Create and manage matters

To hold, search, and export  your organization's Google Workspace data in Vault, you create a workspace called a matter. A matter provides a container for the holds, searches, and exports related to a specific eDiscovery project, such as a litigation case or investigation.

A matter includes:

  • A list of saved search queries
  • A list of holds
  • A list of the accounts that the matter is shared with
  • A list of exports
  • An audit log of Vault user activity in the matter

After you create a matter, you can share it with other Vault users so everyone involved in an eDiscovery project can use the same workspace.

When a matter is no longer needed, you can delete any remaining holds and then close and delete the matter.

Matter privileges

In order to view or work with matters, your Google Workspace administrator must grant you the required privileges.

A matter is owned by the user who creates it. If that user's Google Workspace account is deleted, the matter remains in Vault. Any Vault user with the "Manage Matters" privilege can still open and share that matter with other Vault users.

View matters

When you sign in to Google Vault, you see the Matters page, which lists all open matters your account can access. These include matters you created and matters that are shared with you.

  • Click My mattersShared with meClosed, or Trash to view matters of the corresponding type.
  • Click a column header to sort the matters by NameOwner, or Last Accessed.
  • Click a matter in the list to open it.

Create a matter

Before creating a matter, determine what to name it. If your organization doesn't already have a naming convention for matters, it should establish one to ensure that every matter's name clearly identifies its purpose. 

  1. Click Create. If you don't have the Create option, ask your admin to give you the necessary privileges.
  2. Type a name and description for the matter. Use a name that makes the matter easy to identify. Matter names must be unique. Your organization should create guidelines to ensure consistent and clear naming of matters.
  3. Click Create new matter.

Close and delete a matter

When an investigation is complete, you can:
  • Close the matter. When a matter is closed, you can reopen it at a later date. Upon closing a matter, Vault keeps any saved searches and all audit data associated with the matter. Export files are immediately deleted.
    1. Delete any holds associated with the matter.
    2. Check the box next to the matter you want to close.
    3. Click the Close button that appears at the top of the screen.
  • Delete the matter. Only closed matters can be deleted. A deleted matter is moved to Trash, where it can still be reopened with all data intact.
    1. Go to Matters > Closed and check the box next to the matter you want to delete.
    2. Click the Delete button that appears at the top of the screen.
    After approximately 30 days in Trash, Vault deletes the matter.
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