In Part 1, we talked with
G: So tell me a bit about Aungate Legal Hold and what makes it different from other legal hold applications.
J: .Aungate Legal Hold is the only legal hold solution in the market that combines notification and interviews with preservation and collection. Most legal hold solutions offer minimal help in meeting the preservation obligation, as they are little more than workflow tools to help the corporation send, track, and manage notifications and interviews. The courts have been clear that merely sending a hold notification to a custodian just does not suffice to meet the duty to preserve potentially relevant corporate data. This is further compounded by legal hold solutions that only offer the option of a custodian self collection, as the courts have also found this insufficient; custodians typically do not know where all the potential ESI resides or even how to properly preserve it. Corporate IT infrastructure and data systems are just too complex to assume that an average user will preserve potentially relevant ESI without some assistance. Greg, it is important to keep in mind that case after case has reminded us that the corporation must take affirmative steps beyond a hold notice to preserve potentially relevant ESI.
G: So Aungate Legal Hold enables more than just notification and tracking?
J: Absolutely. We built Aungate Legal Hold to offer a comprehensive legal hold solution to handle everything from notification and custodian management through preservation and collection. Autonomy’s IDOL platform enables the legal department to automatically locate, preserve and collect from every data source without requiring custodian intervention. Everything on a custodian’s local and network storage can be indexed, analyzed, and preserved, either proactively or reactively as needed; this includes the ability to analyze voice data, such as voicemails in from a unified messaging system. Aungate Legal Hold can preserve in place or collect a forensically sound copy into the central repository, depending upon the status of the matter and the corporate policy; its ability to preserve data in place on laptops and desktops is an industry first. The system can actively monitor new files and email to act upon them according to the hold policies. This overall approach enables Legal to see the ESI in place and apply appropriate actions, in an effort to minimize risk. Additionally, Aungate Investigator & ECA works seamlessly to allow the legal team to perform early case assessment, determine whether there is a case, and prepare for the pre-trial and discovery planning conferences.
G: So this active monitoring on the desktop sounds a lot like antivirus. What is the difference?
J: Antivirus products have to scan and react almost instantly across live applications and storage. In comparison, the IDOL desktop agent is more of a data management service running in the background than an endpoint security or active Data Loss Prevention (DLP) application.
The Aungate policy agent works with IDOL to effect the legal hold, monitor for new items that match the policy, and then act as needed. All of these services and applications function iteratively to protect, collect, archive, delete, alert and analyze data automatically, even if a user machine is not online. This takes the burden off of the user and empowers corporate Legal to do more than issue instructions.
G: I agree with you that hold notices by themselves are not sufficient, but diligent companies also conduct training, interviews and have collection teams to assist and monitor hold compliance. Is it possible for a company to preserve ESI without an enterprise platform?
J: Possible, yes, but time consuming and potentially costly. Think about how much effort a large corporation has to go to in a typical case covering a single business unit over several years of historical and ongoing ESI; now, imagine that the case covers multiple business units, multiple locations, and disparate systems. Can the organization really take the risk that an employee will inadvertently or deliberately destroy relevant data? In the recent Hawaiian Airlines case (In re Hawaiian Airlines, Inc., 2007 WL 3172642 (Bkrtcy. D.Hawaii October 30, 2007)), the attorneys sat down with the CFO of Mesa Air Group and he assured them that he would preserve all his email and files. The CFO responded to the hold by returning to his computer and wiping relevant data. The parent company claimed that they were not liable for individual actions, but the court disagreed and found against them, saying that the duty is to preserve the data and not merely issue a hold notice and expect an employee will comply. Think of the cost and effort associated with a manual process and weigh that against the risk that one employee’s actions can still result in public sanctions.