Informal Opinion Number: 980141

Rules: 4-1.15; 4-1.16;
Client-Lawyer Relationship
Trust Accounts and Property of Others
Summary: work product

Reference Note:  Rule 4-1.15 was amended, effective July 1, 2013.  This opinion is based on the rule in effect prior to that date.  Please see the July 1, 2013 version of Rule 4-1.15 and 4-1.22.

Reference Note: Effective July 1, 2016, subdivision 4-1.22 of Rule 4 was repealed and a new subdivision 4-1.22 adopted in lieu thereof. This opinion is based on Rule 4 in effect prior to that date.


QUESTION: May Attorney remove notes from the file before it is turned over to a former client? The information consists of Attorney´s impressions about the case, as well as Attorney´s comments and thoughts made during telephone calls about the case and during meetings with Attorney´s staff and clients. A separate research file was maintained for Attorney´s research notes regarding the case.
ANSWER: Based upon the information Attorney has provided and the nature of the material in question in this case, the notes are part of the file which must be provided to the client. Please see Formal Opinion 115, as amended.

Informal Opinions are ethics advisory opinions issued by the Office of Legal Ethics Counsel to members of the Bar about Rule 4 (Rules of Professional Conduct), Rule 5 (Complaints and Proceedings Thereon), and Rule 6 (Fees to Practice Law) pursuant to Missouri Supreme Court Rule 5.30(c). Written summaries of select Informal Opinions are published for informational purposes as determined by the Advisory Committee of the Supreme Court of Missouri pursuant to Rule 5.30(c). Informal opinion summaries are advisory in nature and are not binding. These opinions are published as an educational service and do not constitute legal advice.

To request an Informal Opinion, please visit: lawyers/requesting-an-informal-advisory-opinion/.

© Copyright 2023