Legal File Maintenance: What Must Be Kept for 7 Years and in What Format?

File and Record Retention by Chris McDonough

By: Chris McDonough Esq.[1]

Recently, on two separate occasions, I was contacted by experienced, well-respected attorneys with file and record retention questions. It seems there still is confusion regarding exactly which records must be kept for seven years and in what format those records may be maintained. This brief article will hit the high points. There are many excellent resources available to attorneys who require additional information, and anyone who wants more information should feel free to contact me.

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Advanced Legal Fees and Related Escrow Issues

Advanced Legal Fees and Related Escrow Issues by Chris McDonough

I recently gave a lecture where I was discussing retainers, legal fees, and escrow. It became clear that there’s some confusion over advanced legal fees paid to a lawyer.

A general retainer is a retainer paid to a lawyer for unspecified future services and for the lawyer to be available to the client in the future. For example, this might be used to engage a lawyer on a monthly or yearly retainer to be available for representation or to give the client legal advice as issues arise. Under this type of retainer, the fee paid is not an advance fee but is deemed earned immediately upon receipt. See NYSBA Opinion 570.

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