Print

Print


        Matthew:  I have to strongly disagree.  Unless there is a
legal
opinion or bar ethics opinion in your state which states to the
contrary,
client files are not the property of the law firm, they are the
property of
the client.  The minute that a client writes a letter of authorization
directing a firm to release its file to an attorney of their choice,
the
file cannot be "messed with." After appropriate due diligence
activities,
the file must be transmitted to the client or the client's designated
representative (in this case, the attorney leaving the firm). 
Regardless of
which procedures a firm follows, I've never heard of transfers being
handled
differently for different categories of attorney. If a law firm chooses
to
handle transfers this way, it is getting into very muddy ethical
waters.

Lee R. Nemchek MLS, CRM
Information Resources Manager
Morrison & Foerster LLP
[log in to unmask] 
(213) 892-5359

-----Original Message-----
From: Rose, Matthew [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: March 09, 2000 1:51 PM
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Re: Client Files Leaving Firm with Departing Attorneys

This does depend.  It has been my experience that if it is a partner
who
brought the client into the Firm, you do release most if not of the
files
they ask for (generally he or she requests an index from which they
request
what they want).  If it is an attorney, you only release personal
files
(their attorney work product with the client) everything else remains
the
property of the Firm.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Barbara Embick [SMTP:[log in to unmask]] 
> Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2000 2:27 PM
> To:   [log in to unmask] 
> Subject:      Client Files Leaving Firm with Departing Attorneys
>
> What are your thoughts on this subject?
>
> Upon client release, should the attorneys be given the files in
their
> entirety to take with them?
> Should specific material be removed from the file?
> What, if anything, should the original firm maintain on the file?
>
> Please respond directly to:
>
> Barbara Embick, CRM