Legal paperwork contains sensitive information that is protected by federal privacy laws and industry regulations. Careful document management and proper destruction protects your data, your clients, and your firm.
Shred Nations offers specialized document shredding services to meet the regulations of the legal industry. Our services help maintain industry best practices, save money, and reduce the risk of litigation that can come from improperly handling records.
Tips for Information Management in the Legal Industry
Privacy laws continuously change to stay effective. Law firms need to adapt their record management to stay organized and in compliance. Here are some tips that will save you time and keep your information safe:
Create a RIM Policy
Create a records information management (RIM) policy. The policy should:
- Identify the legal requirements for retention period by record type
- Clearly define the records’ lifecycle
- Determine storage parameters
- Designate responsibilities and restrictions
- Include a compliance policy
- Include a destruction process for records that includes a reputable Shred Nations provider
Use a DMS
A document management system (DMS) provides centralized storage for your digital records. Digital conversion eliminates clutter, reduces errors, and organizes your records more efficiently.
After conversion, paper copies should be destroyed (with client consent). Shredding is a compliant and secure destruction method.
Check with your state bar association for guidance on retention periods and how to communicate destruction policies to your clients.
Legal Documents You Should Shred
- Client bank statements
- Client contact information
- Client-attorney correspondence
- Confidential information
- Law firm bank statements
- Case files and plans
- Progress reports
- Police reports
- Attorney correspondence with the courts or other attorneys
- Tax documents
- Cancelled checks
- Dated legal information
- Any financial information
Legal Industry Regulations
ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 1.15
Client records should be kept and preserved for some time after ending representation. Record retention periods vary by state and by the type of record.
Fair & Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA)
The FACTA disposal rule requires the permanent destruction of sensitive documentation to protect clients from identity theft and other abuses of information. Non-compliance can lead to heavy penalties.
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)
GLBA applies to legal practices when handling real estate closings, financial issues, or estate planning. It requires firms to carefully select a shredding company and give written permission for the destruction of their documents.
Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA)
HIPPA applies to firms handling cases that involve personal injury claims, workers’ compensation, medical malpractice, or other medical information. It also requires selecting a reliable shredding company and providing permission for destruction.
Request Free Quotes on Legal Document Shredding
Shred Nations partners with local shredding providers across the country. Our experts are experienced in shredding legal documents while maintaining confidentiality and compliance with federal regulations. We are happy to answer all of your questions and help you create a destruction process tailored to your needs.
Call us at (800) 747-3365 or fill out the form to connect with shredding providers near you and receive free quotes on legal document shredding services.