Client Security Fund

Adherence to the standards established by the Missouri Rules of Professional Conduct is expected from every lawyer. The Missouri Bar recognizes that, regardless of the efforts to maintain a high degree of competence and ethics among the members of the legal profession, some lawyers fail to meet those standards. To compensate clients harmed by this small minority of lawyers, The Missouri Bar maintains a Client Security Fund.

The Board of Governors of The Missouri Bar created the Client Security Fund in 1966. The Fund is maintained by appropriations from the annual enrollment fees paid by each member of The Missouri Bar. The fund also accrues interest and receives restitution payments from lawyers seeking reinstatement.

A six-member Client Security Fund Committee operates under rules established by the Board of Governors. The committee may recommend reimbursement of a claim in full or in part, or may recommend denial of a claim. All payments recommended by the committee are subject to review by the Board of Governors. The Board retains full discretion regarding payment of any claim.

The Regulations and Rules of Procedure of the Client Security Fund Committee only permit payments for certain types of wrongful conduct. Compensation is not available for fee disputes or cases of malpractice. As a prerequisite for payment, the attorney must be disbarred, suspended, deceased or adjudicated mentally incapacitated.

Payments are limited to 80% of the amount of the loss over $2,500 and there is a maximum payment of $50,000 per claim.