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 commissioner.
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 commissioner.
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 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 JD-GC-15 - Application for Reimbursement - Client Security Fund - PDF.
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 my claim?
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 to questions?
Contact the office of the Client Security Fund Committee at (860) 568-3450 or by email: Security.Fund@jud.ct.gov
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 - PDF.
What Is the Client Security Fund 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.
Who must pay the fee?
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
Second Floor, Suite One
287 Main Street
East Hartford, CT 06118