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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
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Experience:  JD, MBA
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I hired a new attorney to represent my wife and I in ...

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I hired a new attorney to represent my wife and I in bankruptcy court and would like to get my file from him. As instructed by my new attorney, I wrote a letter informing my old lawyer that his services are no longer needed. Now the orginal lawyer wants me and my wife to come in and sign something before releasing our file. Does he have the right to withhold our file if we don''t sign this document?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 8 years ago.

Hello and thank you for allowing me to address your legal question.

Generally speaking, the old attorney should send the file to the new attorney upon your request without you being required to sign anything. This is because the file is usually considered to be the client's property. If the attorney is unreasonably withholding the file, then he could face disciplinary action (at least he could if you file a complaint). However, it’s difficult to determine whether he is unreasonably withholding the file if you don’t know what he wants you to sign. What does your new attorney say about this situation? Perhaps he can communicate with the old attorney and see why the file hasn't been forwarded and why you are being requested to sign something. Otherwise, if you want, you can file a complaint with your state's bar.

You didn’t mention where you’re located, but you can find out how to file such a complaint fairly easy by doing a Google search for “state bar complaint” and the name of your state.

If the information that I provided was helpful, please remember to ACCEPT my post as that is the only way I will receive credit and compensation for my answer. However, please understand that my answer is meant for informational purposes only and is limited by the facts presented. Therefore, it should not be construed as “legal advice” and is not an adequate substitute for the retention of legal counsel. Thank you and good luck!

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