Litigations can be complex and challenging, but our Jacksonville construction attorneys know that how a company responds to the initial stages of the legal process will influence a win or loss. One of the first things a construction company may receive is a request to preserve all data that may relate to a lawsuit being brought against the company. This is known as a litigation hold. It is important that proper steps be taken to ensure relevant evidence is preserved to minimize the expenses and risks associated with the litigation process.
In this first article, we’ll discuss the importance of communicating with employees and preserving evidence. In Part 2, we will tell you how to respond to a litigation hold the right way.
Communicate With Your Employees
One of the first steps in responding to a litigation hold is to communicate with your employees both verbally and in writing. It is especially important that employees who are responsible for keeping records and other data receive this correspondence. Be sure to specifically identify what is to be preserved. Some items that usually need to be preserved are emails, contracts, and invoices.
Failing to Preserve Evidence
Preserving evidence is crucial for both parties because not only can it support a claim, it can also disprove one. Failing to preserve evidence will subject you to sanctions, fines, and additional costs associated with retrieving discarded electronic records and paying the plaintiff’s cost and attorney fees.
What is Spoliation?
It is vital that you avoid what is known as spoliation which is purposely failing to preserve evidence. Spoliation is intentionally destroying or concealing evidence. If the opposing party believes evidence has been destroyed or hidden, they can file a spoliation claim. As long as it is proven that the critical evidence that is relevant to the case was concealed or destroyed the courts may impose a sanction. Do not risk your case being dismissed or having a default judgment entered against you. An experienced Jacksonville construction attorney will understand the complexity of these laws so we highly recommend you retain legal counsel in this type of matter.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.