Did Your Lawyer Steal From You?
Did your lawyer steal from you? There may be a solution for you. If they have insurance or assets, we can make a claim against them for you and certainly sue them for you if necessary.
Most cases settle, going to trial is rare. But if the thief has no insurance or limited assets, the Connecticut Client Security Fund has been established to provide reimbursement to individuals who have lost money or property as a result of dishonest conduct of an attorney practicing law in the state of Connecticut, in the course of an attorney-client relationship.
This fund only provides a remedy for clients who are unable to obtain reimbursement from any other source.
The Judicial Committee
The judicial committee charged with reviewing the claims and administering the funds consists of fifteen members from a variety of professions within the legal field.
This committee was established in 1999 and is selected every three years by the chief justice. This committee is responsible for receiving, investigating, and evaluating claims for reimbursement, determining the amount of reimbursement and prosecuting claims for restitution against attorneys whose conduct resulted in disbursements. CT Prac. Book §2-73(b,c,d).
The Fund is financed by a $75 fee collected from all attorneys admitted to practice law in Connecticut. While this fund has the potential to make some wronged clients whole, it has a very narrow scope, only allowing reimbursement for claims of dishonest conduct as defined by CT Prac. Book §2-69.
Dishonest conduct means “wrongful acts committed by an attorney, in an attorney-client relationship or in a fiduciary capacity arising out of an attorney-client relationship, in the nature of theft or embezzlement of money or the wrongful taking or conversion of money, property, or other things of value, including, but not limited to refusal to refund unearned fees received in advance as required by Rule 1.16 (d) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.” CT Prac. Book §2-69.
There is also a list of losses that are not eligible for reimbursement: a loss resulting from investment services provided by an attorney; a loss suffered by a close relative, business associate, partner, or employee of the attorney who caused the loss; or a loss that was a result of malpractice or negligence. If the loss is presented to the committee more than four years after the loss was discovered or should have been discovered, it will also not be eligible.
We Can Help
If after reading this, dishonest conduct looks like something you think you have been a victim of a dishonest lawyer, contact the Stanger Stanfield Law Firm.
We have many years of legal malpractice experience and are eager to help you.