Louisiana law firm thinks it’s okay to dump records in trash, unshredded? Seriously, folks?

Don’t lawyers have a duty of confidentiality – apart from any state laws that might apply – about disposal of records with personal information? I am, well, frankly annoyed at all the news reports I’ve seen about lawyers or law firms not disposing of records securely. Here’s yet another one, this time from Louisiana:

Below the interstate at Dalrymple and along the sidewalk, there are documents strewn about with personal information – names, account numbers and addresses just lying around for anyone to pick up.

But that’s not all. 9 News found court documents, some with social security numbers, bank statements complete with account numbers, even a Mastercard account number.

Many of the documents we picked up had an “Eaton Group” stamp at the bottom, which led us to the downtown law firm.

Greg Eaton says the documents came from his office. He is the owner of Eaton Group, a law firm that has been providing collection services in Louisiana since 1986.

He says all the documents were once involved in court cases that have since ended. Now the documents is trash that was left to be picked up by the firm’s cleaning company, Jani-King.

“They’re supposed to dispose of it, obviously, and not along the side of the interstate so past that, I can’t tell you,” said Eaton.

When asked why the papers weren’t shredded, Eaton replied, “A lot of this is public record.”

“A lot of this?” But not ALL of it, right? So why isn’t the law firm shredding everything to be on the safe side? Are they saying they don’t think putting such personal information in the hands of cleaning company employees isn’t any risk to their former clients?

And why aren’t the relevant bar associations doing something about this problem if the state doesn’t?

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