Closed Files continued

Digital Data

Most lawyers now practise with the assistance of computers. Of particular concern is the digital data that you will need to retain into the future when the technology may be different. Take care to ensure that the data is stored in a form that will be accessible over the life of the retention period. Please review the requirements of Rules 10-3 and 10-4 to ensure you are in compliance with the requirements for storage of files, whether electronic or physical. For additional information on each lawyer's obligation please review the Law Society Practice Watch, Winter 2014 which discusses storage issues.

You will also need to decide how to retain e-mail communication, which in some instances may form a crucial part of your file. Some practitioners are in the habit of creating a hard copy of all e-mails; others create e-folders for individual clients. Whatever system you choose, ensure that your staff are aware of what system you are using so that they can attend to all forms of communication at the time of file closing. Make sure the naming and filing of the e-material is just as meticulous as for paper copies of documents.