04 May Legal Documents Law Firms Should Be Shredding
Shredding documents can be a delicate topic in a law firm. Should you keep that document, or can you dispose of it? This article will help you determine the ethics behind destroying legal documents.
There are laws that stipulate how professionals dispose of confidential documents. But when do you know you can get rid of case files? For those in the legal profession, before disposing of a file do the following:
- Make a PDF of any hard copies.
- Wait to take future action until the case is over.
- Review Federal and State laws.
Laws that Require Document Destruction
For a brief background, there are laws that require the proper, secure, and documented destruction of legal documents. There have been several cases within the last 20 years that have resulted in lawsuits and million-dollar fines.
The Social Security Act of 1934 prohibits companies or businesses from revealing any confidential information. One example would be revealing a client’s social security number to anyone.
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA) states a client’s right to privacy is a company’s obligation. If the company violates a client’s constitutional right by improperly disposing of sensitive documents, the company will be held responsible. A business must shred documents containing client data to the point that they are unreadable and permanently destroy electronically stored data. When possible, the FACTA recommends that businesses should hire a document destruction company.
How Does Shredding Benefit Your Law Firm?
We’ve all heard the saying “out with the old, in with the new”. The same saying goes for old case files. Typically, documents should last the lifetime of the client. Shredding keeps your law firm from having any state or federal violations – not to mention the added office space getting rid of a few boxes of files can add!
Documents Your Law Firm Should Shred
- Outdated legal information – if the law has changed there is no reason to keep a hard copy. You can find a PDF version online or a hard copy in a legal library.
- Bank statements
- Law Firms
- Police Reports
- Correspondence between attorneys and other attorneys, the courts, and the client.
- Client contact information
- Personal records
- Progress reports
- Case plans
- Voided or canceled checks
- Tax documents
- Human resource information
- Other case information you are not legally required to keep.
Why You Should Shred Documents
Shredding documents will save office space, time, filing, and money while ensuring clients’ confidentiality. Buying a paper shredder and shredding in-house can cause discrepancies. For example, a disgruntled employee could leak sensitive information. Keeping client records confidential is a legal requirement. Shredding with a reputable company like Greenway ensures confidentiality and helps protect your company’s public image, employees, and clients.
Greenway Shredding & Recycling offers scheduled and one-time shredding services. For your convenience and peace of mind, Greenway offers office pick-ups, cross-cut technology, and a secure chain of custody. You will receive a certificate of destruction after each service is completed.
CONTACT GREENWAY SHREDDING & RECYCLING TODAY
Greenway Shredding & Recycling is a family-run business that is locally owned and operated. We offer services with NO CONTRACTS because we want to earn your business.
Greenway is committed to providing shredding and recycling services with superior value. We want to be your preferred shredding service provider. All our document destruction services are HIPAA-compliant. Our staff is friendly, dependable, and trustworthy.