Public Resources

Clients’ Protection Fund

Additional Info

Contact Information
Phone: (804) 775-9426
Email: cpf@vsb.org
Administrator: Vivian R. Byrd
Counsel to CPF: Jane A. Fletcher
Deputy Executive Director: Cameron Rountree

Clients’ Protection Fund Petition
All petitions must be filed in English.
Todas las peticiones deben presentarse en inglés.

Clients’ Protection Fund Rules

Si desea leer esta página en otro idioma, cambie al navegador Chrome, o en su teléfono, descargue la aplicación de traducción de Google disponible para teléfonos iPhone y Android, o visite el sitio web aquí. (Todas las peticiones deben presentarse en inglés.) La Asociación de Abogados del Estado de Virginia fondo de protección del cliente dolleto informational: PDF.

What is the Clients’ Protection Fund?

The Virginia State Bar established the Clients’ Protection Fund to reimburse clients who suffer a quantifiable financial loss due to the dishonest conduct of a Virginia lawyer. Awards from the Clients' Protection Fund are discretionary and are not a matter of right. The fund is intended to be a remedy of last resort for clients who cannot obtain reimbursement from other sources.

Watch the video! Learn more with the Clients’ Protection Fund's Video Brief.

Why was the fund created?

To promote public confidence in the administration of justice and the honor and integrity of the legal profession by reimbursing all or part of losses sustained by clients or those to whom a fiduciary duty is owed as a result of a Virginia lawyer’s dishonest conduct.

How is it funded?

Virginia lawyers are assessed an annual fee of up to $25 to fund the Clients' Protection Fund. Effective July 1, 2021, the annual fee is $5. And as of July 1, 2018, Virginia statute requires that the assessment continue through July 1, 2023.

Disbarred lawyers and those suspended for more than a year must repay the Clients’ Protection Fund for any payments made to their defrauded clients before they can be considered for reinstatement of their license.

Reimbursable losses must satisfy all the elements of the following test:

1. The loss was caused by the dishonest conduct of the lawyer, not by negligence or malpractice.

2.  The loss arose from a lawyer-client relationship or a fiduciary relationship between the lawyer and the claimant.

3. The claim is filed within seven years from when the petitioner knew or should have known about the loss.

4. The amount of the loss can be documented.

5. One of the following applies to the lawyer:

  • The lawyer has been disbarred or suspended from the practice of law, or has transferred to another class of membership during a disciplinary proceeding; or
  • The lawyer has voluntarily resigned from the practice of law in Virginia; or
  • The lawyer has died; or
  • The lawyer has been adjudicated incompetent; or
  • The lawyer has discharged debts in bankruptcy; or
  • The lawyer’s whereabouts is unknown to the claimant after reasonable efforts to locate the lawyer.

Who investigates the claims and grants payments from the Fund?

A fourteen-member board appointed by the Virginia State Bar Council operates the fund. Members of the board investigate each claim, and the board reviews the results of the investigation to ascertain if the claim loss fits within its guidelines for reimbursement.

Recent / Upcoming Meetings

  • September 24, 2021, at 10:00 a.m.
  • January 28, 2022, at 10:00 a.m.
  • April 22, 2022, at 10:00 a.m.

Is there a limit on how much a petitioner can receive?

Yes. Each petitioner may receive no more than $100,000 for losses incurred on or after July 1, 2021, or $75,000 for losses incurred on or after July 1, 2015, and prior to July 1, 2021, or $50,000 for losses incurred on or after July 1, 2000, and prior to July 1, 2015, or $25,000 for losses incurred prior to July 1, 2000.

How are claims filed?

If you believe your loss meets the requirements outlined, download the petition for reimbursement, complete the editable form, and mail it to the address on the form or email it to cpf@vsb.org. All petitions must be filed in English. Todas las peticiones deben presentarse en inglés.

If you have any questions you may contact Vivian Byrd at (804) 775-0572.

Reimbursements Awarded

Updated: Nov 12, 2021