A not uncommon question

Military and civilian counsel military cases is bound by Service rules of professional responsibility as well as their bar.  The military RPC are based on the ABA Model Rules.  Thus, ABA interpretations can be meaningful and helpful.

What do you do with the client file when the case is over?

This past July, the ABA  Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility issued Formal Opinion 471 Ethical Obligations of Lawyer to Surrender Papers and Property to which Former Client is Entitled

In this opinion, the committee considered the types of materials in client files that lawyers must return to clients at the conclusion of the representation.

The committee had not addressed this topic since the issuance of Informal Opinion 1376 in 1977 Files in Possession of Trademark Counsel Pertaining to Trademark of a Client.

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