Sweet Stevens Launches “Litigation Hold” Counseling Service for Schools
(New Britain, PA) As one of the first private law practices in Pennsylvania wholly dedicated to providing legal services to schools, the name of Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams is virtually synonymous with education law. After opening its third Pennsylvania office in Hershey last year, the firm is also expanding its offerings with the launch of a “Litigation Hold” counseling service.
A Litigation Hold is a formal request for ensuring that electronic records are preserved in the event of litigation. The origins of a Litigation Hold lie in a 2003 New York employment discrimination lawsuit, Zubulake v. UBS Warburg, where the plaintiff successfully argued that key evidence was contained in various company emails that were either not produced or destroyed by the defendant. As a result, the court issued precedent-setting opinions involving electronic discovery and the duty of an institution to preserve and produce digital evidence. Failure to comply can result in costly settlements, judgments, or sanctions.
“Unfortunately, schools are no different than commercial entities when it comes to lawsuits – they are by no means immune,” said Managing Partner Ellis H. Katz. “However, many have no procedure in place for a Litigation Hold request and scrambling to respond to one can be administratively chaotic and exceedingly expensive. Creating a formal process for electronic preservation is not only a good business practice, but a legally necessary one.”
The Sweet Stevens Litigation Hold service includes one-on-one counseling, presentations to staff and administrators, and ongoing monitoring. For more information, click here.
Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams, LLP was formed in 1995 by nine experienced education lawyers who created one of the first private law practices in Pennsylvania dedicated entirely to Education Law. Since then, the firm has grown to 16 attorneys who represent over 290 school and municipal entities as Solicitors or as Special Counsel in more than 50 counties throughout Pennsylvania.