ESI Discovery Obligations for In-House Counsel: Meeting Preservation Requirements and Avoiding Sanctions

Navigating the Nuances of Litigation Holds — Who to Include, Documenting Instructions, Locating Information

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Thursday, April 10, 2014

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will provide guidance to in-house attorneys for meeting the expansive requirements for preserving electronically stored information (ESI). The panel will examine current e-discovery challenges and potential pitfalls facing in-house counsel and detail specific best practices to avoid the risk of sanctions for spoliation of ESI.


Meeting ESI preservation obligations is an ongoing challenge for in-house counsel due to the sheer magnitude of electronic data companies continue to produce. Understanding the expected requirements of corporate counsel when overseeing litigation holds and the scope and type of information that must be preserved is key to avoiding sanctions for mishandling or destroying data.

The case law on ESI preservation is far from settled. In-house counsel must stay abreast of key rulings that continue to expand ESI preservation obligations and take steps to ensure compliance with the latest requirements. A recent federal court decision, Day v. LSI Corp., provides useful lessons for in-house counsel on steps that should be taken to avoid the risk of sanctions for spoliation of electronic documents.

Listen as our authoritative panel of experienced e-discovery practitioners examines recent case law developments, explains the analytical framework for preserving ESI and assessing culpable conduct, and offers best practices for issuing and managing litigation holds.



  1. Duty to preserve and managing preservation
    1. Triggering event
    2. Scope of preservation
    3. Ongoing litigation hold obligations
    4. Potential sanctions for failure to preserve
  2. Latest court rulings on ESI preservation obligations
  3. Best practices for in-house counsel responsible for litigation holds
    1. Determine which custodians to include and exclude on litigation hold notice
    2. Using the IT department to preserve ESI vs. hiring an e-discovery vendor
    3. Create record of preservation and collection instructions
    4. Understand how the company's electronic systems work


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What are in-house attorneys' obligations for collecting and preserving ESI?
  • What are the first steps corporate counsel should take upon notice of a litigation hold?
  • What guidance do recent court decisions provide for analyzing spoliation claims and possible sanctions?
  • What legacy data can corporate legal departments destroy, and what legacy information must they keep?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Levitt, Melinda
Melinda F. Levitt

Foley & Lardner

Ms. Levitt’s practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, including the areas of antitrust, securities,...  |  Read More

Daniel L. Regard
Daniel L. Regard

Managing Director
iDiscovery Solutions

Mr. Regard is a nationally recognized electronic evidence and case management expert with 20 years experience in...  |  Read More

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