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Ten Commandments of Trust

4: Forget Remembering

Using your computer's memory rather than your own, you can maintain well-organized ledgers of all activity in your trust account and all trust activity for specific matters. Although the Rules of Professional Conduct do not require that you use accounting software, handwritten ledgers and manually-written checks are invitations to disaster.

Law firm accounting programs like PCLaw, Xero, CosmoLex or Zola Suite make it much easier to manage these accounts and avoid costly mistakes. When you write a trust check, these programs instantly record the client, matter, payee, date, check number and purpose of the disbursement. When you print a deposit slip, these programs these programs will keep tabs on the date and purpose of each receipt, the clients' names and the matters to which they pertain. All of this data will instantly populate up-to-the-minute trust ledgers, client ledgers and a plethora of other reports that you may print at the push of a button.

Even if you ignore my advice to spring for specialized legal accounting programs, your accountant may be able to tweak Quickbooks to assist in managing your trust account and law firm finances. But in this day and age, the luddite lawyer faces extinction. And if you lose track of your trust account, you may face extinction even faster.

Attorney Grievance defense attorney specializes in defending lawyers in disciplinary proceedings before the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission and the D.C. Bar's Board on Professional Responsibility involving professional misconduct, legal ethics, disbarment, suspensions of law licenses, petitions for disciplinary action, reprimands and sanctions for unethical conduct. If you receive a letter from Bar Counsel Lydia Lawless, Disciplinary Counsel Hamilton Fox, or from any attorney disciplinary board in Maryland or the District of Columbia, retain experienced attorneys with expertise in lawyer discipline and breach of ethics cases to avoid sanctions for professional misconduct. We help lawyers avoid disbarment, suspension, reprimands, censure and informal admonitions by drafting responses to client grievances and ethical complaints; representing lawyers in peer reviews, evidentiary hearings, and oral arguments before the BPR and the Court of Appeals; filing petitions to reinstate an attorney's license to practice law; conducting law firm ethical compliance audits; and drafting legal ethics opinions to protect lawyers from ethics charges. In many cases, disciplinary proceedings may be dismissed, dismissed with a warning, or result in a conditional diversion agreement with Bar Counsel to rectify misconduct. Lawyers may need help in managing their law firm attorney escrow IOLTA trust account and complying with attorney trust accounting rules to avoid charges of ethical misconduct. Do not represent yourself in responding to an attorney grievance, law firm client complaint, or other allegation of ethical impropriety. Attorney grievance defense counsel may help you comply with legal ethics rules, avoid sanctions like suspension or disbarment, and avoid future attorney grievances.


By The Lawyer's Lawyers | Kramer & Connolly and Irwin R. Kramer who are responsible for the content of this informational website.   This website is designed for lawyers faced with attorney grievances. As cases do differ, past performance does not guarantee future results.