IN RE RULE 1.19- ARKANSAS RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct proposed a
new rule to address issues related to the maintenance of a
client's file and rights and obligations to materials
contained in the file. By per curiam opinion dated June 2,
2016, we published the proposed rule for written comments due
to the court by September 1, 2016. In re Proposed Rule
1.19- Arkansas Rules of Prof'l Conduct, 2016 Ark.
240 (per curiam).
reviewing and taking into consideration the comments
submitted, we now adopt the proposed rule with some minor
changes, effective on January 1, 2017. The new rule is
Rules of Professional Conduct
1.19. Client Files - Definition, Retention &
Client file - Definition and duty to provide copies of
client-file documents to the client. The use of the term
"client" refers to both current and former clients.
purposes of these rules, the client file shall consist of any
writings or property provided by the client to the lawyer and
any documents, in paper or electronic format, that are the
product of the lawyer's representation, including
pleadings, correspondence, and other documents prepared or
received by the lawyer in furtherance of the representation.
Documents that have not been filed with a tribunal, delivered
or served, or other documents drafted but unexecuted or
undelivered that the client has explicitly paid for the
drafting, creation, or obtaining thereof, including such
items as transcripts, depositions, medical records, and
reports of experts, shall be provided to the client as part
of the file.
following records are not included in the client file, even
if they are maintained by the lawyer in association with the
representation and the client file, and such records are not
ones to which the client is entitled to review or receive a
(A) The lawyer's work product, which includes the
documents the lawyer used to reach an end product of the
lawyer's representation, the lawyer's notes, and
preliminary drafts of pleadings and legal instruments;
(B) Internal memoranda prepared by or for the lawyer;
(C) Legal research materials prepared by or for the lawyer
and factual research materials, including investigative
reports prepared by or for the lawyer for use in the
representation, unless the material has been specifically
paid for by the client or procured by the lawyer for the
(D) Documents such as internal conflict checks, firm
assignments, notes regarding any ethics consultation, or
records that might reveal the confidences of other clients.
(E) Items not included in the list of excluded items shall be
considered to be part of the client file to which the client
Upon the client's written request in any format, the
lawyer shall surrender the client's original file or a
copy of the file, in paper or electronic format, to the
client. Upon written authorization of the client, the lawyer
shall surrender such file to the client's new lawyer. The
lawyer may deliver a statement for costs ...