In November 2012, Stewart A. Sutton filed a pro bono complaint on behalf of a client with the Client Protection Fund of the Maryland Bar. The client’s former attorney had stolen 40% of the retainer she had paid to secure the services of the attorney. The Client Protection Fund was established to reimburse clients when an attorney steals money belonging to a client.
In fiscal year 2011, the Fund paid 96 claims, totaling $1,300,052. In fiscal year 2012, the Fund paid 63 claims, ranging from $66 to $272,633, totaling $436,885.
The amount reimbursed to an individual client cannot exceed 10% of the value of the Fund at the close of the prior fiscal year. The year end value of the Fund is about $10 million. The amount reimbursed by the Fund per claim by a client cannot exceed 10% of the value of the fund at the close of the prior fiscal year.