Many (but not all) corporate legal types consider ESI retention management as the legal hold process. Not a bad thought but really falls short of a true corporate definition of the term. To records managers ESI retention management refers to the systematic retention and disposition of the organizations electronic business records; either for the day to day running of the business, regulatory compliance or litigation support. And in this case I believe the records managers are right.
ESI retention management, also known as records management, needs to be better understood by corporate legal because the proper management and deletion of electronic business records have a direct relationship to the corporate legal department for both legal holds and eDiscovery.
A properly managed ESI records management system allows legal to quickly find and place on legal hold, all archived potentially responsive electronically stored information thereby reducing the risk of spoliation; destruction of evidence. A centralized ESI management system will also act as a on-going collection point so that when eDiscovery starts, the collection phase is already taken care of for that ESI already under management. Because the archive acts as an on-going collection point, the legal department can quickly search the ESI archive for responsive ESI and begin their culling and review responsibilities almost immediately; without the need to spend days or weeks trying to find/collect potentially responsive ESI.
An ESI archive solution like the Iron Mountain NearPoint ESI archiving platform provides the capabilities mentioned above along with granular legal hold, ESI search capability, and culling and review capability. On top of that, the NearPoint ESI archiving platform addresses the above mentioned records management requirements.
As ESI is pulled into the archive, retention/disposition policies are applied to all data and managed centrally. This ensures ESI is kept for the required timeframe and then removed from the system, if no legal holds are in effect.
The NearPoint records/retention management system provides the legal department with an up to date and complete ESI repository from which to access for legal holds and discovery.