Ethics: Lawyer trust accounts
Vol. 77, No. 4 / July - Aug. 2021
A checklist from the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel to help lawyers reduce risks, meet fiduciary obligations, and assure compliance with the Supreme Court of Missouri's Rules of Professional Conduct.
Lawyers want to take necessary steps to protect client funds and comply with the rules of professional conduct. This checklist of routine trust accounting practices is intended to reduce risks, meet fiduciary obligations, mitigate harm, and assure compliance with those rules. Lawyers and their designated staff may confirm that the firm properly handles receipts, deposits, and distributions. The checklist may reassure leaders of firms of any size that required records are maintained and that advance fees are handled appropriately. It also offers warning signs to reduce risks of internal fraud and mistakes. Finally, the material includes reminders of fundamental fiduciary concepts.