Sunday, October 30, 2016

State Lawyers' Fund Coughs Up Nearly $200K During 3rd Quarter 2016 To Reimburse Clients Fleeced By Eleven New Jersey Attorneys Out Of Escrow Money, Unearned Fees, Estate Cash, Lawsuit Settlements, Etc.

From a recent press release from the New Jersey Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection:
  • During the third quarter of 2016, the New Jersey Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection, funded by the state’s lawyers and judges, paid $199,609.58 to clients for losses caused by eleven lawyers, the Board of Trustees announced [].

    The purpose of the fund is to pay on behalf of the honest majority of [New Jersey] lawyers for the wrongdoing of the few who are suspended or disbarred for misappropriation.(1) In its 47-year history, the fund has paid claims against a total of 779 attorneys. There are 96,938 lawyers licensed in New Jersey.

    The Fund operates under the authority of the Supreme Court pursuant to Court Rule 1:28. The court appoints the seven trustees, five attorneys and two public members, who serve staggered 5-year terms without compensation. The trustees consider clients’ claims and make awards when it is determined that the loss was caused by dishonest lawyer conduct, under fund rules.

    Cases involving legal malpractices and negligence are handled through civil court actions and fee disputes through the district fee arbitration committees established by the Supreme Court.

    For a claim to be compensable, the attorney against whom it is filed must have been a member of the bar, acting as either attorney or fiduciary, at the time of the incident; and unless deceased, must have been disbarred or suspended from the bar, or convicted of embezzlement or other misappropriation of property.

    A claimant can receive up to $400,000 if their claim is approved, and the Fund can pay up to $1.5 million in claims against any one lawyer. Special permission can be granted by the Supreme Court to exceed the aggregate limit.

    To receive a claim form, write to the New Jersey Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection, Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex, P.O. Box 961, Trenton, NJ 08625-0961, or call 855-533-FUND (3863). The form must be completed, signed and returned with copies of any proofs of the transaction. There is no filing fee. Claimants assisted in their claims by practicing attorneys receive their representation free of charge. Fund Director Daniel R. Hendi welcomes inquiries about the Fund’s purpose and operation.

    Attached is a list of the third quarter claim awards and status of each attorney under the Supreme Court discipline system.
Source: Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection Releases Third Quarter Report.
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(1) For similar "attorney ripoff reimbursement funds" that sometimes help cover the financial mess created by the dishonest conduct of lawyers licensed in other states and Canada, see:
Maps available courtesy of The National Client Protection Organization, Inc.

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