June 20, 2011
What To Do When The Client Is Gone But Escrowed Funds Are Left Behind
The District of Columbia Bar Legal Ethics Committee has a recent opinion on the ethical duies where the client is long gone but escrowed funds remain behind:
A lawyer who is in possession of funds (or other intangible personal property) belonging to a client who cannot be located, and whose last known address is in the District of Columbia (or where the lawyer is domiciled in the District), must exhaust reasonable efforts to locate the client as described more particularly above. Thereafter, it is not a violation of the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct for a lawyer in such circumstances to report to the Mayor and transfer client funds that are deemed to be abandoned as required by the D.C. Unclaimed Property Act.
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