The following are a few of the recent claims that were reviewed by the Board of the Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security:
- The Covered Attorney was appointed executor of an estate and as trustee of two testamentary trusts that were to be established under the Will. The Covered Attorney failed to account for approximately $900,000 in estate assets. The Covered Attorney did not establish the two testamentary trusts. The Covered Attorney died prior to the conclusion of the Orphans’ Court proceedings. The Covered Attorney’s estate was insolvent. The Board approved an award to each of the testamentary trusts in the amount of $100,000.
- The Claimant paid the Covered Attorney $1,500 for the preparation and filing of a bankruptcy petition. The Covered Attorney did not prepare and file the bankruptcy petition. The Covered Attorney did not return the unearned fee. The Board approved an award in the amount of $1,500.
- The Claimant paid the Covered Attorney $5,000 for the preparation and filing of a PCRA petition. The Covered Attorney prepared and filed the PCRA petition, which was ultimately denied. The Claimant sought the return of the $5,000 fee, alleging the Covered Attorney did not advance arguments that the Claimant wanted presented in the PCRA and, that Covered Attorney’s representation was ineffective. The Board determined to deny this claim.
- The Claimant, a small business corporation, retained the Covered Attorney for representation before the IRS and paid a $1,650 retainer. At the time Covered Attorney accepted the representation and at all times thereafter, the Covered Attorney’s license to practice law was suspended. The Claimant was not aware of the suspension of the Covered Attorney’s license. The Covered Attorney did not provide any legal services and did not return the unearned fee. The Board determined to approve an award in the amount of $1,650.