"Do I need to preserve records stored with a third party?" This question is one of the most common legal hold questions. It is really about the scope of the hold and how far a party's duty to preserve extends. The short answer is that the duty to preserve extends to ESI and other documents in a party's "possession, custody or control." In other words, if you were forced to produce the records or face severe sanctions, could you get them? The legal analysis is a little more detailed, but comes down to a case-by-case examination of whether the preserving party had control. Absent control, there is no duty to preserve. But what exactly is control? We came across a good artlcle at InsideCounsel Magazine, that discusses this very issue. It appeared June 22, 2009 and is titled "Third Party Thinking The Duty to Preserve, Collect, and Procuce Electronically Stored Information Held by Third Parties ."