Inside Track: Fund for Client Protection Approves Reimbursements for 12 Victims of Lawyer Theft:

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    Fund for Client Protection Approves Reimbursements for 12 Victims of Lawyer Theft

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    June 5, 2013 – The Wisconsin Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection Committee approved $52,392.65 in reimbursements to 12 victims of lawyer theft at its May meeting. The committee considered 23 claims, denied six claims, and deferred five claims to the next fiscal year. The dollar amount sought for the deferred claims totals $87,000.

    During the current fiscal year (July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013), the committee approved 48 claims against 17 lawyers and paid a total of $155,312.71 to victims of lawyer theft.

    “Committee members are ethically constrained from releasing much information, if any, to the press so we primarily rely on word of mouth for referrals,” said Committee Chair Steven Chiquoine. “State Bar members are encouraged to call the fund’s administrator, Kris Wenzel, if they think a claim may exist. Without the participation of the bar and the judiciary, a host of claims that could and should be paid will never see the light of day.”

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court established the fund in 1981 to reimburse people who lost money through dishonest acts of Wisconsin attorneys under Supreme Court Rule 12.04-12.12. Members of the State Bar of Wisconsin are assessed annual fees to finance the fund.

    Reimbursement decisions are made at the discretion of the committee, which meets three times a year. The assessment for fiscal year 2014 (July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014) is $20.

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