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Accounting and turn over upon termination of engagement, C3S56 CPRA

Section 56, Canon III

SECTION 56. Accounting and turn over upon termination of engagement. – A lawyer who is discharged from or terminates the engagement shall, subject to an attorney’s lien, immediately render a full account of and tum over all documents, evidence, funds, and properties belonging to the client.
The lawyer shall cooperate with the chosen successor in the orderly transfer of the legal matter, including all information necessary for the efficient handling of the client’s representation.
A lawyer shall have a lien upon the funds, documents, and papers of the client which have lawfully come into his or her possession and may retain the same until the fair and reasonable fees and disbursements have been paid, and may apply such funds to the satisfaction thereof. (2023 Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability or CPRA)

1. Accounting and turn over upon termination of engagement

a. Render a full account and turn over

Under this section, and subject to an attorney’s lien, lawyers who are discharged from or terminates the engagement are required to “immediately render a full account of and tum over all documents, evidence, funds, and properties belonging to the client.”

b. Cooperate with the next lawyer

Thereafter, lawyers are required to “cooperate with the chosen successor in the orderly transfer of the legal matter, including all information necessary for the efficient handling of the client’s representation.”

c. Retaining lien

Lawyers have the right to “a lien upon the funds, documents, and papers of the client which have lawfully come into his or her possession and may retain the same until the fair and reasonable fees and disbursements have been paid, and may apply such funds to the satisfaction thereof.”

The above-mentioned attorney’s lien refers to a retaining lien, as opposed to a charging lien.

See related:

Enforcement of attorney’s lien, C3S47 CPRA

References

Canon III, 2023 Code of Professional Responsibility

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