January 15, 2006 Regular News Designing standards for storing e-records Designing standards for storing e-records Lawyers look to safeguard client records as part of their hurricane preparation plans Increasingly turning to electronic means to store legal records, especially as they worry about hurricanes, lawyers are asking for guidelines on the appropriateness of keeping electronic as opposed to paper records.The Bar Board of Governors, reacting to that request, has asked the Professional Ethics Committee to look at that issue and consider issuing an ethics opinion. The board acted at its December 16 meeting at Amelia Island.Board member Steve Chaykin, chair of the Board Review Committee on Professional Ethics, said the Bar has been getting more inquiries on the subject, both through its Ethics Hotline and from the Law Office Management Assistance Service. Lawyers are paying particular attention to the issue as they look to safeguard client records and legal documents as part of their hurricane preparation plans.He noted there are no ethics opinions advising lawyers when they might need to retain an original document and when it would be okay to keep only an electronic record.Bar Ethics Counsel Elizabeth Tarbert said that lawyers have a wide variety of records and documents that could be affected. For instance, she noted that state law requires the original of some documents to be presented in court, not electronic copies. But in other instances, lawyers may have files of closed cases that don’t have such vital or essential information that could easily be electronically preserved, she said.Chaykin said the PEC’s opinion would be posted on the Bar’s Web site, and linked to information about disaster preparedness and also guidelines about retention and disposal of old client files.The committee unanimously made two recommendations, he said. The first is to refer the issue to the PEC for an opinion on converting paper records to digital files and whether electronic files are required as opposed to allowable in some situations. The second, Chaykin said, is to refer to the appropriate Bar committees the issue of whether in some instances electronic records could be submitted to courts in lieu of paper records.The board approved both unanimously, and Bar President Alan Bookman said he would make the referrals to the appropriate committees.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisMany areas around Northeast Michigan are experiencing ditch and roadway flooding due to high rains. With more showers in the forecast for this weekend, the Alpena County Road Commission has issued alerts for drivers and homeowners. Managing Director Larry Orcutt offers some tips and advice for navigating around flooded areas and ways to help prevent water from coming on to the roads. WBKB reports…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious Alpena, MI Forecast 10-24-17Next Winter Parking Rules Go Into Effect November 1st