ATTORNEY’S: RETAINING LIEN: SUA SPONTE ORDER TO MAKE FILE AVAILABLE FOR INSPECTION AND COPYING BY SUCCESSOR COUNSEL: MOTION FOR REHEARING WOULD NOT CURE DUE PROCESS VIOLATION; APPEALS: CERTIORARI: IRREPARABLE HARM  

Heims v. G.M.S. Marine Service Corporation, ___ So. 3d ___, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D1700 (Fla. 4th DCA August 13, 2014)

After a law firm asserted a retaining lien, the trial court sua sponte ordered the firm to make its file available for inspection and copying by successor counsel.  The appellate court granted the law firm’s petition for certiorari because “disclosure of [its] file would render the retaining lien meaningless” and this was not an exceptional case “warrant[ing] disclosure of counsel’s file without payment of counsel’s fee or security.”  The court rejected the client’s contention that a motion for rehearing would have cured the due process violation that resulted from ruling without notice to former counsel.