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                         AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION


Since its last informational report to the House of Delegates in February 2010, the Standing
Committee on Client Protection has continued to fulfill its mandate by promoting mechanisms to
reimburse client financial loss caused by lawyer misconduct, to arbitrate client-lawyer fee
disputes, and to mediate other client-lawyer disputes; by developing legal policy in the regulation
of the unlicensed practice of law; and by developing legal policy in the regulation of the practice
of law, including the many facets of multijurisdictional practice.

The Committee conducted a business meeting on February 6, 2010 in conjunction with the ABA
Midyear meeting in Orlando, FL. The Committee discussed its proposed Report and
Recommendation to adopt the Model Rules for Client Trust Account Records, The Standing
Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility’s Report and Recommendation to Amend
the Application Section of the 2007 Model Code of Judicial Conduct, the ABA’s new dues
structure, the Committee’s efforts in aiding the Virgin Island Bar Association in establishing a
Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection, and the programming for the 26th National Forum on Client
Protection. The Committee also discussed its ranking the Programming, Evaluation and Planning
Committee of the Board of Governors (PEPC). The Committee discussed methods of more
effectively conveying the depth and importance of its work to the PEPC, the ABA membership,
and the legal community at-large.

In March 2010, as part of its consultation program, the Committee forwarded an update of its
2006 consultation report to the State Bar of Nevada. The consultation involved the appointment
of a team of individuals experienced in the field of client protection to review relevant court
rules, reports and statistics, examine sample files, and conduct onsite interviews with fund staff,
trustees, Supreme Court justices, and others who have had contact with the fund before issuing
its final written report. The update was a result of a request from Kimberly Farmer, Executive
Director of the State Bar of Nevada, for a review based on changes in ABA policy since the
original report. The Committee’s recommendations focused on changes to Rules 1 and 10 of the
ABA Model Rules for Lawyers’ Funds for Client Protection addressing fund issues that arise as
a result of the multijurisdictional practice of law.

In May 2010, the Committee finalized the results of the 2010 Salary Survey of Administrators
for Lawyers’ Funds for Client Protection. The Survey, last conducted in 2002, is useful in
establishing and improving the level of salaries paid to fund administrators. Competitive salaries
are necessary to attract and retain competent administrators and other staff. In order to protect the
anonymity of responding jurisdictions, the results are reported as averages for small, medium,
and large jurisdictions. The results are currently posted at:

The Committee has filed a Report and Recommendation to adopt Model Rules for Client Trust
Account Records to replace the ABA Model Rule for Financial Recordkeeping, adopted in
February 1993. The proposal will be considered by the House of Delegates at the 2010 ABA
Annual Meeting. The recommendation focuses on changes in banking laws and lawyer practice
resulting from advances in technology including the increased use of “substitute checks” in place
of paper checks by the banking industry. The recommendation also addresses a lawyer’s
recordkeeping requirements following the electronic transfer of funds from client trust accounts,
clarifies what persons may authorize transactions from client trust accounts, addresses issues
related to record maintenance, and outlines necessary safeguards that a lawyer must have in
place when using electronic record storage systems. Finally, the scope of the Model Rules for
Client Trust Account Records has been clearly defined and the structure simplified.

The Standing Committee on Client Protection will present the 26th National Forum on Client
Protection on June 4-5, 2010 at the Seattle Westin in Chicago in conjunction with the 36th
National Conference on Professional Responsibility. Topics for the 26th National Forum include
handling cross-border claims for reimbursement; hot topics for client protection funds; fund
recovery following lawyer bankruptcy and criminal conviction; protection a fund’s reserves; and,
the lawyer’s role in loan modification scams. Additionally, the National Client Protection
Organization (NCPO) will present the 7th Annual Isaac Hecht Law Client Protection Award to
Justice Richard C. Bosson of the Supreme Court of New Mexico and Charles J. Vigil, a past
President of the State Bar of New Mexico as the joint recipients of the 2010 Hecht Award for
their “persistence, leadership and success in establishing a viable and effective law client
protection program” in New Mexico. The NCPO will also present its Annual the Difficult
Claims Workshop.

The Committee will hold a business meeting on Sunday, June 6, 2010 in Seattle in conjunction
with the National Forum. The Committee’s agenda includes reviewing evaluations for the 26th
National Forum and potential topics for the 27th National Forum, reports and recommendations
to the House of Delegates, updates to the Model Rules for Fee Arbitration, Committee
contribution to the work of the Commission on Ethics 20/20, and long range planning. The Chair
will also appoint a subcommittee to study whether the Committee should propose a policy on
mortgage payoff notification.

Respectfully submitted,

Justice Daniel J. Crothers, Chair
Standing Committee on Client Protection
August 2010


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