Ethical Guidelines for Client Files

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Live Program Date June 7, 2017
Accredited through June 6, 2020
MCLE Credits: 1.5 Ethics
OSB Program No.: 6724*6

Includes program materials, live polling questions, MCLE Form 6 for self-reporting of MCLE credits, and audio/video files of the CLE.

Learn about OSB Formal Ethics Opinions 2016-191 - Client Property: Electronic-Only or "Paperless" Client Documents and 2017-192 - Client Property: Duplication Charges for Client Files, Production or Withholding of Client Files.

What are lawyers required to produce and when?

  • When is it ethical to withhold lawyer notes and communications?
  • If you store data in proprietary law office software (e.g. in a docketing or practice management program), must you extract and convert the data for the client?
  • What circumstance might provoke disclosure of "confidential" information belonging to another client?
  • Can you refuse to deliver file material on the grounds that it is too burdensome or expensive to produce?
  • Is it possible to deliver less than the "entire client file" if the client consents?
  • Are you required to produce work product? Conflict information? Time and expense records? Reports about the client's creditworthiness? Expert witness information? Metadata? Text messages?

Standards governing retention and storage of client files

  • Is it ethical to store client files electronically? Do any exceptions apply?
  • What duties does a lawyer have when using electronic-only storage?

When to charge for locating, segregating, or duplicating file material

  • Learn when you can (and can't) pass costs on to the client, whether client originals can ever be destroyed, and your ethical responsibilities to the "impecunious client."

Appreciate the difference between ethical duties and discoverability

  • The interplay of the Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct vs. state and federal rules of civil procedure.

Throughout the program "best practice" tips will be shared.

Offered by:
Beverly Michaelis - Oregon Law Practice Management