Sunday, September 18, 2011
Thanks to our sister publication the Legal Profession Blog for this arcane bit of practice management advice. The story refers to an order from the South Carolina Supreme Court which ruled that an attorney appointed to protect the interests of another attorney's clients (presumably because the first attorney was censured or disbarred?) can destroy the client's files if they have not been maintained in a sanitary or safe manner.
On several occasions, an attorney appointed to protect the interests of another lawyer's clients...has notified the Court that the lawyer's client files are not maintained in a sanitary and safe condition. In some cases, the attorney to protect has advised the Court that the lawyer's client files are moldy and/or infested with rodents and insects. As a consequence, the attorney to protect clients' interests is hesitant to inventory the lawyer's client files, to remove original documents from the client files, and to relinquish control of the files to the lawyer's clients upon client request.