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Name: Legal Hold Policy
Responsible Office: General Counsel

Applies to: (examples; Faculty,Staff, Students, etc)

Faculty , Staff , Students

Policy Overview:

Issued: 10-01-2016
Next Review Date: 06-18-2019
Frequency of Reviews: 2 years

This policy establishes the process for initiating, coordinating, and releasing legal hold notices to secure and preserve records until after the College has fulfilled its obligations relating to potential or threatened legal claims.

Applies to all employees of the College (faculty, staff and students).


Definitions:

Affected College Personnel: All College personnel who are in possession or control of College records that are the subject of a legal hold.

Legal Hold: A notice issued by the College general counsel to cease destruction and to preserve all records, regardless of form, related to the nature or subject of the legal hold. The legal hold supersedes any record destruction activities otherwise permitted under the College's Record Retention Policy.

Records: All Records, whether in electronic or paper form, created, received, or maintained in the transaction of College business, whether conducted remotely or on campus. Records may include, without limitation, paper records and electronic records stored on hard drives of College work station desktops, laptops, personal computers, flash drives, CD-ROMS, memory sticks, tapes, zip disks, diskettes, or on any mobile devices, regardless of location or ownership.

Details:

I. Legal Hold Notice
A legal hold will be issued and enforced when circumstances, usually a government audit, investigation, or compliance violation, or pending or threatened litigation, require the College and affected College personnel to (a) suspend the normal and routine destruction of Records, (b) preserve hard copy and electronic Records, including, but not limited to email correspondence, and (c) cooperate with the general counsel or designee(s) in collecting, cataloguing and maintaining all affected records.

II. Procedures

A. A legal hold will be issued when either (a) an official discovery order is served on the College requesting the production of the records in question or (b) litigation or a legal proceeding is pending or reasonably anticipated in the judgment of the general counsel.

B. Any College personnel who becomes aware of any College-related litigation, threat of litigation, claim, administrative action, other legal action, or any investigation by any administrative, civil or criminal authority (such as through the receipt of notification or other information identifying the possibility of legal action or upon service of a summons and complaint) must immediately notify the general counsel. The general counsel will determine whether to initiate a legal hold and will identify affected College personnel subject to the hold.

C. The general counsel will notify affected College personnel that a legal hold has been initiated. The notice will inform affected College personnel of their obligation to identify and preserve all records that may be relevant to the legal hold.

D. Upon notice of a legal hold, affected College personnel are required to do the following:

1. Immediately suspend deletion, alteration, overriding, or any other destruction of physical or Electronic Records under their control that are relevant to the legal hold.
2. Contact the vice president, information technology and chief information officer (“CIO”) for suggested methods for preserving electronic records. Methods for storing electronic records must be approved in advance by both the general counsel and CIO or their designee(s).
3. Preserve hard copies of documents under their control. Contact the assistant vice president, college services and chief compliance officer, as necessary, for assistance with storing, retrieving, and preserving physical records. Affected college personnel must identify all relevant hard copy documents or files and ensure their retention. Affected College personnel may make hard copies of electronically stored information; however, as set forth in item D (1) above, the information must also be preserved in its original electronic form.
4. Identify any College personnel who are not listed on the notice but who should be, and communicate those names to the general counsel.

E. Affected College personnel must acknowledge receipt, understanding and compliance with a legal hold without undue delay by email or written memorandum to the general counsel.

F. The general counsel will notify the assistant vice president, college services and chief compliance officer, as necessary, and the CIO of a legal hold and provide the following information:

1. Official notification of the legal hold and its scope
2. Identification of all affected College personnel whose electronic or physical accounts or records must be preserved, including user names, if known
3. Identification of the employment status of each affected College personnel as faculty, staff, student, resigned, terminated or retired, if known
4. Identification of the department or unit affiliation for each affected College personnel, if known
5. Any other information deemed relevant to the general counsel.

G. The assistant vice president, college services and chief compliance officer and/or the CIO will acknowledge receipt, understanding and compliance with the legal hold without undue delay by email or written memorandum to the general counsel.

H. If affected College personnel separate from employment during the course of a legal hold, department heads, unit directors, the director, human resources, or another appropriate administrator must take possession of any and all records under the control of the separated personnel and notify the general counsel.

I. Once notice of a legal hold has been issued, the general counsel will continue to monitor compliance with this policy and any notices required.

J. All notices and related communications contemplated by this policy will be in writing (e-mail or memorandum) to create an accurate record of legal compliance. The general counsel, CIO, and assistant vice president, college services and chief compliance officer will maintain the original notice and related communications sent and received by them until such time as otherwise directed by the general counsel.

III. Violations
It is a violation of law and this policy to destroy, alter, withhold or obscure records once a legal hold has been initiated. Violations of this policy are subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

IV. Release of a Legal Hold
The general counsel will determine when a legal hold is to be released and will notify affected College Personnel of the release.

Responsibilities:

The vice president information technology and chief information officer will oversee the Office of Information Technology's technical support to assist the general counsel and College personnel with preserving electronic records covered by a legal hold.

The assistant vice president, college services and chief compliance officer will assist the general counsel and College personnel with retrieving and storing physical records covered by a legal hold.

The general counsel is responsible for issuing and terminating legal hold notices and advising College personnel on records preservation and retention.

Policy Contacts:

Name

Contact Information

Ken Fleischmann, General Counsel Kenneth.Fleischmann@stlcop.edu

Supplemental Information:

None