Record Retention Policy

Record Retention Policy



This Policy was approved by the Foundation Board of the New York County Lawyers’ Association Foundation, Inc. at its meeting on December 12, 2007.

The New York County Lawyers’ Association Foundation, Inc. (NYCLA Foundation) is a not-for-profit organization incorporated in the State of New York that supports the activities of the New York County Lawyers’ Association. It is the intention of the NYCLA Foundation to comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

The NYCLA Foundation Record Retention Policy provides a schedule for business record retention, a policy concerning the disposal of documents no longer governed by the NYCLA Foundation’s record retention guidelines, and procedures for the NYCLA Foundation’s staff to follow to obtain additional information about these policies.


Definition of Records

The NYCLA Foundation’s records are defined to include any document, writing, printing, inscription, electronic, video or magnetic taping that its Board of Directors, officers, Executive Committee, committees and any subcommittee thereof, staff, vendors, or its members create, devise or invent in the course of their duties, responsibilities and activities to and regarding the NYCLA Foundation.

Permanent Records

Some (but not all) of the NYCLA Foundation’s permanent records include cancelled checks for taxes, purchases of property, special contracts (checks should be filed with the papers pertaining to the underlying transaction); bank records and statements; investment and brokerage account statements, confirmations and instructions; cash books; chart of accounts; correspondence for legal and important matters; deeds, mortgages and bills of sale; contracts and leases; end-of-year financial statements and audited reports of Certified Public Accountants; general ledgers; insurance records, current accident reports and claims policies; journals; minute books of directors meetings and at annual and special meetings of the members; by laws and charter; property records, including appraisals, costs, depreciation reserves, end-of-year balances, depreciation schedules, blueprints, plans and computational records related to property records; tax exemption determinations from federal, state and local agencies; tax returns, worksheets, IRS reports and other documents relating to the determination of income tax liability; letters, pledges, bequests and related communications from and with donors; wiring schematics and drawings; copyrights; trademarks.

Seven Years

Accounts payable/voucher register; accounts receivable ledgers and trial balances; bank statements, including bank reconciliations; cancelled checks except for the exceptions listed under permanent records; cash receipts and disbursement records; expired contracts and leases; employee personnel records after termination (if a retirement plan was in effect, regardless of whether the employee was a plan participant); expense analyses and expense distribution schedules; inventory records; invoices from vendors; notes receivable ledgers and trial balances; payroll records and summaries, including payments to pensioners; pension and/or welfare plan returns and reports (from the filing date of such returns and reports; pension and/or welfare plan accounting records; purchasing department copy of purchase orders; scrap and salvage records; employee time records; voucher register and trial balances; vouchers for payments to vendors, employees, etc. (including allowances and reimbursement of employees, officers, etc. for travel and entertainment expenses); product guarantees and warranties.

Four Years

Duplicate deposit tickets; employee personnel records after termination (except for records described above requiring retention for seven years); employment applications; general correspondence; expired insurance policies; internal audit reports, including working papers (in some situations, longer retention periods may be desirable); petty cash vouchers; sales records and summaries; miscellaneous internal reports; quotes for major purchases.

Two Years

Registered/insured mail logs.

One Year

Chits, correspondence of an unimportant nature with customers or vendors; receiving sheets; requisitions; stockroom withdrawal forms; postal records and stamp requisitions; telephone records, including installation and leases.

Administration of the Procedure

The NYCLA Foundation Executive Director is responsible for the administration of the record retention policy, including consulting with the auditors or other appropriate authorities when questions arise as to coverage or schedules. In the event the NYCLA Foundation Executive Director is either absent or otherwise unavailable or the position is vacant, any questions concerning this policy should be directed to the President of the NYCLA Foundation.


The NYCLA Foundation acknowledges its responsibility to preserve information relating to criminal or civil litigation, audits and investigations.

Accordingly, as soon as any NYCLA Foundation staff member becomes aware of any potential or actual criminal or civil litigation, audit or investigation, that staff member should report such matters to the NYCLA Foundation Executive Director. Upon learning of such an event, the NYCLA Foundation Executive Director shall cause the NYCLA Foundation to immediately suspend its Record Retention Policy as it applies to those documents covered by the breadth and scope of the potential or actual criminal or civil litigation, audit or investigation. The suspension should be interpreted broadly, and continue until the NYCLA Foundation staff receives specific instructions from either internal or outside counsel. Such a suspension will include any automatic electronic or voicemail deletion programs currently operating. The NYCLA Foundation Executive Director shall also immediately inform the NYCLA Foundation President about the event and the actions taken to suspend the Record Retention Policy.

Definition of Documents

Pursuant to the NYCLA Foundation’s Document Disposal Policy, the term “document” or “documents” shall mean any written, typed, printed, recorded or graphic matter, however produced or reproduced, of any type or description, regardless of origin or location, including without limitation all correspondence, electronic or voicemail, records, tables, charts, analyses, graphs, schedules, reports, memoranda, notes, lists, calendar and diary entries, letters (sent or received), telegrams, telexes, messages (including, but not limited to, reports of telephone conversations and conferences), studies, books, periodicals, magazines, booklets, circulars, bulletins, instructions, papers, files, minutes, other communications (including, but not limited to, inter- and intra-office communications), questionnaires, contracts, memoranda or agreements, assignments, licenses, ledgers, books of account, orders, invoices, statements, bills, checks, vouchers, notebooks, receipts, acknowledgments, data-processing cards, computer-generated matter, photographs, photographic negatives, phonograph records, tape recordings, wire recordings, other mechanical recordings, transcripts or logs of any such recordings, all other data compilations from where information may be obtained, or translated if necessary, and any other tangible thing of a similar nature. Any drafts, preliminary versions, revisions or non-identical copies are expressly included within this definition of “document.”

Reporting Procedures

Each employee has an obligation to contact the NYCLA Foundation Executive Director about a potential or actual criminal or civil litigation, external audit, investigation or similar proceeding involving the NYCLA Foundation. This duty supersedes any obligation under the approved record retention schedule.

Disciplinary Actions

Failure on the part of the NYCLA Foundation staff to follow this policy can result in possible disciplinary action against responsible individuals, up to and including termination of employment.dividuals, up to and including termination of employment.