Litigation Hold Policy

Effective Date January 1, 2024 Policy Owner General Counsel
Last Reviewed Date January 1, 2024 Approved By General Counsel and VP Human Resources
Review Cycle Annual Policy Contact Assistant General Counsel


The purpose of this policy is to set forth the procedures that New York Tech will follow when records must be preserved for litigation, and the obligations of university employees to preserve records in these circumstances. This policy establishes the authority and process for initiating, implementing, monitoring, and releasing litigation holds.

Policy Scope

This policy applies to all New York Tech faculty and staff, and covers all records used in conducting university business. For purposes of this policy, "Records" includes all information, documents or data of every type, whether in paper or electronic form, including but not limited to, memorandum, correspondence, notes, reports, email communications, instant messages, text messages, voicemail messages, desk or electronic calendars, telephone slips, notes, journals and logs of a personal or business nature, residing or recorded in any medium or location other than within a person's memory and in any form, either handwritten, typed, draft or final, created at any time. This includes Records in an employee's possession, wherever maintained, whether on a computer drive, on a flash/thumb drive, departmental files, in a home office, vehicle, or elsewhere.

Policy Statement

The authority to initiate a Litigation Hold is vested in the General Counsel. In certain appropriate circumstances as set forth below, New York Tech's Office of the General Counsel may, in its discretion, implement a Litigation Hold and may apply the following policies and procedures to preserve documents and data for legal purposes when warranted.

This Litigation Hold Policy:

  1. Shall apply to all Records and Convenience Documents regardless of form or storage medium, and specifically includes New York Tech email, electronically stored information and paper documents.
  2. Shall take priority over the Record Retention and Destruction Policy and associated Records Retention Schedules any time New York Tech's General Counsel issues a Litigation Hold Notice.
  3. Shall not impose any duty or obligations beyond those imposed by applicable law or regulations.
  4. May be reviewed or revised at any time by New York Tech's Office of the General Counsel.

The Litigation Hold Process: Any New York Tech employee who becomes aware of any litigation, threat of litigation, other legal action, or any investigation by an administrative, civil, or criminal authority must immediately notify the Office of the General Counsel. The Office will determine whether to initiate a Litigation Hold and identify the personnel subject to the hold. New York Tech's Office of the General Counsel will issue a Litigation Hold Notice when the General Counsel:

  1. Learns of pending litigation.
  2. Is notified of a credible threat of litigation.
  3. Learns of another legal duty to preserve documents or data.

As used herein, "Litigation Hold" means a directive to preserve (and not destroy) Records and/or Convenience Documents as identified by the Office of the General Counsel.

The Litigation Hold Notice will inform the affected personnel of their obligation to identify and preserve all evidence that may be relevant to the Litigation Hold. Upon receiving a Litigation Hold Notice, affected personnel must immediately do the following:

  • Confirm receipt and understanding of the Litigation Hold Notice and provide a statement in writing (can be through email) that they will comply with the notice. Recipients should ask any questions necessary to understand the terms of the Litigation Hold Notice.
  • Preserve all Records under their control that are subject to the Litigation Hold. Employees are strongly encouraged to contact New York Tech's Information Technology Services (ITS) for recommended methods of preserving electronic Records.
  • Suspend any automatic deletion, alteration, overriding, or any other destruction of Records relevant to the Litigation Hold that are under their control. A Litigation Hold supersedes New York Tech's Record Retention and Destruction Policy. Electronic information must be preserved so that it can be retrieved at a later time and the information must be preserved in its original electronic form—It is not sufficient to make a hard copy.
  • Preserve relevant Records on home or personal computers or personally-owned devices that are used for any New York Tech-related business (including email contained in non-New York Tech email accounts).
  • Preserve hard copies of relevant documents under their control.
  • Preserve any Records that are generated after receipt of the Litigation Hold Notice.

Managing The Litigation Hold: New York Tech's Office of the General Counsel will take reasonable actions to enforce and achieve reasonable compliance with each Litigation Hold, which may, at the Office of the General Counsel's discretion, include:

  1. Taking reasonable steps to ensure receipt and acknowledgment of the Litigation Hold Notice.
  2. Issuing updates or reminder notices to the extent necessary under the circumstances.
  3. Engaging ITS to assist the General Counsel and/or the employee receiving the Litigation Hold with the implementation of an electronic means to affect the applicable Litigation Hold; In the case of inactive records, this may mean utilizing an off-site storage provider's records management inventory system, which has the capability to apply retention holds to selected records. Similar methods may be used in electronic inventory systems, email facilities, file servers, and backup media throughout New York Tech.
  4. periodically communicating with key custodians to verify that records subject to the Litigation Hold are being preserved.

Releasing A Litigation Hold: Litigation Holds are not to be used to designate Records or Convenience Documents as permanent or to permanently deviate from the Record Retention and Destruction Policy. When New York Tech's Office of the General Counsel determines that the basis for a Litigation Hold ceases to exist, the General Counsel will issue a Litigation Hold Termination Notice or similar directive to affected personnel and departments instructing them to return to normal record retention procedures. Upon receiving such termination notice or similar directive, employees should return to adherence to the Retention Schedules attached to New York Tech's Record Retention and Destruction Policy.


Violations of Litigation Hold Policy: It is a violation of law and this Litigation Hold Policy to destroy, alter, withhold, or obscure relevant Records once a Litigation Hold has been initiated. Employees who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension without pay or termination of employment.