Lending Library

The Lawyer's Guide to Records Management & Retention

By George C. Cunningham & John C. MontaƱa

Lending Library Number: 64

NOTE: Due to licensing restrictions, the CD that accompanies this book may not be available for loan.

Most lawyers know intuitively how important timely access to the right information is to their work. On the other hand, most lawyers have little or no knowledge or interest in filing systems and methods, indexing, database architecture, and other mundane issues that enable records management as a practice tool.

This book is intended to address the issues arising from the need to manage records and information in a law office and use records management as a tool for:

  • improving risk management
  • managing e-mail as part of the client file
  • implementing records retention schedules
  • managing records during investigations, audits, claims, and litigation
  • serving the techno-centric and techno-phobic practitioner
  • and using records management as a pipeline to knowledge management
  • and much more!

Among the issues discussed are:

  • The philosophy and ethics of records management—why it is important and why a good records program is far more than just a filing system.
  • Taxonomy and filing systems—how to group information so you can find it later, whether its hardcopy, word processing documents, or e-mail, so daily maintenance is less onerous.
  • Records retention—how to determine what records a lawyer should keep and how long they should be kept, including resources for identifying legal requirements (for administrative records retention schedules) and ethics opinions (for case file retention schedules.)
  • Technology—the selection and appropriate use of software and electronic records management tools.
  • Procedures—the processes that hold everything together, including the standards for performance.

The book is suitable for the large office as well as the small office, and is written to be of use to both the techno-centric lawyer as well as the techno-phobic practitioner. An accompanying CD-ROM contains sample letters, memos, procedures, and more, useful in implementing an effective file management system.