Law firm will not give up its files

An Augusta attorney and his former law firm claim they are justified in withholding certain information from a former client who is suing them.

Monday was the deadline for William Fleming, John Fleming and The Fleming firm to respond to a motion filed by Wendell A. Jenifer's new attorneys.

Mr. Jenifer alleges the Fleming attorneys were negligent and cost him a chance of receiving compensation for a 1999 injury.

The federal lawsuit against the Fleming attorneys was filed last year. Last month Mr. Jenifer filed motions asking the court to force the Fleming attorneys to turn over certain information.

Mr. Jenifer's attorney complained to the court that the Fleming attorneys were holding back information about 22 other malpractice claims that were filed with the Fleming firm's insurance company in 2002.

William Fleming responded Monday that any information about other malpractice claims has nothing to do with Mr. Jenifer's case. He further states that any complaints filed against him with the state disciplinary bar are confidential.

In response to Mr. Jenifer's complaint that William Fleming has yet to provide proof of insurance coverage, he admitted that at the time he represented Mr. Jenifer he did not have insurance.

Any evidence of insurance coverage after that point has nothing to do with Mr. Jenifer's complaint, he responded.

William Fleming and John Fleming resigned from the Fleming firm in the fall of 2002, according to court documents. The resignations enabled the Fleming firm to obtain new insurance coverage, according to court documents.

Mr. Jenifer alleges John Fleming agreed to handle his personal injury lawsuit and assigned his nephew, William Fleming. The lawsuit filed in March 2001 incorrectly listed his middle initial, date of accident and the owners of the hotel where Mr. Jenifer alleged he was injured, according to the lawsuit.

He blames the Fleming firm attorneys for the judge's decision to dismiss the personal injury lawsuit.

Two Augusta attorneys, David Hudson and William Byrd Warlick, have written statements in defense of the Fleming firm attorneys in Mr. Jenifer's case.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.