Preserving documents that are relevant to existing or potential litigation is called a “litigation hold”, or a “legal hold.” A litigation hold is defined as a way to fulfill your legal duty. A litigation hold is a tool used when a party is confronted by the possibility or reality of a lawsuit that can help ensure compliance with preservation duties, and later show the court your thoroughness and good faith of preservation efforts. As your Jacksonville construction lawyers, we understand the importance of litigation holds, and why they are so important for your case.
1. Why Preserve Evidence?
When a dispute or lawsuit arises, companies involved must issue litigation holds to their employees to preserve relevant documentation, regardless of the form or location. Most of the time, documents are a crucial part of evidence that can be used to assist in supporting a claim during a lawsuit. By discarding or deleting documents, evidence is being deleted as well and the other party can use that to their advantage by claiming that documents were intentionally destroyed.
2. What Type Of Evidence Should Be Preserved?
Document such as contracts, invoices, photographs, memoranda, plans, time records, correspondence, and emails, should be preserved. All of these documents should continue to be preserved until the dispute is completely resolved or until litigation is no longer possible.
3. When To Start Preserving Evidence
Documents should start being preserved once the idea of litigation is possible. When litigation becomes a looming likelihood, implementing a litigation hold is very crucial. Like with most things, there are guidelines for determining when litigation is a probability. Courts will look at what circumstances were surrounding the case to decide when the litigation hold obligations began. It is highly recommended that you seek the counsel of a Jacksonville construction attorney when deciding when to start preserving evidence.
4. How Should A Litigation Hold Be Put Into Action?
The litigation hold process needs to be formal, such as making phone calls or sending emails to individuals that hold relevant documents to inform them of preserving the documents as opposed to disposing of them. This step is vital for the duration of the litigation to protect your company.
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.