Greg Buckles on Craig Ball’s “Perfect” Preservation Letter 2020

The above snippets are just two good examples of how preservation language and issues have evolved since Craig wrote his first exemplar preservation letter for the community back in 2006. I frequently review client preservation/record management policies, protocols and compliance practices to spot issues such as those called out above. I just wish that every plaintiff wrote their interrogatories and preservation demand letters in such clear, proportional terms. That would support my recommendations and solution proposals when potential gaps/risks are found during an assessment. Craig’s exemplar is meant as a drafting reference to be adapted to your various scenarios.

For instance, it has a “[ When Implicated]” note on the section for requesting system sequestration or forensic imaging of key player ESI. Every matter may require differing levels of preservation. I have seen defendants push back successfully against demands to image all cell phones/PCs in civil discovery without any potential bad actors, fraud or relevant evidence from those devices. As opposed to Craig’s discovery Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, I prefer broad interrogatories and right sized discovery requests that deflate defense “overly broad and burdensome” arguments.

So what were your favorite clauses from Craig’s letter?

Written by Greg Buckles

Independent consultant focused on eDiscovery and IG solutions.

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