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Using Relativity Legal Hold for More than Just Legal Holds

Oct 30, 2018

The tools used for eDiscovery are designed to help users normalize, categorize, review, and report on stores of information. It’s no surprise, then, that there are uses for this technology outside of a discovery context, and even outside of a legal context. The Legal Hold tool within Relativity is one such application that can help organizations address the challenges posed by processes that require issuing questionnaires, retaining answers, and reporting on results.

For many organizations, the legal hold process can be manual, tedious and time consuming at its best; and chaotic, disorganized, and risk prone at its worst. Relativity’s Legal Hold tool addresses these challenges providing a streamlined and centralized way for organizations to issue legal holds.  Although the tool was specifically designed to help organizations issue, track, remind and report on custodians who are placed under legal hold, interestingly, it can also be used for other non-litigation purposes.

Legal Holds

The key features of Relativity’s Legal Hold tool include:

  • Scheduled imports from HR systems to ensure the most up-to-date custodian information;
  • The ability to create communication and questionnaire templates with conditional questions to determine custodian involvement;
  • Automated reminders and escalations to designated managers; and
  • The ability to provide both robust and granular reporting at any point in the legal hold process.

This functionality enables organizations to easily navigate the legal hold process and avoid many of the pitfalls previously associated with issuing holds, such as manual follow up with custodians, failure to comply, inadvertent deletion of relevant data, or failure to delete data in a timely manner according to organizational retention schedules.

However, the tool’s broad functionality and flexibility has allowed for its deployment in numerous applications. Below are just a few examples of creative uses for Relativity Legal Hold.

Data Retention Schedule Storage 

Organizational data retention schedules and legal holds really go hand in hand. Notifying custodians how long certain types of documents should be held or when they should be deleted is certainly a function that Relativity’s legal hold tool can accomplish, even in the absence of active or pending litigation. In addition to sending notifications related to document retention, the Relativity platform itself can be a great place to store, manage and distribute an organization’s data retention schedule. CDS recently deployed Relativity’s Legal Hold tool for a large manufacturing corporation storing the organization’s data retention schedule within the legal hold database itself. This allowed for members of the in-house legal team to make changes to not only manage the company’s legal hold, but also centralize, update, export or reference their data retention schedule all in one platform which greatly improved efficiency.


The CDS Managed Review team found an interesting use for Relativity Legal Hold as a contract attorney recruitment and management tool. CDS was able to build a Relativity database with contractor information and generated templated questionnaires based on project specifications which were then sent to contacts through Relativity Legal Hold. Responses were tracked and reviewed in Relativity and resumes along with notes were stored for each contractor. Additionally, CDS was able to send automated reminders to contractors that had not yet responded to gauge interest and track availability in order to quickly put together teams for large projects. Notes on experience, qualifications, and status were also entered and stored in Relativity for future reference, and resumes of selected team members could be easily exported from Relativity for client review. There are many recruitment management tools available on the market, but CDS found the robust functionality available through Relativity Legal Hold, along with our familiarity with the platform made Relativity the right tool for our internal recruitment needs.

Exam/Survey Administration

Another interesting potential use for Relativity Legal Hold may be as an exam or survey administration tool for educational institutions or organizations. After hearing about the frustrating experience, a relative in the teaching profession was having in creating and administering exams electronically, a CDS Chicago Project Manager made the suggestion to look into Relativity Legal Hold as a potential solution. The software that was being utilized to send open-book exam questions electronically to students was incredibly tedious to administer. It also lacked the critical functionality to report on students that had acknowledged receipt and completed questionnaires, or the ability to template and reuse existing exams. As a result, manual entry and tracking was required at every step in the exam process. The issue was compounded by growing class sizes with remote or online only students composing a larger percentage of the student body. These issues could easily be alleviated utilizing Relativity Legal Hold’s questionnaire building feature to create templates and its notification and automated reminder features to send escalations for delinquent responses.


Relativity Legal Hold is an excellent application that delivers on the robust functionality, scalability and customization available through the Relativity platform. With a little creativity, the sky is the limit for potential uses, even outside of traditional eDiscovery or the legal industry.

Contact CDS Advisory Services now to find out more about how Relativity Legal Hold can help you.

About the Author

<a href="https://cdslegal.com/team/michael-milicevic-esq/" target="_blank">Michael Milicevic, Esq.</a>

Michael Milicevic, Esq.

As VP eDiscovery Products & Solutions, Michael Milicevic leads the Global CDS Product Solutions Team, designing and developing proprietary products and solutions and expanding the CDS technology portfolio. He also oversees all Midwest operations. He has over 12 years of eDiscovery and legal experience and has worked on multiple large matters for a variety of clients, including Am Law 100 firms, global financial services organizations, and multi-national manufacturers.