Understanding Litigation Hold
When a reasonable expectation of litigation exists, organizations are required to preserve electronically stored information (including e-mail) that’s relevant to the case. This expectation can occur before the specifics of the case are known, and preservation is often broad. Organizations may preserve all e-mail related to a specific topic, or all e-mail for certain individuals. Depending on the organization’s electronic discovery (eDiscovery) practices, some of the measures adopted by organizations to preserve e-mail include the following:
- End users may be asked to preserve e-mail by not deleting any messages. However, users may still delete e-mail knowingly or inadvertently.
- Automated deletion mechanisms such as messaging records management (MRM) may be suspended. This could result in large volumes of e-mail cluttering the user mailbox, and thus impacting user productivity. Suspending automated deletion also doesn’t prevent users from manually deleting e-mail.
- Some organizations copy or move e-mail to an archive to make sure it isn’t deleted, altered, or tampered with. This increases costs due to manual efforts required to copy or move messages to an archive, or third-party products used to collect and store e-mail outside Microsoft Exchange.
Failure to preserve e-mail may expose an organization to legal and financial risks such as scrutiny of the organization’s records retention and discovery processes, adverse legal judgments, sanctions, or fines.
In Exchange Server 2010, you can use litigation hold to accomplish the following goals:
- Enable users to be placed on hold and keep mailbox items in an unaltered state
- Preserve mailbox items that may have been deleted or edited by users
- Preserve mailbox items automatically deleted by MRM
- Keep the litigation hold transparent from the user by not having to suspend MRM
- Enable discovery searches of items placed on hold
- In the console tree, navigate to Recipient Configuration > Mailbox.
- In the result pane, select the mailbox you want to place on litigation hold.
- In the action pane, click Properties.
- In <Mailbox> Properties, on the Mailbox Settings tab, click Messaging Records Management, and then click Properties.
- In Messaging Records Management, complete the following fields:
- Enable Litigation Hold Select this check box to place the mailbox on litigation hold.
- Messaging Records Management Description URL Use this box to enter the location of a Web page or document that contains more information about the litigation hold or retention hold policies in your organization. The URL is displayed in the Backstage area of Microsoft Outlook 2010. This makes it easier for users to access linked Help documents, and may reduce calls to your Help desk or Legal department by answering common questions.
- Comments Use this box to enter the text that you want to be displayed to the mailbox user in the Backstage area of Outlook 2010.