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What to Tell Clients About Their Files at the End of the Case

Case files routinely contain documents (and sometimes other property) that clients have provided. The California Rules of Professional Conduct require that an attorney return these items, at a client’s request, when the attorney’s “employment has terminated” (subject to “any protective order or nondisclosure agreement”). Cal Rules of Prof Cond 3–700(D)(1). Here’s sample language that you can use in a letter to a client at the end of the case. Continue reading

A Client Shouldn’t Be Just a Number to You, Except in Your Filing System

GettyImages_178895760You’ve started a law practice and the clients are beginning to arrive. How will you organize your client files? Your first thought may be to use an alphabetical system by client name. Big mistake. Instead, stick to numbers. Continue reading

Your Trial Notebook Starts with Your Files

files_163042Not sure where to begin on your trial notebook? Start with your office files. Continue reading

Return to Sender

The files you keep on your clients’ cases usually include documents (and sometimes other property) that your clients have given to you in connection with their cases. What happens to all this stuff when you’re no longer on the case? The answer: You’ve got to give it back. Continue reading

When the Party’s Over: What to Do with Client Files?

Most attorneys are aware that there are rules about retaining and disposing of client files, but not enough of them have a clear policy that follows these rules and communicate the policy to their clients. It’s when the representation is over that the policy kicks in. Continue reading

Key to Conducting an Effective Trial: Organization

Being effective at trial requires the highest level of organization and preparation. Any disorganization or unpreparedness will show, and it can undermine a case. The best time to start organizing trial materials is when setting up the files at the inception of the case.

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