It’s been a while. But, like T.I. and Jack Torrance, I’m back.
And what better way to clear out the electronic dust than to start with the trust accounting rules?
The groans as 3/4 of you just closed your browsers are echoing through the interwebs. To the 1/4 who remain, thank you.
Don’t worry, I won’t belabor the topic.
Most importantly, don’t fear trust accounting. As I blogged here, we avoid things we fear. Avoiding trust account management is not a good idea. From there, it comes down to this: whenever a Vermont lawyer is in possession of funds in connection with a representation:
- funds that are not the lawyer’s belong in a trust account;
- the lawyer’s funds not belong in a trust account;
- the lawyer must keep a system that continuously tracks how much money you are holding in trust and to whom each dollar belongs;
- the lawyer must promptly disburse funds to which someone (including you) is entitled;
- the trust account must be reconciled no less than monthly.
Several years ago, former disciplinary counsel Beth DeBernardi developed a trust account manual. It remains current. Earlier this year, I posted a series of blogs on the issues I’ve seen most in my 22 years. Here’s a list of the posts:
- Basic Requirements
- Don’t Commingle
- Don’t Disburse without Collected Funds
- Got funds? Promptly Notify & Deliver
- Non-Refundable Fees
- Third-Party Claims Against Funds Held in Trust
- Misappropriation: Know what it is, don’t do it
- Trust, but verify
- Trust Accounts & ACH Transfers
Lawyers often tell me “trust accounting is hard.” True. But it’s required. Not only that, the areas of law that you practice, and the nuances buried within, are hard too. But you do those well. Trust accounting is no different.
With that out of the way, stay tuned. Later this week I’ll post updates on exciting goings-on within the world of professional responsibility. Then, on Friday, the return of the
It’s good to be back.