|N E W S
|New York State
|Lawyers Fund for Client Protection
|Executive Director & Counsel
Albany, N.Y. The New York Lawyers Fund for Client Protection has joined with the New York State Bar Association in producing "Attorney Trust Accounts and Law Office Record Keeping", a public-service video for the legal profession in New York State.
The 15-minute video focuses on current court rules, statutes and procedures that govern the fiduciary obligations of lawyers to maintain escrow and client trust accounts, IOLA bank accounts, and law office record systems. The video also covers new court rules for dishonored checks on attorney trust accounts, missing clients and signatories for attorney trust accounts.
Under the Lawyer's Code of Professional Responsibility, lawyers entrusted with client and escrow money in the practice of law have the fiduciary obligation to safeguard that money in special bank accounts, and to provide complete and periodic accountings to their clients.
Courts that regulate the practice of law have in New York State have also enacted recordkeeping standards for lawyers and law firms, and procedures to protect client and escrow funds from loss.
According to Frederick Miller, Executive Director of the Lawyers Fund, the video has been designed for a broad audience: members of the bar and law office staffs, law students, accounting firms, banks, and other businesses that have escrow transactions with New York lawyers and law firms.
As a public service, the New York State Bar Association and the Lawyers Fund has distributed complimentary copies of the video to county and city bar associations throughout New York State, law school deans and teachers of legal ethics, and attorney grievance committees.
Topics covered in "Attorney Trust Accounts and Law Office Record Keeping" include: Engagement Letters; Law Practice Bank Accounts, Advance Legal Fees; IOLA Bank Accounts; Master Attorney Trust Accounts (Subaccounting); Unclaimed Client Funds; Death of Lawyer/Sole Signatories; Dissolution of Law Firms; and Client Ledger Accounts. The video comes with an 18-page guide, which includes Disciplinary Rule 9-102 of the Lawyer's Code of Professional Responsibility.
Copies of the video are available from the NYS Bar Association in Albany at 1-800-699-5636. The price is $19.95 plus $2.50 shipping and handling, tax included.
The 57,000 member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary bar association in the United States. The Lawyers Fund is a lawyer-financed trust fund that reimburses client and escrow money that is misused by attorneys in the practice of law.