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Spoliation occurs when legal evidence is damaged or destroyed.

Spoliation occurs when evidence has been destroyed or documents have not been adequately preserved.  A Harvard University continuing legal education (CLE) course gives an analysis of spoliation claims in litigation and how the courts react: Negatively every time. Indeed, lawyers fear spoliation claims against them and their cases as they may be sanctioned individually if they have failed to oversee preservation efforts, even if those preservation efforts were performed by their corporate client’s IT staff.

How does spoliation relate to eDiscovery?

Failure to preserve Electronically Stored Information (ESI) such as emails, social media posts and electronic documents can lead to spoliation claims and harsh sanctions and penalities such as adverse inferences, fines and drastic situations, the dismissal of a case. In order to avoid potential spoliation claims, parties should issue legal holds and work to preserve possibly relevant data and systems, early-on when a legal action or litigation is reasonably anticipated to occur.