How A Document Retention Policy Can Save You In the Event of Litigation
What are the benefits of a document retention policy? Again, it will reduce storage space for documents that you no longer need. Another benefit is being able to honestly say to a court that you have produced all documents in your possession that relate to a particular dispute that you’re in. That can be a huge advantage in litigation.
If you are able to define the universe of documents that are relevant to an action and you’re able to honestly and with credibility tell the court that that’s all there is, that’s going to go a long way towards helping you in that lawsuit.
So, what does it look like? Unfortunately, I can’t describe it to you because I don’t understand your business. You need to know that this is not a one-size-fits-all proposal. It’s going to look different from business to business.
So, you don’t need to be – if you’re a smaller company, you don’t need to obsess about whether your document retention policy is only a fraction of a length that say, Coca Cola’s document retention policy is going to be. Theirs is, just by definition, going to be much longer and probably more complicated to comprehend than the smaller businesses might be. But that doesn’t mean that yours is any less effective or less important.
So, a document retention policy really should be something that assists your business, it’s not a one-size-fits-all proposition. And remember that the stuff in your computer counts too.
Edited Remarks from “Personnel Document Retention: What to Keep, How to Keep & Why It Matters” by Matt Gilley
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