How to properly safeguard property

As a general rule, attorneys in Florida should keep their assets separate from assets owned by a client or other third party. This is generally true whether the asset is a tangible item or money held in a bank or any other type of account. It is also imperative for an attorney to keep thorough records of any transactions that occur involving a client's money. Those records should be kept on file for at least five years after an attorney-client relationship ends.

An individual may ask for these records at any time during or after a proceeding. Client funds will ideally be kept in a bank account in the state where the attorney is licensed to practice. However, funds can be kept elsewhere if a client consents to an alternate arrangement. A client trust must be created to hold any money that an individual provides an attorney in advance.

The attorney may only withdraw funds from the trust as they are earned or as expenses are accrued. An attorney may add money to a bank account up to the amount needed to cover bank charges or other account fees. Legal representatives are to keep items in their possession if two or more people claim ownership to it. Those items must be returned to their rightful owners if a resolution is reached.

If an attorney uses client property for his or her benefit, that may be considered legal malpractice. A client may have the right to take legal action in an effort to reclaim property or the market value of any items improperly sold or transferred. Other financial damages might be available depending on the circumstances of the case.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email us for a response

Tell Us About Your Case

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy



Jacksonville Office
1300 Riverplace Boulevard
Suite 401
Jacksonville, FL 32207

Toll Free: 866-542-1996
Phone: 904-396-1996
Fax: 904-396-1991
Map & Directions

Miami Office
1395 Brickell Avenue
Suite 800
Miami, FL 33131

Phone: 305-200-8674
Phone: 305-200-8675
Fax: 305-200-8801
Map & Directions

West Palm Beach - By Appointment Only
301 Clematis Street
Suite 300
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Phone: 561-832-5991
Fax: 561-832-5985
Map & Directions

Panama City Office
305 Cherry Street
Panama City, FL 32401

Phone: 850-481-1386
Fax: 850-640-1247
Map & Directions

Tampa Office
10150 Highland Manor Drive
Suite 200
Tampa, FL 33610

Fax: 813-314-2163
Map & Directions