Sunday, April 23, 2017

Markedly Depleted By Payouts To Victimized Clients Of Thieving Lawyers, Pennsylvania Supreme Court's Ripoff Reimbursement Fund To Receive $75 From Each State-Licensed Attorney (Up From $45) Out Of Annual Licensing Fees To Replenish Reserves

In a recent story on a scam ran by now-deceased, suicide-committing Pennsylvania lawyer Jeffrey Mottern,(1) who ripped off dozens of mostly-elderly clients out of over $11 million, the following excerpt described the current condition of the Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security,(2) a fund designed to at least partially reimburse clients who have been the victims of theft, embezzlement, etc. by their lawyers practicing in the state:
  • Because of several cases of large misappropriation of funds by lawyers in this state in recent years, the fund's reserves are markedly down, [fund executive director Kathryn] Peifer Morgan said.

    As a result, the annual fee lawyers pay is being upped this year for the first time since 2009 by $25 to the highest it has ever been, $225. The share going into the lawyers fund to pay back victims of bad actor lawyers is increasing to $75 from $45 to help rebuild the fund.

    The fund limits the maximum payout to each victim to $100,000 and places a $1 million aggregate cap on all claims made against a lawyer. However, there is a provision that allows the lawyers fund board to ask the state Supreme Court to waive the $1 million cap. Peifer Morgan said the board agreed to make such a request for the Mottern victims.

    She estimates the total payout from the fund could top $4 million for those victims.
For the story, see Victims of dead lawyer's scam offered hope of recouping some money.
(1) According to the story, Mottern committed suicide in his law office at the age of 62 three days after his office was raided by the FBI.

(2) 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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