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How do I get my lawyer to release the files and paperwork on my case?

Philadelphia, PA |

My attorney has failed me miserably, and I think this may really be a case of legal mal-practice. I spoke to another attorney who said that I have the right to my records from the original attorney. Do I simply ask the original attorney for these records? I feel that he will probably not comply and give me millions of excuses as he has done for almost everything else in ref to my case.

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Attorney answers 2


In Pennsylvania, the client's file is the client's property and you have an absolute right to your records. It may be as simple as telephoning the office and asking for your file. If that does not work you ought to write your attorney a letter clearly requesting the file, which you should send via regualr U.S. mail and return receipt requested so you have documentary evidence that you requested the same. Depending on the language of your orignal retainer agreement though, you may be responsible for costs that your attorney had laid out on your behalf so be sure to read your retainer carefully.

Please note the baove answer does not constitute legal advice and you should consult with an attorney and act on the advice of counse.


The file belongs to you. Make it clear to him that you will take it to the next step, i.e., bar complaint (it is one of the most frequent bar complaints), if he doesn't turn file over within a couple days.