The Lawyers' Lawyer Newsletter - Recent Developments in Risk Management - August 2016

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
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Joint Clients — Confidentiality — Right to See Clients' File -

New York State Bar Association Committee on Professional Ethics Opinion 1070 (10/9/15) -

Risk Management Issue: In a joint client representation, if one co-client requests a copy of the client file from the lawyer and directs the lawyer not to disclose the request to the other co-clients, may the lawyer provide the requested client file without advising the other co-clients?

The Opinion: This ethical opinion involves Lawyer A, who represented four Defendants in a matter. One of the joint clients requested that Lawyer A provide Lawyer B (who was separately advising the requesting client) copies of the client file, including billing records. The request also directed Lawyer A to keep the request in confidence and not to disclose the request to the other joint clients.

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