Client Protection Fund

Peter M. Mellette, Chair

The Clients’ Protection Fund was established in 1976 to make monetary awards to persons who have suffered financial losses due to the dishonest conduct of Virginia lawyers.  The fund is operated by a fourteen-member board appointed by the Virginia State Bar Council.  The board has lay and lawyer members.  Board members investigate all petitions from clients for payments from the fund, and the board discusses and acts on each petition.

As of July 1, 2012, twenty-five claims were pending from the previous year.  Seventy-nine new petitions were received during fiscal year 2013.  The total amount paid during 2012-2013 was $325,077.92 representing thirty-four claims and seventeen attorneys.  The board denied eleven petitions and nineteen petitions were rejected for not meeting the CPF rule requirements.  One claim was withdrawn by the petitioner.  As of June 30, 2013, there were forty-one pending claims.  The board reviewed and investigated fifty-seven claims during the year. 

The fund began the fiscal year on July 1, 2012, with a cash balance of $5,881,595.   The Clients’ Protection Fund $25 assessment from all active attorneys totaled $755,850.  Interest income, net of bank service charges for the fiscal year, totaled $126,475.00.  The fund received restitutions from attorney general’s collections, debt set-off and individual restitutions in the amount of $13,865.00 net of attorney’s fees for collection services.  As of June 30, 2013, the cash balance in the fund was just over $6,452,710.  Pursuant to the rules governing the Clients’ Protection Fund, all funds are invested in certificates of deposit, U. S. government securities and federal agency securities.

The Clients’ Protection Fund board members are to be commended for the many hours they spend investigating and deliberating claims submitted to the board.  The board also spent considerable time this year working on proposed rule changes and on oversight of fund investments.  Appreciation is extended to William E. Phillips, William G. Murray and Thomas R. Scott, who are rotating off the board, for their years of service. 

The board welcomes the following new members for fiscal year 2013-2014:  Adam D. Elfenbein for disciplinary district 4, Margaret A. Nelson for disciplinary district 9, and Donna S. Baker for disciplinary district 10. 

Updated: Sep 19, 2013