In the construction industry, when you preserve documents that are relevant to your litigation case, past or present, the term for that is known as a litigation hold/legal hold. Why is this an important term? Some courts will find that a duty to preserve evidence is triggered for litigation if the party should have foreseen that the specified documents or data were important to a lawsuit. For another example, some courts will find that a duty to preserve documents and evidence arises once the party knows what information will be relevant to a foreseeable claim. Either way, as Bradenton construction lawyers, we understand how important it is for construction companies to preserve all evidence and documents.
The Importance of Preserving All Evidence
When a dispute occurs and forms into a litigation case, the companies of both parties involved are required to preserve all documents that are relevant to the case. As stated above, most of the time documentation is an extremely important part of the evidence, and can be used in supporting the claim during the court proceedings. Without the documentation (i.e., it’s discarded by the parties, whether intentionally or unintentionally) the evidence will be lacking, and the other party will be able to use that to their advantage, such as claiming that the documents were destroyed intentionally).
When Do Parties Need To Begin Preserving Evidence?
Once there is even a slight possibility of litigation, all documents need to be preserved. By the time litigation seems more and more like a reality, applying a litigation hold is vital. There are guidelines that parties can follow to decide when litigation is a probability. In most cases, courts will look to see what circumstances were surrounding the case to decide when the litigation hold obligations started.
What Types of Documents Should Be Preserved?
Parties may be confused as to what it is exactly that they should be preserving. As Bradenton construction attorneys, we are aware that the documents parties should be aware of when it comes to preservation can include:
- Time Records
- Contemporaneous documents
- Daily Reports
All of these listed document must continue to be preserved until the dispute has been resolved completely, or until litigation is no longer a possible outcome.
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.