"One-third (30 percent) of attorneys and executives polled by Deloitte said their companies have no formal policies and procedures in place regarding legal holds, the process by which companies preserve evidence subject to discovery for lawsuits and other legal and regulatory matters.
"While the discovery process has become increasingly complex and therefore poses a significant challenge for corporate America, having no legal hold policy is a significant risk factor for companies," said Jeff Seymour, a principal in the Analytic & Forensic Technology practice of Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP. "Given the relatively low cost of establishing a policy framework and processes to address legal hold issues, it is surprising to see such a large percentage of corporate America lacking in this area."
According to attorneys and executives surveyed, responding to discovery requests has become significantly more complex (33 percent) and more costly (30 percent) during the past year. Less than one-third of respondents reported that their companies are very (20 percent) or extremely (7 percent) effective in managing the readiness aspect of the discovery process, which includes procedures and protocols to manage electronically stored information and hard copy documents in anticipation of discovery requests."