Litigation Holds allow Administrators to preserve emails in the archive, ensuring that their retention periods aren’t adjusted either via a Retention Adjustment, a Folder Based Retention (FBR) task or a retention preservation policy. Messages are identified using an eDiscovery Case and placed into a Litigation Hold. The date selected for the hold will mean that all emails included will not be purged from Mimecast until the Litigation Hold expires.
Litigation Holds are used when you have a requirement stipulating that certain emails are not purged by any configuration setting in your Mimecast account. This could be based on the expectation that impending litigation may require certain emails to be available indefinitely. All emails included as part of the Litigation Hold will override any retention policies in Mimecast.
If your company has regular purge cycle procedures for Mimecast, or if users have the FBR policies in place, it may be required to prevent emails from being purged during these cycles. For example, if a Purge cycle takes place every three months, and some emails are required for a litigation battle, the emails can be marked with a Litigation Hold, and they will not be purged until the hold has expired.
Creating a Litigation Hold
Creating a Hold is a two step process.
- An eDiscovery Case must be created (unless implementing a hold on all company emails), which contains the search criteria for emails that are to be held. This ensures that future emails matching these search terms will also be included in the case.
- A Litigation Hold must be created.
To create a litigation hold:
- Log in to the Administration Console.
- Click on the Administration toolbar button. A menu drop down is displayed.
- Click on the Archive | Litigation Holds menu item.
- Click on the New Litigation Hold Definition button. The Litigation Hold Properties dialog is displayed.
- Complete the dialog as follows:
Field / Option Description Description Specify a description for your litigation hold. Notes Specify the details for the hold (e.g. subject matter and / or reason for the hold). Hold Expires Specify a date when the litigation hold expires. This is set to one year from today's date by default. Once a Litigation Hold expires, any messages covered by the eDiscovery case are subjected to any applicable retention alterations (e.g. purge requests).If you are unsure when the Litigation Hold is required until, ensure the date is far enough in the future, and set a reminder to adjust this if necessary. Discovery Case To place a Litigation Hold on an existing eDiscovery Case, click on the Lookup button to the right of the field. Select the eDiscovery Case to which the Litigation Hold should apply.All the messages referenced by the searches contained in the eDiscovery case will be affected. Only one eDiscovery Case can be assigned to each Litigation Hold. Once the litigation hold has been saved, the eDiscovery case is locked and cannot be amended.
- Click on the Save and Exit button.
The Archive | Litigation Holds menu item lists all active and expired holds, and their status is displayed in the right-hand column. The status will either be Active or Expired. Each message in the archive will also display Retention information, such as Litigation Holds. This can be accessed through the View drop down menu available for each email in the archive and is described in the Viewing Email Retention Information page.