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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 28090
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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Can another attorney from a different firm look at the

Customer Question

Can another attorney from a different firm look at the discovery documents and other legal documentation from a case that is not his?
He is interested in taking the case but wants to look at the documents from the case first. What is the legal ramifications for looking at the documents before signing on as the legal attorney? What are the legal ramifications for someone who gives him the documents without legal consent from the person incarcerated?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

There is no law that prevents a lawyer from asking to review documents prior to deciding whether to accept a case. There's also no law that prevents a person who receives information as part of the discovery process from sharing it with an attorney that he's asking for advice from or considering hiring. If a person seeks advice from a lawyer but winds up not hiring him, the lawyer cannot share the information he learned as part of that consultation.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The legal files on the case was given to me, per the request of the prisioner. His lawyer has kept me up to date with all of the court trial documents.
The family, does not feel the attorney is doing a good job and wants me to turn the files over to the uncle and father of the inmate. The purpose is to take the files to another attorney, for a possible reassignment of attorneys.
This is a murder case, and document sensitive. I don't want the inmate to receive any legal consequences for my actions, nor do I want to face any retribution.
My concern are these being files paseed around, the case talked about and is tampered. At that point confidentiality would have been breached, should someone speak to the wrong person and say any statement from the file.
How can I pass on theses files without implementing myself for the inmate?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Do you have the original case file, like the evidence and everything? You don't have to hand those documents over to anyone you don't trust without a court order. And if they seek a court order, you can tell the judge your concerns and ask to give the documents to the judge directly. The judge can also order you to give the documents to a specific attorney, rather than the family.

Or are you talking about court files? Court files are public record - anyone can get and look at them. Even though there are obvious reasons most people wouldn't want the information in murder files passed around, most of it is not legally-protected confidential information. But you could send the family to the courthouse to get copies of the file themselves. You wouldn't have to give them what you have without a court order.

If the case isn't over and you're worried about evidence tampering, then you could also apply to the court for a protective order yourself, asking to deposit the documents under seal (meaning they'd be placed in an envelope and left with the clerk of the court for safekeeping). And in that case - make copies of everything. More than one. Don't give anyone originals of anything.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have the investigation report from the DA, the Discovery, the testimonies of the witnesses. Supposedly every document the attorney has.
Is it alright to give those to his father without repercussion of my actions for the inmate and myself.
Please answer that question. That's what I need to know
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

It is not illegal for you to give the documents to a third party if you are not a lawyer and therefore not bound by any sort of confidentiality.

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