Client Protection Fund Claim Examples

Below are examples of eligible claims. This is not intended to be a complete list. Client Protection Fund (Fund) staff cannot provide legal advice or state whether or not a claim will be reimbursed. For more information, please review Frequently Asked Questions.

Unearned Fees

    These claims usually involve the client paying a “refundable” fee, but the attorney keeps the fee and does not complete the legal services. To evaluate these claims, the Standing Committee must determine whether the legal services were performed and therefore the fee earned.

Embezzlement of Estate Assets

    These claims usually involve the misappropriation, embezzlement, or theft of estate or trust assets by an attorney. The proper claimant in these matters is the personal representative, conservator, trustee, or other recognized fiduciary.

Misappropriation by Lawyer Acting in a Fiduciary Capacity

    These claims arise when a client gives an attorney money to hold for a specific purpose, but the attorney utilizes the funds for the attorney’s own purposes.

Misappropriation of Settlement Proceeds

    This type of misappropriation occurs when an attorney does not distribute settlement funds and keeps the money.

Ineligible Claims

    The Fund does not reimburse claims when the attorney made a mistake (negligent), a fee dispute between the client and attorney, or the client is unhappy with the legal services provided by the attorney.