New Ethics Opinion on File Management Issued by PBA

The latest newsletter by The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania advises of the issuance of a new opinion. The Committee on Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility of the Pennsylvania Bar Association has issued Formal Opinion 2007-100 regarding “Client Files – Rights of Access, Possession, and Copying, along with Retention Considerations.”

This opinion examines the legal and ethical status of client files and records in light of Maleski v. Corporate Life Insurance Co., 163 Pa. Commw. 36, 641 A.2nd 1 (1994) and subsequent actions in other jurisdictions, along with newer considerations such as complicating factors arising from the use of email and electronic documents.

The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has a brief synopsis posted to its site here. You can find the complete opinion here.

The opinion clarifies what constitutes the file, and particularly deals with the electronic information which constitutes part of the file, as well as lawyers’ notes and memoranda.


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