Here are five starting points for counsel on both sides, inside and outside, to consider about the massive amounts of work product, intellectual capital and research they accumulate. Each will be the subject of further posts. [George Cunningham, Records Management (President, PelliGroup ]
1. If you are outside counsel, most of it does not belong to you. Much as you sweated and bled to create the exquisite work product and other parts of the client file, you do not own it. The client owns most, if not all, of the file.
2. If it isn’t organized it is of absolutely no value to you. You cannot use what you cannot find.
3. Keeping it too long can hurt you – and your client. [RWM: See my post of Nov. 6, 2006 about retention of files by a law firm.]
4. You do not have to keep it all. There is no rule, law or ethics opinion that says a lawyer has to keep everything forever.
5. Content truly is king. The rules, rewards and risks are the same for hardcopy and electronic/digital records.