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What Is a Legal Hold?

It is sometimes necessary that certain pieces of information vital to a court trial be preserved in the event that the information or the court case itself is to be reviewed and evaluated. In order to ensure that such information is preserved, a party or entity is obligated to adhere to a notice sent to them. The procedure of preserving such information is referred to as a legal hold or litigation hold, as it requires the information to hold its place.



A notification may be issued to a party or entity informing them that some significant evidence or material is in their possession and that they must in all circumstances protect it from encountering any damage even if it may implicate them in a violation of the law. If one fails to follow the legal hold, he or she may be fined or penalized in some other form.



The process of obtaining a legal hold begins with notifying the party or entity that may be in possession of the information or object. Once notified, it is the obligation of such a party or entity to preserve the document until such time that the presence of the information or object is to be presented before a court of law. Until that time, the person in possession of the document, material, or information, must store it in every manner and mode possible. This may entail electronically storing it as well as physically storing it. The time that it is called for is a litigation process known as discovery.

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