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?

UPDATED: Jan 22, 2011

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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