Document Retention Policy
The following is the Firm's document retention policy for client files and documents. This policy is incorporated into the Firm's Terms of Engagement and is subject to modification in accordance with below.
Electronic Files Preference and Cloud Hosting
We will maintain in our files materials and items you and other parties send to us, as well as other documents and materials we create or receive in connection with our representation of you. We generally do not retain paper or physical files except in rare instances. We keep digital copies of your materials on a third-party cloud-based server, and our computers are also backed up to a separate third-party cloud-based system. The systems we use employ some of the best security protocols available, and are generally more secure than most law firm internal proprietary systems, but even these are not without risk of breach. We cannot and do not assume any liability for a breach of any such third party cloud server or backup system.
Document Retention and Destruction Policy
It is our policy to retain these materials and documents in our files for as long as a file remains open, and/or for as long as the firm is actively representing you (as defined above), whichever is less. If a file is closed for any reason, or if our representation is terminated for any reason, we will retain these files for three (3) years from the date of termination or closing of the file, at our expense. Thereafter, it is our policy to destroy such material unless otherwise prohibited by law or rules of professional responsibility, or absent a specific written agreement with you dictating a different retention period. Once our retention obligation ends, we have no responsibility or liability for any files or materials left in our care. This policy includes, but is not limited to, any written materials or correspondence, our notes and memoranda, CD-ROMs and other media, samples and exhibits, emails or other electronic files and data, regardless of the source of any such materials.
Record Type Retention Period
Inactive Client Files 5 years*
Requests for Departure from Records Retention Plan 10 Years
Client Trust Account Records 5 Years
Other Client Property 5 Years
* The Firm will deem a matter inactive once the project is completed (i.e., the application is abandoned/rejected, the registration expires, the litigation closes, etc.), and will deem a client inactive if 6 months or more have passed with no active matters. Once inactive, the Firm will begin its disengagement process. As part of this process, the client will be contacted notifying them of the option to retrieve their files or authorizing the destruction of those files. The letter will indicate that the client will have 30 days to respond to the letter with its preference, and that if no response is received within 30 days, the Firm will presume the client does not want the files returned to them, and the Firm will have the following options; 1) store the files on its server (electronic) or onsite at the Firm (physical); 2) store the files offsite at a location of the Firm’s choosing; or 3) shred/destroy the files. Inactive files that are not destroyed will be listed on the file inventory stored on the Firm's computer network, and their storage location will be recorded to facilitate retrieval. Per the retention period above, inactive files that are not returned to the client will be kept no longer than 5 years.
Modification of Policy
The above retention period for legal files is subject to change based on applicable legal statutes and requirements specific to a particular case such as: agreements, discovery procedures, privilege logs and protected documents, etc.