Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection

What is The Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection?
The Fund is an agency of the Supreme Court of Ohio that compensates the clients of dishonest attorneys when a theft has been committed.

What are the Eligibility Requirements For Reimbursement?
The following criteria must be met in order for a claim to be eligible for reimbursement:

  • Claims to the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection must be based on the dishonest conduct of an attorney acting in a fiduciary or legal capacity. The attorney must have been licensed to practice law in Ohio at the time of the dishonest conduct.
  • The dishonest conduct must be in the nature of a theft or an embezzlement, and the client must incur some type of financial loss as a result.
  • An attorney/client relationship must exist between the person filing a claim and the person against whom the claim is filed.
  • The dishonest attorney must have been, on or after May 13, 1985, disciplined by the Ohio Supreme Court, have resigned or be deceased before an award can be made.
  • The claim must have been filed in a timely fashion. The Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection accepts claims filed within five (5) years of either the occurrence or the discovery of the loss.
    Application for Reimbursement

What Types of Claims Are Not Eligible For Reimbursement From The Fund?
Loans between a client and their attorney; Claims for legal malpractice, negligence, or fee disputes.

Who Decides If I Qualify For Reimbursement?
The Board of Commissioners of the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection determines which claims are eligible for reimbursement. The Board consists of seven members, appointed by the Supreme Court of Ohio, who may serve no more than two consecutive 3 year terms. After the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection staff investigates the claims, they are submitted to the Board for a determination of eligibility.

How Much Can I Recover?
The maximum award amount is $100,000.

How Much Does It Cost To File A Claim?
There is no fee charged when filing a CPF Claim. The Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection is an agency of the Supreme Court. Claimants are not charged for proceedings before the Board.

Are These Proceedings Confidential?
All claims filed and all records obtained by the Board are confidential. However, if an award is made, the names of the claimant and attorney, and the nature of the claim may be disclosed.

Do I Need An Attorney To File A Claim?
An attorney is not required to file a claim with the CPF. If you wish to have an attorney's assistance, you may; however, the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection staff is available to investigate claims and to assist a claimant in documenting their claim.

What Happens If My Claim Is Eligible?
A claimant must sign a Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection Subrogation Agreement prior to receiving the reimbursement. You will be required to assign to the Fund your right to collect from the attorney.