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.

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.

Required Vault privileges

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

View matters

These steps are for new Vault (vault.google.com). Go to steps for classic Vault

  1. Sign in to vault.google.com.
  2. Click Matters.

The Matters page opens and lists all active matters your account can access. These include matters you created and matters that are shared with you.

  • To open a list of Closed or Deleted matters, click the Status menu and select the matter status you want to open.
  • To filter the list by owner, click the Owner menu and select from Owned by anyone, Owned by me, or Shared with me.
  • To sort the list of matters by matter name or owner, click the corresponding column header.
  • To open a matter, click the row.

Create a matter

These steps are for new Vault (vault.google.com). Go to steps for classic Vault

Before you begin: Review your organization's naming guidelines for matters. If you don't have guidelines, develop them to ensure that matter names clearly identify the matter's purpose and are unique.

  1. Sign in to vault.google.com.
  2. Click MattersCreate. If you don't have the Create option, ask your Google Workspace administrator to give you the necessary privileges.
  3. Enter a descriptive name for the matter according to your organization's naming guidelines. Matter names must be unique.
  4. (Optional) Enter a description of the matter. The description isn't shown in the list of matters, only when you open the matter.
  5. Click Create.

Close, reopen, delete, or restore a matter

These steps are for new Vault (vault.google.com). Go to steps for classic Vault

When an investigation is complete, you can close and delete a matter:

  • Close—When you close an active matter, Vault keeps any saved search queries and all audit data associated with the matter. Export files are immediately deleted. You can reopen closed matters or delete them. Note: You can't close a matter until all holds are deleted.
  • Reopen—When you reopen a closed matter, the matter is moved back to the active matters list. The matter has its audit data and any saved search queries, but you must recreate any holds and exports.
  • Delete—When you delete a closed matter, the matter is moved to the deleted matters list. Approximately 30 days after you delete a matter, Vault deletes the matter. Until the Vault deletes the matter, you can restore a deleted matter with all data intact.
  • Restore—When you restore a deleted matter, the matter is moved to the active matters list. The matter has its audit data and any saved search queries, but you must recreate any holds and exports.

To change a matter's status:

  1. Sign in to vault.google.com.
  2. Click Matters and click the matter you want to close.
  3. Click Holds. Delete any holds. For each hold:
    1. Review the hold and confirm that it's OK to delete it.
    2. In the list of holds, point to the hold and click Delete.
  4. Click Matters to return to the list of matters.
  5. Point to the matter and click Close.
  6. To reopen or delete the matter after you close it:
    1. At the top of the matters list, in the Status menu, select Closed.
    2. Point to the matter you want to reopen or delete and click the corresponding button.
  7. To review and restore deleted matters:
    1. At the top of the matters list, in the Status menu, select Deleted. The list includes only matters deleted within approximately the last 30 days. Matters deleted earlier than that are permanently deleted by Vault.
    2. Point to the matter you want to restore and click Restore.

Use classic Vault

Click below to open steps for classic Vault (ediscovery.google.com). Go to steps for new Vault

Manage matters in ediscovery.google.com

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 matters, Shared with me, Closed, or Trash to view matters of the corresponding type.
  • Click a column header to sort the matters by Name, Owner, 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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