Thursday, October 19, 2006

Gene Stavrou: Working with IT departments for litigation holds

Gene Stavrou is the associate director of records management at Kraft Foods Canada Inc.

Process Improvement
Automating is not the first step
Rethink about the process
- What are we trying to achieve

Who are the stakeholders
- Auditors
- Consumers
- Contractors
- Etc.

Process "Actors": Who is
- hands-on participant
- to know what is going on

Acknowlegement of recepetion and tracking
Reminders and reacknoledge quarterly
Distribution list control
Lift implemented effectively

Owner: attorney
Covered recipient: employee or contractor
Law department
Reporting recipient

Process walkthrough
Automated process
Intranet with different litigation holds accessible to anyone
- Active
- Inactive (I asked how long they would keep the litigation hold information, especially if it was started because of an imminent lawsuit that was never filed but was filed after the litigation hold was lifted... esoteric, I know!)
Legal hold template

E-mail triggered by owner
E-mail contains link to intranet
Acknowledgement button on the intranet page detailing the litigation hold
Recipients management: Recipient and date

Project? Or is it?
Particular and precise aim

Working on a Compliance Dashboard

Retention: Working on an intranet
Rules available and searchable on the intranet to define which ones apply to you/your group

Don't rely 100% on the software. You have to make sure that you are informed if an employee leaves or changes job.

In 2 words: Look at litigation hold as a process, not a system

I have to say it is an impressive automated system that Kraft Canada built and be sure I'll pay them a visit sooner or later and, maybe, exchange ideas (and homemade software like this one)... ;-)

I remember attending a previous conference where an in-house lawyer from Kraft (if I am not mistaken) explained how Davies let their IT personal build Kraft legal department DMS. A 2-ways benefits scheme to tie the links between the outside and inhouse counsels and a huge cost-saving for the corporation!

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