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I am having trouble communicating with my attorney. How can I gain access to my file without getting it from him?

New York, NY |

I won a judgement against my landlord in 2010, but he still has not paid it. I have tried, unsuccessfully, to get information from my lawyer, but he does not seem to be working on my case. I would like to know if I should retain a new lawyer to help me collect from my landlord. Also, is there a way I can get my file without asking my lawyer? Thank you.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. I don't see how you can get your file from your lawyer without asking your lawyer.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

  2. Mr. Rothstein raises the obvious response. If your attorney has the file, how can you get it from him without asking him for it. As far as your case against the landlord, you can get copies of the pleadings from the court. I think you know the answer on whether you need to get a new lawyer.

    If your attorney is not communicating with you and not working on your file, that is pretty telling of what you need to do.

    The general advice above does not constitute an attorney-client relationship: you haven't hired me or my firm or given me confidential information by posting on this public forum, and my answer on this public forum does not constitute attorney-client advice. IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: In order to comply with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. While I am licensed to practice in New York and California, I do not actively practice in New York. Regardless, nothing said should be deemed an opinion of law of any state. All readers need to do their own research or pay an attorney for a legal opinion if one is necessary or desired.

  3. I agree with Attorneys Rothstein and Shultz. Given these circumstances, I think it is best if you retain a new lawyer and ask him or her to retrieve your file from your previous lawyer. Good luck to you.

    This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor considered to be the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. I am licensed in Connecticut and New York and my answers are based upon the law in those jurisdictions. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if I were to review a client's file and have the opportunity to interview the client. Accordingly, I strongly urge you to retain an attorney in your jurisdiction with respect to any legal matter.

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