The January 2004 Law Practice Today (yes, the issue has been around that long) has an interesting article on record retention policies. While geared towards lawyers, I suggest that business owners might want to take a look at the article. The writer outlines the importance of a record retention policy, the problems of retaining records and possible solutions. Here is the conclusion to the article:
Demonstrating to the Court the existence of a reasonable, well thought out, comprehensively distributed, and carefully adhered to and monitored records preservation and retention program with rigorously enforced penalties for non-compliance is critical in limiting the exposure of a client, its management, and its attorneys to potentially serious statutory and spoliation sanctions. A proactive records preservation retention program can also help prevent a potentially ruinous criminal prosecution for obstruction of justice and protect the organization’s outside counsel itself from claims of negligent representation or even malpractice.