Retention of Files and Records
When the Law Office closes a file at the conclusion of representation, the Law Office will retain the file in most criminal, general civil litigation, and business matters for a period of six years. Likewise, trust account information will be maintained for five years following the end of the fiduciary relationship. Under certain circumstances as dictated by applicable rules or the specific facts of a matter, files may be retained for a longer period of time as outlined below and at the Law Office’s discretion.
The Law Office reserves the right to preserve a file in its hard-copy state or in suitable electronic format that preserves the integrity and value of the contents of the file. If hard-copies are converted to electronic copies, the hard-copy version may be destroyed even within the retention period without any additional notice to the client or former client.
Request for Records or Original Documents
Requests for copies from a closed file prior to destruction may involve both copying and
research fees to retrieve the file if applicable; though the Law Office will do its best to not charge a fee if possible. A request for a copy of a file or a portion of a file should be made in writing directly to the Law Office at its business address or directly to Stan@doerrerlaw.com
Many physical files are converted to electronic format during the retention period. Should you wish to receive an original physical document from your file, please contact the office immediately, and upon receipt of this notice. Likewise, the Law Office may make any original documents or items that were provided directly by the Client available for pickup and retrieval upon the conclusion of representation.
Destruction of Files and Records
When the retention period for a file has ended the file may then be destroyed without further notice to the client or former client. Destruction will be accomplished in a manner that preserves client confidences. The Law Office has no obligation or duty to maintain files beyond the terms of this Policy and the Law Office expressly disavows any intent to do so.
Preservation of Confidentiality
Throughout the retention period and through the destruction of any file, the Law Office will take all reasonable and necessary precautions to ensure that client confidentiality is maintained throughout the process regardless of whether the files are maintained in the Law Office’s premises or with an outside company.
Special Retention Periods and Terms
Files where a judgment has not been satisfied will be retained until the judgment has been satisfied or can no longer be renewed.
Client and file information that is needed to conduct conflict checks beyond the normal seven-year retention period will be maintained indefinitely as needed by the Law Office.
Information of minors shall be maintained until such time as the minor reaches age 18 or is emancipated.
Non-essential personal information in a file that poses an increased danger if improperly accessed may be destroyed before the end of the retention period in the Law Office’s discretion.
For example, medical records, social security numbers and credit card numbers may be destroyed prior to the end of the retention period if this information is not necessary to maintain the value of the file.
Amendments and Questions
The terms of this Document Retention Policy may be amended from time to time by the Law Office or a subsequent Law Office. Changes may be made to improve the management and retention of files and without prejudicing the retention of a client’s or former client’s file.
Should you have any questions regarding this Document Retention Policy to request the latest version of the Law Office’s Document Retention Policy, please contact the Law Office directly at 703-348-4646 or Stan@doerrerlaw.com.