When should a litigation hold be distributed company wide versus only key players? Should it always be limited distribution?

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I have never issued a company wide litigation hold. In my opinion, they should always be tailored to necessary recipients reasonably likely to have responsive information. This prevents unnecessary panic by uninvolved employees, reduces gossip, and helps protect privilege (both by reducing the number of people with knowledge of the subject matter of the hold and by reducing gossip).

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The only instance I can think of where a company-wide hold might be appropriate is a broad regulatory investigation. Outside of this, it's generally best practice to narrow down exactly who is in possession of relevant data and ensure it is preserved either by the holder, your IT team and their admin controls, and/or by your team creating a copy and holding it in your files.

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This is the practice at my company

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Depends on the issue and company. At a startup (say, <150 employees) if the issue is big enough, the odds are that everyone has touched it.

I had a CFPB investigation and I sent out a lit hold to all 100 employees. I def don’t regret that.

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Unless every person in the company potentially has relevant documents (or the risks otherwise are just unfathomably large for you) I wouldn’t do a company wide hold.

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