October 11, 2012
Attorney's Creditor Not Entitled To Invoke Escrow Rule
The Michigan Attorney Discipline Board has concluded that there is insufficient evidence of any ethical violations and dismissed a matter in which a tri-county panel found misconduct.
The accused attorney represented another attorney in a client dispute in probate court. Sanctions of over $31,000 were imposed against the client and paid to the respondent attorney's law firm.
The sanctions were reversed on appeal and the client sought repayment from the respondent and/or his firm. The probate court denied the relief sought and a bar complaint was filed.
The board found that the situation did not implicate Rule 1.15 (safekeeping property).
The rule does not "contain within it a requirement subjecting an attorney to professional discipline whenever an attorney's creditor does not receive prompt payment of a sum (not held in trust and properly so) that an attorney's creditor in 'entitled to receive' " (Mike Frisch)
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