The summer of 2018 has been a boon for e-discovery case law, with several courts spotlighting any number of best practices for addressing discovery issues. One such best practice is the role effective custodian interviews play in establishing a defensible preservation strategy. Fulsome custodian interviews are essential for ensuring that relevant electronically stored information (ESI) is preserved. Such interviews are characterized by exhaustive questioning on any number of topics including traditional and newer sources of ESI.

Properly conducted, custodian interviews should provide counsel with a thorough understanding of the nature and types of relevant information at issue in the litigation, together with the sources where that information is located. If custodian interviews are neglected or deficient, parties are vulnerable to data loss and court sanctions. The Small v. University Medical Center case is instructive on these issues.

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