Q. I’m moving offices and would like to get rid of a bunch of old financial records and billing sheets. Can I?
A. Supreme Court Rule 769 requires that it is the duty of every lawyer to maintain for a minimum of seven years originals, copies, or computer generated images of: all financial records related to an attorney’s practice including bank statements, time and billing records, checks, check stubs, journals, ledgers, audits, financial statements, tax returns and tax reports. See also ISBA Professional Conduct Advisory Opinion 12-06. That Opinion presents a number of other considerations that might suggest keeping records even longer than seven years.
ISBA members can browse past ISBA Ethics Opinions, access our Ethics Hotline, and other resources on the ISBA Ethics Page.
Disclaimer. These questions are representative of calls received on the ISBA’s ethics hotline. The information provided below is meant as an educational tool to highlight potentially applicable Illinois RPC or other ethics resources that might help the lawyer answer the question posed. The information provided isn’t legal advice. Because every situation is different, often complex, and the law is constantly evolving, you shouldn’t rely upon this general information without conducting your own research.