100 years + of collective legal malpractice experience

Defining an attorney’s duties when managing assets

by | Aug 19, 2019 | Legal Malpractice |

There may be times when, in the course of working with an attorney in Florida, that you be required to entrust said attorney with assets and property related to your representation. You likely maintain a high level of trust with your attorney (as have many of the clients that we here at St. Denis & Davey have worked in the past). Yet as is the case in any type of financial transaction, there are certain standards that must be adhered to when asking an attorney to manage your money (as poor management on their part could potentially prejudice your position in your case). 

Per the American Bar Association‘s Model Rules of Professional Conduct, any property that you entrust to any attorney must be held separately from the attorney’s own (as to avoid the potential of intermingling assets). Typically, an attorney will be required to place any such property in a trust account that has been set up on your behalf. If you have paid them any fees or costs in advance, the attorney must put those funds in said account, and can only then claim them for themselves once the actual expenses have been incurred. Your attorney is limited to putting their own funds in such an account when bank surcharges or fees must be paid in order to keep the account open. 

If any funds meant for you are transferred to your attorney, such funds must be immediately placed in your trust account, and you must be notified of their receipt. If there is a question of claim to any assets awarded in your case, your attorney cannot take them for themselves until the matter has been resolved. 

You can learn more about an attorney’s professional responsibilities by continuing to explore our site.