Frequently Asked Questions
Notice to Preserve Records (or Litigation Hold)
What is a Notice to Preserve Records?
A Notice to Preserve Records (“Notice”) is a letter from Holy Cross’ Office of the General Counsel (OGC) directing you to preserve all records, electronic or otherwise, that may be directly or indirectly related to the subject of the Notice, including, but not limited to, emails, correspondence, communications, documents, memos, contracts, reports, etc. specified in the Notice (“Records”). This includes Records maintained or stored on College or personally owned laptop or desktop computers, mobile devices, tablets, or any other device. In addition, you are required to suspend the routine destruction of Records that may be directly or indirectly related to the subject of the Notice.
Why am I receiving a Litigation Hold Notice?
The College has a legal obligation to preserve all Records related to a matter if it “reasonably anticipates” that the matter may lead to litigation in the future. You have been identified as an individual who may have Records regarding this matter.
This is a routine procedure required by law that the College utilizes when receives notice of a matter that could lead to litigation or otherwise reasonably anticipates litigation in order to preserve potential evidence related to the subject of the Notice. The issuance of a Notice should not be construed as an assessment of the merit of the legal claim.
What should I do once I receive a Litigation Hold Notice?
- You must preserve all Records maintained or stored either on or off campus, in all formats, related directly or indirectly to the matter identified in the Notice in their original electronic or hard copy form.
- You must suspend routine destruction of any Records upon receipt of the Notice.
- You must preserve all new Records that are created and/or received after the Notice.
- You must review any software programs to make sure such programs do not automatically destroy Records.
I don’t think I have any Records on this individual / this matter. What should I do?
In the future, you may discover or receive Records related to this matter. If this occurs, you must preserve these Records and suspend any document-destruction procedures.
What if my personal information is combined with College business items in one of the devices that I own?
If it becomes necessary for the OGC or Holy Cross’ outside counsel to collect the Records, we will segregate personal records from College business records to the extent possible.
How do I preserve text messages on my personal device?
Please contact your network provider and ask how to preserve text messages.
How long do I have to keep these Records?
It will depend upon the matter and the length of time it takes for it to be resolved. Legal matters can sometimes take years to resolve, so, often, Notices are in place for an extended period of time. When the College has resolved the matter, the OGC will notify you in writing that you no longer need to preserve your Records.
What happens if OGC needs these Records?
If the OGC needs these Records for litigation, you will receive a request for originals or copies of the Records to determine whether they should be disclosed in litigation. Until then, you are required to maintain the original Records.
Is there anything else I need to be aware of?
The College is obligated under law to preserve all relevant Records. Failure to meet the obligations set forth in this letter may expose the College and you to liability and/or legal penalties and fines.
Who should I call if I have any questions?
If you have any questions regarding your computer or IT systems, such as email, hardware, or software and databases, please contact David Shettler at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions regarding your legal obligations, please contact the General Counsel, Elizabeth Small, at email@example.com.