Lawyers Oath North Carolina

Perjury in divorce case wins police chief a criminal conviction

2. Write to any client with an active file, advising them that you are unable to continue representing them and that they need to retain new counsel. Your letter should inform them about time limitations and time frames important to their case. The letter should explain how and where they can pick up their file and should give a time deadline for doing this. If possible, refer the client to another lawyer who may be able to handle the client’s case.

3. For any case that has a scheduled court date, deposition, or hearing, discuss with the client how to proceed. Where appropriate, request extensions, continuances, and resetting of hearing dates. Send written confirmations of these extensions, continuances, and resets to opposing counsel and to your client.

4. For any case before an administrative body or court, obtain the client's permission to submit a motion and order to withdraw as attorney of record.

5. For any court case where the client has chosen a new attorney, be certain that a Substitution of Counsel is filed.

6. Pick an appropriate date and check to see if all cases have a Motion and Order allowing your withdrawal as attorney of record or have a Substation of Attorney filed with the court.

7. Each client should either pick up their file (and sign a receipt acknowledging that they received them) or sign an authorization for you to release the file to their new attorney. Consider whether you should make and retain copies of file documents before releasing the file to your client or your client’s new counsel. You may not charge the client for your copy of the file. You are not required to give the client your notes or your incomplete work product.

8. Each client should be told where their closed file will be stored and who they should contact in order to retrieve the file. If a closed file is to be stored by another attorney, get the client's permission to allow the attorney to store the file for you and provide the client with the attorney's name, address, and phone number. Closed files may be destroyed without client consent if they have been closed for six years or more. (Check with your insurance carrier as they often have different retention requirements.) You should make a list of the files that you destroy and, of course, the method of destruction should protect client confidences. If a file has been closed for less than six years, you may only destroy it with the consent of the client. Originals of wills, powers of attorney, etc. may not be destroyed. They must be kept indefinitely, turned over to the client, or turned over to the court. See RPC 209 (Disposing of Closed Client Files).

9. Determine disposal options for computer equipment. Scrub computers of software, and firm and client information.

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