Isa client able to have copies of all evidence and discovery from his attorney so that a second opinion from a new lawyer can be made?

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Isa client able to have copies of all evidence and discovery from his attorney so that a second opinion from a new lawyer can be made?

In IL.

Asked on January 22, 2011 under Criminal Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The files are the client's, as the case is the client's; the client must be given access to them. However, bear in mind that if you show them to another person, and if those files contain any evidence damaging to the client or the first attorney's work product, that the act of showing them to a 3rd party (even another attorney for a "second opinion") may waive attorney-client confidentiality. There are also other complications, such as this may entitle the first attorney to w/draw from representation; the first attorney may be able to insist on payment for all work to date before releasing the files; and since attorneys can keep case files to defend themselves in the future, should there be a malpractice claim, this may entail the attorney charging the client for reproduction/copying costs.


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