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Re: Record Retention

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David Puskas asked:

>>I would like to inquire if there are any legal requirements for the time
period that an engineer of record  must retain structural calculations, and
construction documents.  I seem to remember back when I started in the late
'70's my employer had indicated that he needed to keep these documents for
seven years.<<

At one time, the insurance industry recommended that you destroy all records 
after a job is finished.  They have apparently now done a 180 as reflected in 
CNA/Victor O. Schinnerer's booklet, "The Litigation Process," dated 7/97 
which states (on page 4):

"_Never alter, destroy or dispose of the original records._  Any alteration 
of existing records will either be obvious or subject to detection by experts 
in document analysis.  Changes might be viewed by a jury as an admission that 
there is something to hide or cover up.  Changes to clarify records, make 
them more legible or to add missing information, even if made in 'good 
faith,' are subject to misinterpretation by a jury.  The plaintiff's 
attorneys have access to experts in document authentication."

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona