Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Greg Buckles. Published: 2011-11-11 06:44:38Format, images and links may no longer function correctly. I thoroughly enjoyed today’s webinar on using legal holds to start expiring ever-growing archives. I wanted to thank my panelists: Kyle McClain (Monsanto), Allison Walton Esq (Symantec) and Mikki Tomlinson. Mikki was Chesapeake Energy’s eDiscovery Advisor when we asked her to participate in the webinar, but the eDJ Group was fortunate enough to steal her away to become our new Director of Consulting.

eDJ welcomes Mikki Tomlinson

We have been growing out our strategic services group based on my Reason-eD client base to meet the demand for independent eDiscovery expertise. Now back to the webinar. This webinar and the eDJ research report, “Legal Holds for Enterprise Archives” were inspired by the sudden upsurge in interest we have seen in corporations wanting to finally start shrinking the archives that they implemented to manage email and legal preservation requirements. Thanks to Symantec for sponsoring complimentary copies of the research report for all attendees.

We had good audience participation and could not get to all the questions, so I wanted to cover some of the best ones in this blog. You can view the webinar and download the Managing your Digital Landfill Presention. One of the last second questions concerned managing holds on a Matter versus a Global basis. In many corporations, Legal will send hold notices to IT System administrators who will manage global lists of custodial users who are currently under legal hold. Generally these spreadsheets or Active Directory (AD) groups are used to initiate email journaling, image hard drives and increase mailbox size limits to support user preservation efforts. As Kyle McClain remarked, there is often a conflict between how Legal and IT track who is under hold. When you translate legal holds to archive preservation hold searches, there can be significant overlap between matters which can effectively multiple the time, effort and volume of items under hold within the archive. The volume issue only occurs if the archive make preservation copies rather than applying multiple hold tags to a the items in place, but it can result in massive storage and processing impact.

I have recently tried a hybrid tracking method where we differentiate between ‘perpetual custodians’ who are likely to always be under multiple holds and matter specific custodians with only one or two legal holds. The perpetual custodians (C-level execs, directors, etc) are kept on a single, company-wide  list that is never released from legal hold. The matter specific custodians are held on a matter basis to allow them to be released when the case closes. This seems to be the best of both worlds, but many companies will want to expire executive non-records if the opportunity presents itself.

Another question asked, “Isn’t the technology that enables automatic expiry dependent upon having each item in the archive classified? If so, how do you go about classifying data in a way that is not overly burdensome to employees?” The panel discussed some of the advances in rule based classification technology as well as the real life impact of user driven classification through retention folders, tags and other methods. There is no getting around the sheer time it takes to designate ESI as records, especially when you consider that active corporate decision makers can be bombarded by 100+ email per day. Mikki Tomlinson reminded us that only a small proportion of those emails may actually need to be saved beyond the default business retention life cycle. This can minimize retention impact as long as users have been provided clear guidance and instruction.

So thanks again to my panel and our participants for the excellent discussion. As the eDJ Group adds new talent and resources, we intend to provide more frequent webinar sessions and research reports. If you have further questions about applying legal holds to your archive please feel free to email me directly at Greg@eDJGroupInc.com.

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