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fermata: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Friday, February 15, 2013

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a cloud application for issuing defensible legal holds (see article below), a Microsoft Word add-on for creating tables of authorities, an iPad mini keyboard case, and a document management system for Macs. Don't miss the next issue.


With each passing day, more opportunities arise for lawyers and clients to find themselves sanctioned thanks to the complexities inherent in ediscovery. While best practices remain a moving target in some areas, one well established best practice has become a rule in many courts — the legal hold (a.k.a. litigation hold), which involves notifying people whose documents might be relevant (custodians) to preserve everything because of a possible lawsuit. The more defensible your legal hold, the less likely you'll encounter any claims of spoliation.

fermata … in One Sentence

Launched last month, Cicayda's fermata is a cloud application for managing the legal hold process in a defensible manner.

The Killer Feature

Because fermata is web-based, anyone can use it — from a small firm lawyer who effectively serves as general counsel for small businesses to the legal department of a Fortune 500 company.

Fermata's pricing reflects its broad applicability. You can either pay per legal hold (which enables outside counsel to bill the cost to their clients), or pay a flat fee for an unlimited number of legal holds (which betters serves a legal department constantly managing lawsuits).

"With fermata, we sought to disrupt the market with regard to both price and performance," Cicayda CEO Roe Frazer told us. "Fermata is priced flexibly and transparently, and features a user-friendly look and feel, as well as intuitive functions."

Other Notable Features

The fermata dashboard walks you through the steps of a legal hold. You begin by entering the names and email addresses of everyone who may have relevant documents (including email, text messages, voicemail, etc.).

You then create a questionnaire to determine if the person is a potential custodian (and witness). You can create three types of questions — freeform, radio buttons (choose one defined answer such as yes or no), and checkboxes (choose one or more defined answers). You then use fermata to send an email message containing your form message about a potential legal hold along with the questionnaire to the people you select. From fermata's dashboard, you can track everyone's progress and follow up with those who don't submit the questionnaire by your deadline.

Once you receive completed questionnaires, you can determine which people require a legal hold and send them instructions (you need not send a questionnaire if you know beforehand that someone requires a legal hold). You can also notify others such as the IT Manager who may need to take appropriate steps to preserve a custodian's data.

Fermata tracks and stores all these actions and communications in the event you're challenged during discovery. You can generate a report listing all the activity.

What Else Should You Know?

Fermata works in all major web browsers on traditional computers, iPads and other tablets, and smartphones. It uses bank-grade encryption to store all your data. Learn more about fermata.

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Topics: Coming Attractions | Litigation/Discovery/Trials | TL NewsWire
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