Rule 11-538. Appointment of trustee to protect clients’ interest when Lawyer disappears, dies, is suspended or delicensed, or is transferred to disability status.

(a) Protective appointment of trustee. If a Lawyer has died or cannot be located, or if a Respondent has been suspended, delicensed, or transferred to disability status, and if there is evidence that the Lawyer or Respondent has not complied with the provisions of Rule 11-570 and no partner, executor, or other responsible party capable of conducting the Lawyer’s or Respondent’s affairs is known to exist, a district judge of the judicial district in which the Lawyer or Respondent maintained a principal office may, on the OPC’s request, appoint a trustee to inventory the Lawyer’s or Respondent’s files, notify the Lawyer’s or Respondent’s clients, distribute the files to the clients, return unearned fees and other funds, and take any additional action the judge authorizes.

(b) Confidentiality. No attorney-client relationship exists between the client and the trustee except to the extent necessary to maintain and preserve the client’s confidentiality. The trustee may not disclose any information contained in the files so inventoried without the consent of the client to whom such files relate, except as necessary to carry out the court’s order making the appointment.

(c) Immunity. Any person appointed as a trustee has the immunity granted by Rule 11-540.

Effective December 15, 2020