Two years ago I "hired" a lawyer to represent me in court for one day and to review docs related to the appearance and subsequent negotiations. He charged me about $2000 for said services and I paid him. Now I need copies of all the court documents and related correspondences from his office to the opposing counsel/court. His attitude about producing copies is less than cordial even when I offered to pay disbursement fee for copies. Then he attempted to say I still have a balance but when I requested a copy of the retainer (in which I don't even remember signing) and invoice (which was never sent to me), he avoids it. He then send me "some" scanned documents that were not even related to what I paid for.What are my legal rights and what can I officially do to obtain copies of my documents? Any Rules or Disciplinary Codes I can refer to?This case is in New Jersey.
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): New Jersey
Hi and thank you for using JustAnswer!I am sorry to learn of your experience. In Frenkel v. Frenkel, 252 N.J. Super. 214, 220 (App. Div. 1991), a client demanded his file to pursue his cause of action with new counsel. The court held that even if the law firm holding the file was not fully paid and had asserted a retaining lien, there was no justification for refusing to deliver the file. It has been my pleasure to assist you today with your information needs. It is my goal that you are satisfied. No expert can promise you an answer that is favorable to your circumstances. But I will do my very best to explain the legal principles that are related to the facts you’ve described so that you can better understand the “why” of things. Please let me know if there is anything else I can provide to give you excellent service!"
Awesome reply, thanks-just some follow ups:1) what can i do next? Officially request for my documents? How much time should i give them to produce the documents?2) i want my boyfriend to be able to handle this-ive given him authorization to the attorney to speak on my behalf but they reject it saying this is a billable for the time spent on corresponding in our attempts to get my legal copies. And they reject him sayin hes not a lawyer nor their client so they dont have to speak to him. What can i do to authorize them to speak/negotiate with him on my behalf? And this is not legally billable time since we are just requesting copies and they are prolonging this process by refusing?Thanks!!
You're welcome!Provide a written demand for a complete copy of the file, with a deadline. Keep a copy of the letter for your records. If it's not provided on time, file a grievance against the attorney with state bar officials. Your boyfriend can't do this for you. You have to handle this.
Explains legal matters based on 14+ years experience.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).