The Risk Manager, Winter 2003

Just kidding about the sex and lies, but if a client gives you a videotape, audiotape, or a “burned” cd, do you have risk management procedures in place to protect this client property and yourself from liability or the accusation of assisting in client crime or fraud? What got us thinking about this is hearing about a lawyer who was given videotape by a client purportedly containing evidence supporting his case. The lawyer kept the tape for several weeks before finding time to view it only to discover that it was blank. While this could happen to any busy lawyer, it serves as a reminder to be sure that client provided property is adequately safeguarded to avoid an accusation of tampering or negligent safekeeping. As an extra precaution be sure to view or listen to tapes and cds as soon as possible. In addition to knowing exactly what you have, you may avoid being the repository of illegally obtained recordings -- an increasing risk in this technological age.