Policies and Procedures Manual

Chapter 4: Business & Administration

04:29:00   Litigation Hold Procedure

(TBR Guideline G-075)

The following procedure is to be used to preserve evidence and records, including electronic documents, that are relevant to a pending or potential claim or action, such as a government audit, administrative proceeding or lawsuit. Upon notice of pending or anticipated litigation, the College must implement a Litigation Hold Notice that requires the retention of certain paper and electronic records for an indefinite period of time due to the pending state or federal litigation.

  1. Definitions:
    1. Electronically Stored Information (ESI) refers to all forms of electronic data and documents including, but not limited to, metadata, voice messages, videos, digital photographs, information in personal digital assistants (PDAs), jump drives, home computers, and in any location where data may be stored.
    2. Evidence refers to hard copy and electronic/digital recordings, videotapes, writings, material objects, photographs, drawings, diagrams, testimony, and other objects presented to the senses that are offered to prove the existence or nonexistence of a fact.
    3. Litigation Hold Notice Letter is the communication that is distributed to preserve information and prevent or suspend destruction of paper documents and electronic data that must be retained during litigation.
    4. Litigation Hold Procedure is the process whereby the College sends a notice to all involved departments suspending the normal operation of document destruction policies for particular records relevant to any pending or potential claim or action. Notwithstanding the applicable records retention schedule, documents that are subject to a particular Litigation Hold Notice must be retained until the hold is removed.
    5. Records Coordinator is the person designated by the Chief Financial Officer who has the authority and responsibility to dispose of paper and electronic documents in accordance with approved records disposition authority under TBR Guideline G-070, Disposal of Records.
       
  2.  Procedure:
    1. Notification of Litigation
      1. All employees have an affirmative duty to inform the Records Coordinator when they receive notification of any claim or action or threat of any claim or action against the College.
      2. Employees are considered to be in receipt of notice of a claim or action when they receive a complaint, summons, and/or other official documents(s) related to a lawsuit or claim.
      3. The Records Coordinator, in consultation with the TBR office of General Counsel, will determine whether the notification received warrants issuance of a Litigation Hold Notice.
    2. Employee's Notification of Litigation to Legal Counsel
      1. Employees who have notice of any pending or potential claim or action against the College must inform the Records Coordinator, in writing, of the matter. The Records Coordinator will contact the TBR office of General Counsel for review and guidance.
      2. This notification must occur within two (2) business days of their receipt of the notification.
    3. Issuance of Litigation Hold Notice Letter
      1. The College will issue an official Litigation Hold Notice Letter regarding the matter to the appropriate individuals within five (5) business days of receipt of notification of pending litigation.
      2. The Litigation Hold Notice Letter shall provide the categories of electronic and paper documents, including ESI, that must be retained until further notice and that electronic information must be preserved in its original electronic format, so that all information contained within it, whether visible or not, is also available for inspection.
    4. Employee's Compliance with Litigation Hold Notice Letter
      1. All employees who receive a Litigation Hold Notice Letter must give confirmation of receipt of the letter along with a statement agreeing to abide by the litigation hold within one week of receipt of the letter.
      2. All employees who receive a Litigation Hold Notice Letter must compile paper and electronic documents and data (including e-mails, voicemails, videos, etc.) as instructed in the letter.
      3. Electronic records must be retained in the original format (e.g., burned to a disk/CD or saved in a secure folder on a system server that is not subjected to unannounced deletion, etc.).
      4. It is the responsibility of the individuals to whom the Litigation Hold Notice Letter is issued to retain all records that are responsive to the letter until they receive written notification that the litigation hold has been removed.
         

Click here to view Standard Litigation Hold Notice Letter.



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Divisional Review Responsibilities Checklist: Information Technology

Revision History: March 2013