What is the Client Security Fund?
The Client Security Fund is a fund established by
the rules of the Connecticut Superior Court to provide reimbursement to
individuals who have lost money or property as a result of the dishonest
conduct of an attorney practicing law in the State of Connecticut, in
the course of the attorney-client relationship. The fund provides a
remedy for clients who are unable to obtain reimbursement for their loss
from any other source.
Where does money for the Client Security
Fund come from?
The fund is financed by a fee collected
from each attorney admitted to practice law in the State of Connecticut,
as well as each judge, judge trial referee, state referee, family
support magistrate, family support referee and workers' compensation
Who administers the Client Security Fund?
The fund is administered by the Client
Security Fund Committee, which is comprised of fifteen members. Nine of
the members are attorneys, three are non-attorneys, and three serve
either as a judge, appellate court judge, supreme court justice, family
support magistrate, family support referee or workers' compensation
What types of losses are covered by the Client Security Fund?
The Client Security Fund Committee may reimburse losses
resulting from the dishonest conduct of a Connecticut attorney who has
died, been adjudged incapable, not competent or insane, been disbarred
or suspended from the practice of law in Connecticut, been placed on
inactive status by a Connecticut court, resigned from the Connecticut
bar, or against whom a judgment has been obtained with respect to the
dishonest conduct. “Dishonest conduct” means wrongful acts committed by
an attorney, in an attorney-client relationship, or in a fiduciary
capacity arising out of an attorney-client relationship, in the nature
of theft or embezzlement of money or the wrongful taking of money,
property or other things of value. The committee will, in limited
circumstances, reimburse a loss based on an attorney’s refusal to refund
unearned fees received in advance.
What types of
losses are not covered by the Client Security Fund?
Losses that are not covered by the client security fund include:
- A loss that was the result of investment
services provided by an attorney;
- A loss presented more than four years after
the loss was discovered or should have been discovered;
- A loss suffered by a close relative,
business associate, partner, or employee of the attorney who caused the
- A loss that was the result of malpractice or
- A loss covered by an insurance policy or
contract, bond, or surety agreement, to the extent that the loss is covered
by the same.
In some cases, the Client Security Fund may
require you to pursue other remedies that you may have against the attorney who
caused your loss before considering your claim, such as filing a civil lawsuit
against the attorney or the attorney’s estate. The committee may also require
you to report the theft to appropriate law enforcement and/or attorney
disciplinary agencies before considering your claim.
How do I file a claim?
You may file a claim by completing and
returning a claim form, available from the office of the Client Security
Fund Committee, Second Floor, Suite One, 287 Main Street, East Hartford,
Connecticut, 06118-1885, telephone (860) 568-3450. The form should be
completed providing as much information as possible. The Client Security
Fund Committee may require additional information from you in addition
to the information provided in the form. Obtain a copy of form
- "Application for Reimbursement - Client Security Fund"
There is no
application fee. You are not required to be represented by an attorney,
although you may have one represent you if you wish. Attorneys may not
charge a fee for assisting individuals with their claim unless the fee
is approved by the Client Security Fund Committee.
What is the claims process?
Each claim is reviewed to determine if it
is eligible for reimbursement. If the claim is not eligible for
reimbursement, you will be notified. Eligible claims are investigated,
and the Client Security Fund Committee determines, in its sole
discretion, the amount of reimbursement that will be allowed, if any,
and how payment will be made.
What happens if I am awarded payment on
In order for you to receive payment, the
Client Security Fund Committee will require you to sign documents
transferring your claim against the dishonest attorney to the Committee,
in order to allow the Client Security Fund Committee to attempt to
obtain reimbursement from that attorney for amounts paid to you. If the
Client Security Fund Committee reimburses you for all or any part of
your loss, you are also required to cooperate with the Committee to help
them obtain reimbursement from the attorney for the amounts that were
paid to you.
How long does the claims process take?
It depends upon the length of time that
is required to obtain enough information for the Client Security Fund
Committee to make a decision regarding your claim. However, you will
receive a written decision regarding the claim once it is made by the
Client Security Fund Committee.
How can I get more information or answers
Contact the office of the Client Security
Fund Committee at (860) 568-3450
or by email:
Please note that
these answers to questions have been provided to you for informational
purposes only, and are not intended in any way to amend or supplement
the Superior Court rules or Committee regulations which govern the
Client Security Fund Committee. Reference may be had to the Connecticut
Practice Book, available at any Superior Court library, for the official
text of the rules governing the activities of the Client Security Fund
Committee. View the "Client
Security Fund Brochure, JDP-GC-16"- in PDF format.
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What Is the Client Security Fund Fee?
Who must pay the fee?
Connecticut Practice Book Section 2-70 provides that an
annual fee be assessed attorneys to fund a client security fund. The
purpose of the client security fund is to reimburse clients who have
been the victims of the "dishonest conduct" of an attorney, as defined
in Practice Book Section 2-69, and to provide crisis intervention and
referral assistance pursuant to Practice Book Section 2-68A to attorneys
admitted to the practice of law in this state who suffer from alcohol or
other substance abuse problems or gambling problems, or who have
behavioral health problems. Information about crisis intervention and
referral services provided to attorneys may be found on the
Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers web page. Pursuant to Practice
Book Section 2-70(a), the annual fee is $75.00.
