Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Arizona Bar Ethics Committee Issues Opinion on Lawyers' Keeping Paperless Files

According to the opinion:

In appropriate cases, a lawyer may keep current and closed client files as electronic images in an attempt to maintain a paperless law practice or to more economically store files.

After digitizing paper documents, a lawyer may not, without client consent, destroy original paper documents that belong to or were obtained from the client. After digitizing paper documents, a lawyer may destroy copies of paper documents that were obtained from the client unless the lawyer has reason to know that the client wants the lawyer to retain them. A lawyer has the discretion to decide whether to maintain the balance of the file solely as electronic images and destroy the paper documents.

Without benefiting from such an opinion from the Quebec Bar, I feel confident that the same rationale would apply here. That being said, this is my personal opinion and it is not a legal advice!

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