Re: How Long to Keep Files of Completed Projects

Subject: Re: How Long to Keep Files of Completed Projects
From: Tony Chung <tonyc -at- tonychung -dot- ca>
To: LTC Writer <Ltc -dot- writer -at- comcast -dot- net>
Date: Thu, 3 May 2012 08:55:51 -0700

I wouldn't think there is a legal requirement to keep them, because in
your contract you should have a clause that reverts all liability back
to the client when they've signed off the reviews.

But in out lawsuit happy generation, I'd say if you want to be
cautious, invest in a multi sheet document scanner and hire a library
sciences student to scan, catalogue, and archive your hard copies into
a system like Evernote that indexes text in images for easy CYA

Then shred the hard copies and make room for the new stuff.


On 2012-05-03, at 7:02 AM, LTC Writer <Ltc -dot- writer -at- comcast -dot- net> wrote:

> Hello,
> How long do you keep files of completed projects? Is there a legal
> requirement to keep them?
> The company that I left, kept copies of major revision drafts and the final
> draft. The final publication was kept in another location. I think that when
> that document came up for revision, the old drafts were thrown out. Of
> course, the electronic master files are on a server. I remember a couple of
> times when the corporate lawyer wanted all the files related to a document
> when someone sued the company related to the product.
> I am in my 12th year of independent tech writing and in the earlier years,
> reviews were done on hard copies. I have continued the same practice except
> that I generally do not update those documents. One reason I kept the
> revisions, research information, and meeting notes is because if I or the
> client was sued for errors and omissions, I would have some documentation
> that might be useful as a defense. Now I am running out of space to store
> file boxes. I am thinking of recycling about six years' of files. I still
> have electronic files on CDs and a hard drive but these files do not contain
> hard copy review notes. I have not had to go back to any of my paper files.
> Should I just clean house and get rid of the paper files? Do I keep any of
> them?
> Tim Lewis
> Lewis Technical Communications, Inc.
> 3218 Redhawk Trail
> Rockford, IL 61109-6116
> 815-873-9944
> Making complex information more useful.

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How Long to Keep Files of Completed Projects: From: LTC Writer

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