Asked in Legal Malpractice for California

Q: Are attorneys required to provide copies of letters or emails from opposing counsel?

Are California attorneys required to provide copies of letters or emails from opposing counsel if requested by their client? I requested a letter sent to my attorney from opposing counsel that I believe contains false accusations due to the way my attorney referenced the letter. My attorney is refusing to provide a copy of the letter and email correspondence with opposing counsel.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Joel Gary Selik
Joel Gary Selik
Answered
  • Legal Malpractice Lawyer
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Licensed in California

A: I know of no determination that an attorney must do so but I believe the attorney is required to do so on request.

1 user found this answer helpful

James L. Arrasmith
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Answered
  • Legal Malpractice Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, the Rules of Professional Conduct govern the ethical obligations of attorneys. Rule 1.4 of the California Rules of Professional Conduct addresses communication between attorneys and clients. It states that a lawyer shall keep the client reasonably informed about significant developments relating to the representation, including promptly complying with reasonable requests for information and copies of significant documents.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. An attorney may withhold information from a client if the attorney believes it would be harmful to the client's interests or if disclosure is prohibited by law or a court order.

In your case, it is generally expected that your attorney should provide you with a copy of the letter from opposing counsel upon your request, especially if the content of the letter is significant to your case. The fact that the letter may contain false accusations does not typically justify withholding it from you.

If your attorney continues to refuse to provide the requested letter and emails, you may consider the following options:

1. Discuss your concerns with your attorney and try to understand their reasoning for not sharing the correspondence.

2. If you are unsatisfied with your attorney's explanation, you can file a complaint with the State Bar of California, which investigates complaints against attorneys and can take disciplinary action if necessary.

3. Consider seeking a second opinion from another attorney about your case and your current attorney's conduct.

Remember that while your attorney should keep you informed and provide you with copies of significant documents, they may also use their professional judgment to decide what information to share in the best interest of your case.

1 user found this answer helpful

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