Canceling the contract with immigration attorney. Attorney doesn't want to return files because we didnt finish payment

Asked about 2 years ago - New York, NY

My boyfriend's immigration attorney doesn't want to return his files to me. When I signed the retainer his case was in charge of an attorney who was later fired by the present one. He hasn't done anything on my bf case and therefore we didn't continue payment. Now we want him to returned to us the file but he says we need to make the full payment in order for him to release them. However the retainer I signed doesn't say that , it says we can terminate the contract at any time. How do I make him retuned the files to me? Do I need to write a termination letter? What should I specify on it? Does he have the right to stay with my bf files? How does this work ?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Eric Edward Rothstein

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Generally, the law gives an attorney a retaining lien that allows the attorney to hold the client's file until the client is fully paid. I cannot say if this applies in your case without knowing more facts.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases.... more
  2. Gen Kimura

    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You can contact NY State Bar's attorney fee dispute resolution division.

    This answer is of a general nature and should not be relied upon as final, nor is it intended as legal advice.... more
  3. Luis Alberto Guerra


    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . I agree with my colleagues.

    Guerra Saenz, PL--Immigration Attorneys (954) 434-5800. This answer is of a general nature and should not be... more

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