What is a reasonable time for document retention?
What constitutes a reasonable retention period will depend on the class of document concerned.
Primary documents – those upon which a case is founded or which otherwise constitute the important evidence in a case – will be of greater importance than routine correspondence. The report itself, letters of instruction, associated documents and those used by the expert in reaching the opinion also merit some special consideration.
Let us refer to the remaining papers as secondary documents. It is reasonable to assume that secondary documents be retained for at least the time limits for an appeal. After the time limit for appeal has elapsed, we think it highly unlikely that an expert will be found to have behaved unreasonably if such routine items are destroyed. The time for retention of primary documents is a trickier question to answer.
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