Over at Ethical Grounds (the unofficial blog of Vermont's bar counsel), Michael Kennedy discusses a recent NY opinion on whether an attorney has to destroy the client's file upon request.
As Michael explains, ordinarily, upon the termination of a representation, Rule 1.16(d) requires a lawyer to surrender to the client all papers and property to which the client is entitled, which, of course, includes the client's file. But, the lawyer is also entitled to keep a copy of the file, which, in fact, the lawyer may be required to do according to the lawyer’s malpractice.
The interesting question then becomes, what to do if a client directs a lawyer not to keep to a copy of a the file?
You can read the comment here.