The fee may be paid online by attorneys registered with the Judicial
Branch for access to E-Services at
www.jud.ct.gov. For answers to questions about the
client security fund fee, e-mail
Security.Fund@jud.ct.gov, or telephone (860) 568-3450.
The fee must be paid by each attorney admitted to practice in
Connecticut, and each judge, judge trial referee, state referee, family
support magistrate, family support referee and workers compensation
commissioner. Attorneys permitted to engage in authorized activities as
authorized house counsel pursuant to Practice Book Section 2-15A, and attorneys
permitted to appear pro hac vice pursuant to Practice Book Section 2-16, are
also required to pay the fee. Attorneys admitted to the practice of law
on or after January 1 of the calendar year for which the fee is due are
not required to pay the fee for that year, except that an attorney applying for
permission to appear in a matter pro hac vice pursuant to Practice Book Section
2-16 must certify that they have paid the client security fund fee due for the
calendar year in which the application has been made. See Practice Book Sections
2-15A, 2-16 and 2-70 for more information.
Who is exempt from the fee?
An attorney is not exempt from the fee because he or she
practices out of state, or because he or she does not actively practice
law. Only those attorneys who have retired, resigned, who have served on
active duty in the armed forces of the United States for a period of
more than six months during the calendar year, or who have been
disbarred, are exempt from payment of the fee. Attorneys have "retired"
only if they have complied with the provisions of Practice Book Section
2-55 or Section 2-55A. See more
Information. A partial, fifty percent
exemption is available to attorneys who do not engage in the practice of
law as an occupation and have not earned and do not expect to
earn more than $450.00 in legal fees or other compensation for services
involving the practice of law during the calendar year. Please note that
if you engage in the practice of law as an occupation outside of
Connecticut, you do not qualify for the partial exemption. If being an
attorney is a factor in an individual's employment, such attorney is
deemed engaged in the practice of law as an occupation for purposes of
the partial exemption and does not qualify for the partial exemption. An
attorney claiming a partial exemption must complete an exemption claim
form and submit the form with their payment. (Claim
of Exemption, Client Security Fund Fee – Form JD-GC-22).
If an attorney is eligible for an exemption, it may also be claimed
online by attorneys registered with the Judicial Branch for access to
E-Services at www.jud.ct.gov.
How do I pay the fee?
If an attorney has enrolled with Judicial Branch E-Services, payment of the client security
fund fee may be made online by
logging in to E-Services. Payment
of the fee may also be made by mailing a check or money order payable to “Client Security Fund” in the
amount of $75.00 ($37.50 if a partial exemption is claimed and an exemption claim form (form JD-GC-22)
is mailed with the payment) to Client Security Fund, P.O. Box 1379, Hartford, Connecticut, 06143-1379.
The attorney’s juris number should be included on the check or money order if the payment is being made
by mail. Attorneys permitted to appear pro hac vice pursuant to
Practice Book Section 2-16 must pay the fee by mail. If an attorney is submitting payment of the fee in
connection with their application to appear pro hac vice pursuant to Practice Book Section 2-16, the
attorney should include a cover letter with the payment identifying the name of the case, the docket
number, and the court location where the case has been filed.
What should I do if my
license to practice law has been administratively suspended for
non-payment of the annual client security fund fee pursuant to Practice
Book Sections 2-70 and 2-79(a)?
Practice Book Sections 2-70 and 2-79(a) provide that the license to
practice law of an attorney who fails to pay the annual client security
fund fee may be administratively suspended until such time as the fee, along with a reinstatement fee in the amount of $75.00, is
paid. If your license to practice law has been administratively
suspended for non-payment of the annual client security fund fee, you
should contact the office of the Client Security Fund Committee to
obtain information about the amount of fees owed.
Payment may be made online by attorneys registered with the Judicial
Branch for access to E-Services at
www.jud.ct.gov, or a check or money order in the amount of the past
due fees and reinstatement fee should be sent to Client Security Fund, P.O. Box 1379,
Hartford, Connecticut 06143-1379. Your juris number should be included
on the check or money order. Upon receipt of a check or money order in
the correct amount,
or payment online, you will be reinstated. For
additional information, the office of the Client Security Fund Committee
may be contacted by e-mail at
Security.Fund@jud.ct.gov, or by telephone at (860)-568-3450.
I appeared in a matter
pro hac vice and the matter has concluded, but I have received an
invoice for the client security fund fee. Do I need to pay the fee?
Practice Book Section 2-16 requires attorneys who appear
in a matter pro hac vice to pay the annual client security fund fee when
due for each year the attorney appears in the matter. If the matter
concluded prior to January 1 of the calendar year for which you received
the invoice, you should notify the office of the Client Security Fund
Committee. Please send a letter with your name, juris number, and the
case name, docket number and court location of the matter in which you
appeared, and the date that your appearance in the matter concluded, to:
Client Security Fund Committee
Floor, Suite One
287 Main Street
Hartford, CT 06118
information on inactivating your juris number