Sample Preservation Letter

Dear ___________:

…To Client

Please be advised that electronically stored data is an important and irreplaceable source of discovery and/or evidence in this matter.

The lawsuit requires preservation of all information from [personal and/or business] computer systems, removable electronic media, and other locations relating to [description of event, transaction, time period, product, etc.]. This includes, but is not limited to, e-mail and other electronic communication, word-processing documents, spreadsheets, databases, calendars, telephone logs, contact manager information, Internet usage files, and network access information.

You must take every reasonable step to preserve this information until further notice. Failure to do so could result in extreme penalties.

If this correspondence is in any respect unclear, please contact [designated coordinator] at [phone number].

Sincerely,

...To Opponent or 3rd Party

Dear ___________:

Please be advised that [Plaintiffs/Defendants/Third Party] believe electronically stored information to be an important and irreplaceable source of discovery and/or evidence in the above-referenced matter.

The discovery requests served in this matter seek information from [Plaintiffs'/ Defendants'] computer systems, removable electronic media, and other locations. This includes, but is not limited to, e-mail and other electronic communication, word-processing documents, spreadsheets, databases, calendars, telephone logs, contact manager information, Internet usage files, and network access information.

The laws and rules prohibiting destruction of evidence apply to electronically stored information in the same manner that they apply to other evidence. Due to its format, electronic information is easily deleted, modified, or corrupted. Accordingly, [Plaintiffs/ Defendants/Third Party] must take every reasonable step to preserve this information until the final resolution of this matter. This includes, but is not limited to, an obligation to discontinue all data destruction and backup-tape recycling policies.

If this correspondence is in any respect unclear, please do not hesitate to call me.

Sincerely,



Interrogatory Questions?

For interrogatory questions, see deposition questions (page 36).






Source: Alexander H. Lubarsky, L.L.M., is a certified trainer and regularly teaches litigation support, speaks at legal technology conferences throughout the country and writes for numerous publications including Law Office Computing and The Bottom Line.

Published in Family Advocate, Volume 29, No. 3, Winter 2007. © 2007 by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.

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