Monday, July 1, 2019

Texas Bar Ethics Committee Opinion on a lawyer's duty to safeguard client funds for the benefit of a third party -- UPDATED

Back in September 2018, the Texas Bar Ethics Committee issued a short ethics opinion trying to explain the proper analysis attorneys should follow to determine if they owe a duty to a third party who claims to have an interest in client money in the lawyer's trust account.

More specifically, the opinion addresses these two questions:  "when does a third party have an interest in client funds sufficient to trigger a lawyer’s duty to disburse or safeguard those funds for the third party’s benefit?" and "[d]oes termination of the attorney-client relationship affect a lawyer’s duty to safeguard or disburse client funds in which a third party claims an interest?"

You can read the opinion online here or download it in pdf here.

UPDATE (7/1/19):  Ethical Grounds has posted a comment on the opinion here.

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