An attorney's office in Des Moines, Iowa has records in our storage warehouse and has refused to pay the bill for the last 2 years. We tried a bill collector - and that didn't work either. They have been served notice through the US Mail. Should we contact the clients whose records these are before we auction them/destroy them?
1 Answer from Attorneys
This is an interesting question. If you try to contact the people in the files you are taking on a lot of responsibility that you do not need and the information in the files is probably privileged.
I suggest you contact the Iowa State Bar Association or the Professional Regulation Commission at the Supreme Court and get a read on the subject. Certainly, neglecting your files and not paying for storage would be cause for the commission to be concerned and they do have some leverage.
Has this person retired from practice? Have they conveyed their practice to another attorney? Disbarred or suspended?
It might be to your advantage to have another attorney examine the files and get a fix on where your responsibility lies.
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