Lawyers should consider opening a file and preparing a memorandum when a person initially contacts the firm (usually by telephone) to obtain legal services.
sets out essential features of systems to manage client matters to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements relating to matters such as the preservation of client confidentiality and avoiding conflicts.
It offers practical suggestions for effective file opening and closing procedures, conflicts checking and storage systems and considerations relating to the retention and disposal of closed client files.
Back to Top The uses the phrase “file management” in its broad sense to denote the general management of a client matter.
A component of client matter management is the handling or management of “files”.
Historically, the term “file” referred to the physical paper folders which house the physical documents related to the matter.
Computer technologies enable some or all client information to be stored in electronic form.
In the electronic or computer environment, the equivalent of the physical paper folder, the “file”, is referred to as a “folder “ or “directory” and the corollary of a single paper document, is referred to as a “file” or “document”.
The principles in this At the initial contact, whether or not the case is accepted, lawyers should consider immediately noting a limitation period, diarising it and advising the client if it is imminent.
Each client file may contain sub-files for Lawyers should store all documentation related to the client matter in the client file.
Law firms may wish to consider implementing training for all professional and office personnel focusing on the importance of client confidentiality and the inherent risks of leaving files or diskettes containing client information on a desk or in an office unattended.
Electronic files should be organized with cross references to paper documents or files and vice versa.