EXAMPLE – EVIDENCE PRESERVATION LETTER
Re: Jane Doe v. XYZ Company
As critical evidence in this matter exists in the form of electronic data contained in the computer systems of XYZ Company, this is a notice and demand that such evidence identified below in paragraphs 2 through 6 must be immediately preserved and retained by XYZ Company until further written notice from the undersigned. This request is essential, as a paper printout of text contained in a computer file does not completely reflect all information contained within the electronic file.
Additionally, the continued operation of the computer systems identified herein will likely result in the destruction of relevant evidence due to the fact that electronic evidence can be easily altered, deleted or otherwise modified. The failure to preserve and retain the electronic data outlined in this notice constitutes spoliation of evidence and will subject XYZ Company to legal claims for damages and/or evidentiary and monetary sanctions.
1. For purposes of this notice, “Electronic Data” shall include, but not be limited to, all text files (including word processing documents), spread sheets, e-mail files and information concerning e-mail (including logs of e-mail history and usage, header information and “deleted” files), internet history files and preferences, graphical image format (“GIF”) files, data bases, calendar and scheduling information, computer system activity logs, and all file fragments and backup files containing Electronic Data.
2. Please preserve and retain all Electronic Data generated or received by __________.
3. Please preserve and retain all Electronic Data containing any information about __________.
4. XYZ Company must refrain from operating (or removing or altering fixed or external drives and media attached thereto) standalone personal computers, network workstations, notebook and/or laptop computers operated by ___________.
5. XYZ Company must retain and preserve all backup tapes or other storage media, whether on-line or off-line, and refrain from overwriting or deleting information contained thereon, which may contain Electronic Data identified in paragraphs 2 through 4.
6. In order to alleviate any burden upon XYZ Company, the undersigned is prepared to immediately enlist the services of a computer forensic expert to properly and non-invasively create back-up images all drives and media in the custody and control of XYZ company that may contain Electronic Data relevant to this matter. This can be accomplished through a stipulation setting forth a similar procedural framework outlined by the Court in Simon Property Group v. mySimon, Inc. 94 F.R.D. 639 (SD Ind. 2000), to ensure retention of all privileges while properly preserving and processing computer evidence as mandated by the court in Gates Rubber Co. v. Bando Chemical Indus., Ltd 167 F.R.D. 90, 112 (D.Col., 1996).
Please contact me if you have any questions regarding this request.