Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection
The Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection was created in 1985 by Rule VIII of the Supreme Court Rules for the Government of the Bar. Its purpose is to reimburse losses to legal clients as a result of the dishonest conduct of a licensed Ohio attorney.
- Board Members & Staff
- Gov. Bar R VIII
- Attorney Responsibilities
- Claims Process
- Examples of Claims
- Office of Disciplinary Counsel
- Board of Professional Conduct
- Board on the Unauthorized Practice of Law
- Supreme Court Attorney Information Search
Frequently Asked Questions
The Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection was established in 1985 by the Supreme Court of Ohio. The Fund was established to reimburse law clients who have lost money or property as a result of dishonest conduct by their lawyer. Reimbursement is discretionary and not a matter of right.
The Fund was created to promote public confidence in the legal profession by reimbursing clients who sustain losses resulting from dishonest conduct by lawyers.
Law clients who meet the requirements for reimbursement established by the Supreme Court of Ohio are eligible for reimbursement. Spouses, children, parents, grandparents, siblings, partners, associates, or employees of the dishonest lawyer are NOT eligible for reimbursement form the Fund. Business entities controlled by the lawyer and government entities are NOT eligible for reimbursement from the Fund.
Complete an application for reimbursement, which is available online. Submit the application, along with supporting documentation, to the Fund. Please note that the application must be notarized. If you need assistance, contact the Fund at 1.800.231.1680.
Money for reimbursement comes from lawyers. The Supreme Court of Ohio allocates to the Fund a portion of attorney registration fees paid by licensed Ohio attorneys. No tax dollars or other public funds are used.
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
Loans between a client and their attorney; Claims for legal malpractice, negligence, or fee disputes.
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.
The maximum award amount is $100,000.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Supreme Court of Ohio
65 South Front Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215-3431