Lost files could result in Australian mistrial

October 19th, 2012 | Posted by Kevin Corley in Document Management

When documents are misplaced, the results can be disastrous. Companies could lose clients, put their customers' information at risk and many other possibilities. However, if this situation happens in the court system, the situation could be dire. This is the case in Australia, where a missing record could result in an alleged criminal going free.

According to the Canberra Times, Julia Gillard, a former partner at law firm Slater and Gordon, collaborated with her former boyfriend, a senior Australian Workers Union official, to set up a fund from which he stole more than $400,000. Gilliard resigned from the firm after the file documenting the transactions was discovered.

However, the file proving Gillard's willful participation in setting up the fund has gone missing, the Times reported.

"If there are such documents, we don't have them," Slater and Gordon managing director Andrew Grech said, according to the source. "They could have been misplaced or lost. I simply don't know."

Without the evidence, Gillard may evade the charges. Grech said that the event occurred 18 years ago, and it's customary for files to be destroyed after seven years to free up storage space.

However, if the documents had been secured online using conversion services, the files may have been saved. The seven-year plan would likely not be necessary, as is it much more cost effective and scalable to save records online.

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