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Joseph Neuberger, partner with the firm, says files remain open at his firm until either the case is concluded, like when a trial has been completed and the appeal period has passed; the final account has been settled; and if necessary, the Crown disclosure has been returned, the article says.
In accordance with Law Society of Upper Canada bylaws, some Ontario firms set an earliest file destruction date of six years after the file closing date. Neuberger tells Canadian Lawyer his firm’s retainer agreement includes a clause that sets an earliest file destruction date of six years unless the client requests otherwise.
Other firms have set the date at 15 years, in view of the “ultimate” limitation period under the Ontario Limitations Act, the article says.
The report warns that if a firm doesn’t have a document retention and destruction policy in place for both paper and electronic files, it should implement one right away.