(a) A lawyer in private practice shall retain a client’s ﬁles respecting a matter unless:
(1) the lawyer delivers the ﬁle to the client or the client authorizes destruction of the ﬁle in a writing signed by the client and there are no pending or threatened legal proceedings known to the lawyer that relate to the matter; or
(2) the lawyer has given written notice to the client of the lawyer’s intention to destroy the ﬁle on or after a date stated in the notice, which date shall not be less than thirty days after the date of the notice, and there are no pending or threatened legal proceedings known to the lawyer that relate to the matter.
(b) At any time following the expiration of a period of ten years following the termination of the representation in a matter, a lawyer may destroy a client’s ﬁles respecting the matter without notice to the client, provided there are no pending or threatened legal proceedings known to the lawyer that relate to the matter and the lawyer has not agreed to the contrary.
(c) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) and (b) above, a lawyer in a criminal matter shall retain a client’s ﬁle for the following time periods:
(1) for the life of the client, if the matter resulted in a conviction and a sentence of death, life without parole, or an indeterminate sentence, including a sentence pursuant to the Colorado Sex Offender Lifetime Supervision Act of 1998, 18-1.3-1001 et seq., C.R.S.
(2) for eight years from the date of sentencing, if the matter resulted in a conviction for any other felony and the conviction and/or sentence was appealed;
(3) for ﬁve years from the date of sentencing, if the matter resulted in a conviction for any other felony and neither the conviction nor the sentence was appealed.
(d) A lawyer may satisfy the notice requirements of paragraph (a)(2) of this Rule by establishing a written ﬁle retention policy consistent with this Rule and by providing a notice of the ﬁle retention policy to the client in a fee agreement or a in writing delivered to the client not later than thirty days before destruction of the client’s ﬁle or incorporated into a fee agreement.
(e) This Rule does not supersede or limit a lawyer’s obligations to retain a client’s ﬁle that are imposed by law, court order, or rules of a tribunal.
Source: Entire rule and comment added and effective February 10, 2011; Comments  and  amended, effective April 6, 2016.
 Rule 1.16A is not intended to impose an obligation on a lawyer to preserve documents that the lawyer would not normally preserve, such as multiple copies or drafts of the same document. A client’s ﬁles, within the meaning of Rule 1.16A, consist of those things, such as papers and electronic data, relating to a matter that the lawyer would usually maintain in the ordinary course of practice. A lawyer’s obligations with respect to client “property” are distinct. Those obligations are addressed in Rules 1.15A and 1.16(d). “Property” generally refers to jewelry and other valuables entrusted to the lawyer by the client, as well as documents having intrinsic value or directly affecting valuable rights, such as securities, negotiable instruments, deeds, and wills.
 A lawyer may comply with Rule 1.16A by maintaining a client’s ﬁles in, or converting the ﬁle to, electronic form, provided the lawyer is capable of producing a paper version if necessary. Rule 1.16A does not require multiple lawyers in the same law ﬁrm to retain duplicate client ﬁles or to retain a unitary ﬁle located in one place. “Law ﬁrm” is deﬁned in Rule 1.0 to include lawyers employed in a legal services organization or the legal department of a corporation or other organization. Rule 5.1(a) addresses the responsibility of a partner in a law ﬁrm to “make reasonable efforts to ensure that the ﬁrm has in effect measures giving reasonable assurance that all lawyers in the ﬁrm conform to the Rules of Professional Conduct.” Generally, lawyers employed by a private corporation or other entity as in-house counsel represent such corporation or entity as employees and the client’s ﬁles are considered to be in the possession of the client and not the lawyer, such that Rule 1.16A would be inapplicable. Where lawyers are employed as public defenders or by a legal services organization or a government agency to represent third parties under circumstances where the third-party client’s ﬁles are considered to be ﬁles and records of the organization or agency, the lawyer must take reasonable measures to ensure that the client’s ﬁles are maintained by the organization or agency in accordance with this rule.
 Rule 1.16A does not supersede obligations imposed by other law, court order or rules of a tribunal. The maintenance of law ﬁrm ﬁnancial and accounting records is governed exclusively by Rules 1.15A and 1.15D. Similarly, Rule 1.16A does not supersede speciﬁc retention requirements imposed by other rules, such as Rule 5.5(d)(2) (two-year retention of written notiﬁcation to client of utilization of services of suspended or disbarred lawyer), Rule 4, Chapter 23.3 C.R.C.P. (six-year retention of contingent fee agreement and proof of mailing following completion or settlement of the case) and C.R.C.P. 121, 1-26(7) (two year retention of signed originals of e-ﬁled documents). A document may be subject to more than one retention requirement, in which case the lawyer should retain the document for the longest applicable period. Rule 1.16A does not prohibit a lawyer from maintaining a client’s ﬁles beyond the periods speciﬁed in the Rule.
 A lawyer may not destroy a client’s ﬁle when the lawyer has knowledge of pending or threatened proceedings relating to the matter. The Rule does not affect a lawyer’s obligations under Rule 1.16(d) with respect to the surrender of papers and property to which the client is entitled upon termination of the representation. A client’s receipt of papers forwarded from time to time by the lawyer during the course of the representation does not alleviate the lawyer’s obligations under Rule 1.16A.
 The destruction of a client’s ﬁles under paragraph (a) of Rule 16A is subject to two sets of preconditions. First, the lawyer must have given written notice to the client of the lawyer’s intention to destroy the ﬁles on or after a date certain, which date is not less than thirty days after the date the notice was given or the client has authorized the destruction of the ﬁles in a writing signed by the client. As provided in paragraph (d), the notice requirement in paragraph (a) can be satisﬁed by timely giving the client a written statement of the applicable ﬁle retention policy; for example, that policy could be contained in a written fee agreement. A lawyer should make reasonable efforts to locate a client for purposes of giving written notice when such notice was not provided during the representation. If the lawyer is unable to locate the client, written notice sent to the client’s last known address is sufﬁcient under paragraph (a) Rule 1.16A. Second, the lawyer may not destroy the ﬁles if the lawyer knows that there are legal proceedings pending or threatened that relate to the matter for which the lawyer created the ﬁles, if the ﬁle is subject to paragraph (c) of this Rule, or if the lawyer has agreed otherwise. If these preconditions are satisﬁed, the lawyer may destroy the ﬁles in a manner consistent with the lawyer’s continuing obligation to maintain the conﬁdentiality of information relating to the representation under Rules 1.6 and 1.9. Nothing in this Rule is intended to mandate that a lawyer destroy a ﬁle in the absence of a client’s instruction to do so. Notwithstanding a client’s instruction to destroy or return a ﬁle, a lawyer may retain a copy of the ﬁle or any document in the ﬁle.