Clients’ Protection Fund Board

Cary A. Ralston, 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, 2010, 179 claims were pending from the previous year.  A total of 73 new claims were presented to the board for review and investigation during the year.  The total amount paid during 2010-11 was $228,140, representing 168 claims.  The board denied 21 petitions and no claims were withdrawn by the petitioner.  As of June 30, 2011, there were 34 pending claims.

The fund began the fiscal year on July 1, 2010, with a cash balance of $4,777,870.  The Clients’ Protection Fund $25 assessment from all active attorneys totaled $721,075 for the fiscal year.  Interest income, net of bank service charges for the fiscal year, totaled $152,556.  The fund received restitutions from the attorney general’s collections, debt set-off, and individual restitutions in the amount of $19,360, net of attorney’s fees for collection services.  As of June 30, 2011, the cash balance in the fund was just over $5.4 million.  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.  Appreciation is extended to 2010-11 Chair Cary A. Ralson and Hyman D. Natkin, who are rotating off on the board, for their years of service.

The board welcomes the following news members for fiscal year 2011-2012:  Doris E.H. Causey of Richmond for disciplinary district 3, and Elizabeth K. Dillon of Salem for disciplinary district 8.

Updated: Nov 03, 2011