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Legal Ethics

Oops. Lawyer Pays Bar Dues with Trust Account Check, Is Reprimanded

Posted Jul 26, 2011 3:04 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Apparently not realizing that a legal ethics rule required her to deposit earned fees from her client trust account into her law firm operating account before drawing on the funds, a Massachusetts attorney twice sent trust-account checks for her annual $300 bar registration fee to the state Board of Bar Overseers.

The oversight agency, it seems, missed the issue when Roseline Jeanne Bazelais submitted a $300 trust-account check for her 2009 dues but took note of it when another $300 trust-account check arrived in 2010. It refunded her the $600, then initiated disciplinary proceedings, according to a summary (PDF) of the board's action.

Bazelais, who was admitted in 2003, was reprimanded for failing to follow legal ethics rules about the handling of trust-account funds and trust-account record-keeping. She stipulated to the facts of the case and agreed to the disciplinary measure.

Hat tip: Legal Profession Blog.

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