What to do with Documents from your Attorney
Even before you sign a contract to have an attorney represent you on a legal claim, you may have documents that relate to your claim and potential lawsuit. These could include accident or police reports, medical records and bills, or even notes that you have taken yourself to document what happened. Once you do meet with an attorney, you will encounter even more documents. You will typically receive a copy of your fee and representation agreement with your attorney and some initial information about how your case will proceed. As the lawsuit progresses, your lawyer will send you additional documents providing updates on the case or requesting information from you. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming to receive these letters and papers, but there are ways to keep everything organized and simplify the paperwork aspect of a lawsuit.
The most important thing to do when you receive a letter or other document from your attorney is to read it carefully. This may seem obvious, but it is essential that you read the documents entirely and make sure that you understand them. If you do not understand, you should call your lawyer for clarification. Even if you think that you know what the letter is going to say, read it thoroughly because it might contain a request for you to call your lawyer, appear somewhere, or collect and provide information to the law firm.
Once you have read the letter you’ve received carefully, and followed through with any requests contained in the letter, you may be tempted to throw the letter away. Instead, you should keep all of the documents that your lawyer sends you until your case is resolved. Keep all papers related to your case together, in one secure location that you will not forget about. Bordas & Bordas will give you a folder during your initial meeting with your lawyer for you to store documents related to your case. Anytime you receive documents, you should place them in the folder. That way you will have everything handy for meetings with your lawyer or to review anything that has happened in your case.
In addition to keeping your documents organized and in one location, you should make sure that others are not able to go through those documents. Communications between you and your lawyer, including letters, are confidential and covered by the attorney-client privilege, and that privilege can be jeopardized if others become a part of the communications. Of course, if your spouse or other family member is a part of the lawsuit, that is fine for them to look at the letters, and there are other circumstances where it is fine for you to show the documents to outside people, such as your doctor, but in general, these documents should be kept to yourself. If you are ever questioning whether it is OK to show someone else documents related to your case, always ask your lawyer.