This File Retention Policy is applicable to all materials found in Merline and Meacham, P.A.’s client files.
Application of Policy
This policy applies to all active and inactive client files generated by the attorneys at Merline and Meacham, P.A. (the Firm) and its predecessors. All attorneys and staff of the Firm are required to follow this policy.
Unless waived by a client in writing or by operation of law, all materials or information contained within client files maintained by the Firm shall be considered confidential in nature, and this confidentiality shall be maintained by those employed by the Firm.
Release of Information
No materials or information contained within client files shall be released to any person, including another attorney, unless there is permission from the client or as required by law.
Attorney Work Product
Many documents and notes in client files represent the work product of attorneys in the Firm and, as such, remain the property of the Firm. The Firm may properly retain and/or destroy attorney work product without consultation with the client. Attorney work product shall not be considered part of the client property even if physically located within the client file.
Location of Files
All active client files will be maintained in the Firm’s office. Files will either be located at the Firm’s office or offsite in designated storage. Files may be removed from the office by attorneys as required for library research, court appearances, depositions, conferences, negotiations, or for work performed at another location.
Storage and Destruction
Absent any obligation to retain a client's file which is imposed by law, court order, or rules of tribunal, the Firm will securely store client files for six years after completion or termination of the representation, or with respect to estate planning files, six years after the client’s death, unless:
(1) The file is delivered to the client or the client's designee; or
(2) The client authorizes the destruction of the file in writing signed by the client, and there are no pending or threatened legal proceedings known by the Firm that relate to the matter.
With respect to non-estate planning files, if the client does not request the file within six years after completion or termination of the representation, the Firm may deem such file abandoned by the client and such file may be destroyed unless there are pending or threatened legal proceedings which are known to the Firm that relate to the matter.
Should the Firm elect to destroy client files it shall do so in a manner which protects client confidentiality, such as by shredding paper copies of the file.
812 East North Street, Greenville, South Carolina 29601 (864-242-4080)