Skip to main content

(a) Definition

In this Rule, "Client Protection Fund" means the Client Protection Fund of the Bar of Maryland.

(b) Generally

Funds deposited in an attorney's trust account pursuant to Rule 19-404 for the benefit of a client or other person are presumed abandoned if:

(A) the beneficial owner affirmatively declined in writing to accept the funds, other than because of a dispute as to the amount owed; or
(B) after three years from the date the funds were deposited or were required to be deposited pursuant to that Rule, the attorney is unable to determine the identity or location of the beneficial owner after having made reasonable efforts to do so.

(c) Duty of Attorney upon Presumed Abandonment

(1) Upon determining that attorney trust funds are presumed abandoned pursuant to section (b) of this Rule, the attorney shall:

(A) comply with Code, Commercial Law Article, § 17-308.2, and
(B) prepare the requisite report and transmit it, together with the funds and any non-IOLTA accrued interest, to the State Comptroller in accordance with Code, Commercial Law Article, §§ 17-310 and 17-312.

(2) The transmission shall be accompanied by a report filed at the times specified and containing the information required by Code, Commercial Law Article, § 17-310.

(3) No such funds or report shall be transmitted to the Client Protection Fund.

(d) Transfer of Funds from Client Protection Fund

On or before October 31, 2022, the Client Protection Fund shall (1) prepare the reports required by Code, Commercial Law Article, § 17-310, and (2) transmit them, together with all attorney trust account funds that, on or prior to that date, were received by the Client Protection Fund and all non-IOLTA accrued interest thereon that have not previously been paid by the Client Protection Fund to persons lawfully entitled to those funds, to the State Comptroller, in accordance with Code, Commercial Law Article, §§ 17-310 and 17-312 and applicable regulations adopted by the Comptroller.

(e) Initial Compliance with this Rule

The first reports under this Rule shall be filed no later than October 31, 2022 and shall include all attorney trust funds that qualify as abandoned as of June 30, 2022.

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.