Friday, April 27, 2012

Credit Card Payments Not Commingling

In response to a petition by the Joint Committee on Attorney Standards, the North Dakota Supreme Court has adopted amendments to its rule on safekeeping property.

The new language is underscored below:

(b) A lawyer may accept credit card payments or electronic funds transfer payments for unearned fees as temporary deposits into the lawyer's general operating account if the funds in which a client or a third-party has an interest are promptly transferred from the general operating account to the client trust account. A lawyer may deposit the lawyer's own funds in a client trust account only for the purpose of paying bank service charges, and fees associated with credit card payments, or wire transfers electronic funds transfer payments related to that account, but only in an amount necessary for that purpose.

Such conduct would have violated the proscription against commingling prior to the change. (Mike Frisch)

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