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Clearwell Systems Streamlines Duty to Preserve with New Legal Hold Module

Clearwell Legal Hold provides scalable, repeatable and defensible legal hold workflow as part of end-to-end Clearwell E-Discovery Platform

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Mar. 14, 2011 — Clearwell Systems, Inc., a leader in intelligent e–discovery, today announced the release of Clearwell Legal Hold, a new module in the Clearwell E-Discovery Platform that allows customers to seamlessly manage the critical legal hold process. Clearwell’s latest module streamlines legal hold management by enabling a scalable, repeatable workflow that lets legal teams create, manage and track all legal hold notices in one place, and satisfy the duty to preserve from anticipation to completion of litigation. Additionally, because Clearwell Legal Hold is an integrated part of the Clearwell E-Discovery Platform, enterprises, government agencies and law firms can now use a single product for end-to-end e-discovery. As a result, the addition of the new Clearwell Legal Hold Module streamlines preservation while providing the highest level of defensibility across the entire e-discovery lifecycle.

“We selected Clearwell because we were looking for a single, end-to-end product that would let us quickly and defensibly handle our e-discovery needs,” said Taleia Wilson, litigation counsel at Exterran. “Clearwell Legal Hold enables our legal team to implement an automated and repeatable workflow so that we can defensibly satisfy the essential duty to preserve. Furthermore, as an integrated part of the Clearwell E-Discovery Platform, our legal and IT teams can collaborate on and streamline the entire e-discovery process, from legal hold and collection through analysis, review and production.”

In the Zubulake v. UBS Warburg line of decisions and most notably in Zubulake v. UBS Warburg, 217 F.R.D. 309 (S.D.N.Y. 2003), the duty to preserve is one of the earliest and most critical steps in electronic discovery. When “litigation is reasonably anticipated,” companies must institute a legal hold, which includes notifying employees of their duty to preserve data. Traditionally, this process has been performed manually using emails and spreadsheets, a process that is prone to errors and difficult to scale. The lack of repeatability and defensibility of this process elevates the risk of e-discovery sanctions – which today are already at an all-time high, according to a recent article in the Duke Law Journal. Among the 230 cases in which sanctions were awarded prior to 2010, the most common misconduct was the failure to preserve data, resulting in sanction costs ranging from $250 to nearly $9 million.

“Preservation is a critical, but time consuming and often expensive, first step in every case. Manual processes and spreadsheets are especially challenging for clients with large litigation portfolios and on large cases with numerous custodians,” said Wendy Curtis, chair of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe’s eDiscovery Working Group. “A legal hold product integrated in an end-to-end e-discovery solution significantly reduces risk by automating and documenting preservation, and improves efficiency by mapping preservation to collection, analysis, review and production of preserved data.”

Clearwell Legal Hold automates and streamlines the legal hold process through a comprehensive set of capabilities that are scalable, repeatable and defensible. With the addition of the Clearwell Legal Hold module, the Clearwell E-Discovery Platform supports all phases of the e-discovery process in a single, end-to-end product. Once a legal hold is issued, users (legal, IT or custodians) can easily collect relevant data that can then be seamlessly processed, analyzed, reviewed and produced all within the Clearwell E-Discovery Platform.

Key capabilities of the Clearwell Legal Hold Module include:

  • Hold Notices: Hold notices can be quickly created and sent to relevant custodians and system administrators via email. Different notices can be sent to custodians and system administrators, streamlining the notification process. Notices can be sent immediately or scheduled for delivery.
  • Notice Library: Hold notices can be saved as templates in the Notice Library for reuse, enabling administrators to achieve greater consistency and efficiency across the legal hold process.
  • Auto-reminders: Reminder email notices can be scheduled for delivery to non-responsive custodians, eliminating the need for manual follow-up.
  • Auto-escalations: Escalation email notices can be scheduled for delivery to a custodian’s manager if a custodian is not responsive, simplifying the legal hold process while maximizing compliance.
  • Custodian Survey: Surveys containing single-choice, multiple-choice or free form text questions can be created and issued to key custodians so administrators can easily capture information critical to a case, thereby expediting the interview process. Surveys can also be saved as templates to the Notice Library and reused.
  • Custodian Portal: Custodians have access to individual portals that summarize their active, pending and released holds in a single view, enabling them to easily track all their legal obligations in one place.
  • Custodian Audit Report: Every legal hold action, such as hold notice, response, confirmation, escalation and release, is tracked and available via an exportable report, creating a complete and detailed audit trail.
  • Automated Tracking and Reporting: Administrators have immediate visibility into the status of all legal hold notices across all cases through a single pane of glass. Administrators can drill-down by case to view the status across all custodians.

“Increasingly, corporations are seeking to replace their manual, spreadsheet-based legal hold processes with an automated and repeatable solution in order to reduce the risk of sanctions,” said Kamal Shah, vice president of products and marketing for Clearwell Systems. “With Clearwell Legal Hold now available as a module of the Clearwell E-Discovery Platform, legal teams can easily create, manage and track data preservation mandates through a scalable and defensible solution. The Clearwell E-Discovery Platform thus not only minimizes the risk of e-discovery sanctions, but also provides enterprises with a single, end-to-end solution to manage all phases of e-discovery.”

Clearwell Legal Hold is available now as part of the Clearwell E-Discovery Platform. To learn more about the new capabilities, visit http://www.clearwellsystems.com or call 1-877-CLEARWELL.

About Clearwell Systems
Clearwell Systems is transforming the way enterprises, government agencies, and law firms perform electronic discovery (e–discovery) in response to litigation, regulatory inquiries, and internal investigations. The Clearwell E–Discovery Platform streamlines end–to–end e–discovery, providing a single product for identification, collection, preservation, processing, analysis, review, and production. Leading global organizations such as Clear Channel Communications, Constellation Energy, the Department of Health and Human Services, DLA Piper, Johnson & Johnson, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, NBC Universal, OfficeMax, Time Warner and Toyota are using Clearwell to streamline legal hold notifications, automate collections, accelerate early case assessments, intelligently cull–down data, increase reviewer productivity, and ensure the defensibility of their e–discovery process. Consistently ranked as a leader in independent e–discovery industry surveys and reports, Clearwell Systems is an active participant in the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) Project, The Sedona Conference, and the Text REtrieval Conference (TREC). For more information, visit www.clearwellsystems.com, follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/clearwell, or subscribe to the E–Discovery 2.0 blog at http://www.clearwellsystems.com/e–discovery–blog/.