to own Litigation Hold Letter to Client for the price of only $26.80.
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All The Best,
Leonard Bucklin, Civil Trial Attorney
P.S. There is obvious time saving in starting your work with a good legal form. If Litigation Hold Letter to Client saves you just 15 minutes of time - ever - it will have paid for itself. Attorneys who are using my system right now save valuable hours every year.
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