RE: How Long to Keep Files of Completed Projects

Subject: RE: How Long to Keep Files of Completed Projects
From: Mike McCallister <mike -dot- mccallister -at- pkware -dot- com>
To: Tony Chung <tonyc -at- tonychung -dot- ca>, LTC Writer <Ltc -dot- writer -at- comcast -dot- net>
Date: Thu, 3 May 2012 16:06:53 +0000

I definitely second Tony's idea, here. The librarian-in-training suggestion is just brilliant!


-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+mike -dot- mccallister=pkware -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+mike -dot- mccallister=pkware -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Tony Chung
Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2012 10:56 AM
To: LTC Writer
Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: How Long to Keep Files of Completed Projects

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 retrieval.

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?

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

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