Inside Track: Fund for Client Protection Approves Reimbursements for 43 Victims of Lawyer Theft:

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  • Fund for Client Protection Approves Reimbursements for 43 Victims of Lawyer Theft

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    June 18, 2014 – The Wisconsin Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection Committee (WLFCP) approved $517,270.93 in reimbursements to 43 victims of lawyer theft at its February and May meetings. The committee considered 94 claims, denied 21 claims, and deferred 18 to fiscal year 2015. The dollar amount sought for the deferred claims totals $468,462.50.

    “This year was what we consider to be a catastrophic year for the Fund,” said committee chair Amy Wochos. “Only by deferring payment to non-individual claimants were we able to pay all of the valid claims considered this fiscal year. Although we paid out claims relating to 17 different attorneys, the largest portion dollar-wise related to one attorney who stole his clients' settlement monies. The depth of his malfeasance is again evidence that a few ‘bad apples’ can cast a huge shadow on the entire legal community. This is why having a Fund that can make whole these victims is so important. As one claimant wrote in a thank you letter we just received – ‘you restored honor to your profession.’”

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court established the fund in 1981 to reimburse people who lost money through dishonest acts of Wisconsin attorneys. Reimbursement decisions are made at the discretion of the committee, which meets three times a year.

    The WLFCP approved claims in the amount of $628,190.93 in fiscal year 2014; 50 claims; 17 attorneys.

    For more information about the fund, contact org kwenzel wisbar Kris Wenzel or call (800) 444-9404, ext. 6185, or (608) 250-6185.