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Handling E-Discovery When a Lawsuit is Filed

(or you reasonably anticipate it will be)

By James M. Shaker

Preserve immediately, and afterwards, preserve often

  • Send out a litigation hold immediately when a lawsuit is filed or you have a reasonable expectation that matter will turn into litigation
  • Tailor litigation hold to the case, both in its language and recipients; consider creating multiple versions
  • Confirm receipt of the litigation hold in writing
  • Monitor and update recipients on an ongoing basis
  • Expand litigation hold as new topics/people are discovered
  • Expect that a judge/opposing counsel will see the efforts you make to preserve data

Do not let the tail of e-discovery wag the dog of the case

  • Consider proportionality of case to volume of e-discovery
  • Budget, budget, budget
  • Pick your discovery fights
  • Be proactive
  • Do not procrastinate and end up on the defensive

Do your part to make e-discovery a less burdensome, time-consuming, and expensive process

  • Insist upon cooperation between parties whenever possible
  • Set tone of how case will be handled both inside and outside the company
  • Get the right people on the job – IT experts where necessary, not just lawyers
  • Be mindful that defendants may be perceived as “giants” and held to higher standards

James M. Shaker is a Member in Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC’s Employment Rights, Benefits & Labor Group. For more information, please contact Jim at 206.654.2261 or shaker@ryanlaw.com.


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This message has been created by the Employment Rights, Benefits & Labor Group at Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC to advise of recent developments in the law. Because each situation is different, this information is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any specific facts and circumstances. Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC is a full-service law firm located in Seattle, Washington.

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