Traditional legal hold processes create complex challenges for their custodians. How can a legal hold software solution help them conquer these issues?
The problem: compliance rates
When legal holds are issued by legal departments, it is the duty of all employees who are issued the preservation notices to “preserve” all relevant information pertinent to the matter in question.
The notice email is sent to the identified custodians of that information, and it is then their responsibility to comply or acknowledge the hold in a timely fashion. In order to provide defensibility in court, full compliance rates on all legal holds is of paramount importance.
Large legal departments can have several hundred open holds at once, and a single custodian might even have been issued several hundred legal holds. Each hold will have its own individual legal hold notice email, with attachments. So for a custodian, keeping on top of all their open hold obligations can be a cumbersome process.
Also, holds are frequently released, or custodians are released from holds. This further adds to the problem of the custodian keeping track of all their open and released holds, as they now might be getting separate hold release notifications emails as well.
To solve this problem, we identified a market need for legal hold software to provide a central repository for all holds a custodian has been issued. This portal should be totally self-serve, and there should not be a burden on the legal department to manage access, as there can be hundreds – or sometimes thousands – of custodians who are on hold at the same time.
The solution: a built-in custodian portal
Mitratech LegalHold has a built-in secure custodian portal provided with the application. Access to this portal is totally self-serve and can be integrated with an SSO, so the custodians can use their network authentication to set up and access the portal.
Through this portal, custodians can comply with their holds, answer hold questionnaires, and view a list and status (with date and time stamps) of all their open holds and released holds.
Apart from the compliance status, they can view their questionnaire responses and also see a timeline view of all actions undertaken for each hold. If they have made any change to their response, the system keeps track of that as well.
The custodians can access this portal through a link embedded in the hold notice email, or can access it separately through a separate URL. All hold notice email text and attachments are also available in the portal. So if the custodian accidentally deleted the hold notice email, they can access all the relevant details of the email from the portal itself.
This portal is also optimized for mobile, so if the custodian is on the road, they can still comply to the hold using their smartphone or tablet. This is another way legal hold software can be geared to improve compliance rates for all custodians on all active holds, improving defensibility for legal departments on all their legal hold obligations.