Rule 14-902. Purpose and scope; establishment of Fund.

(a) The Fund is established to reimburse clients for losses caused by the dishonest conduct committed by lawyers admitted to practice in Utah or licensed paralegal practitioners licensed in Utah.

(b) The purpose of the Fund is to promote public confidence in the administration of justice and the integrity of the legal profession by reimbursing losses caused by the dishonest conduct of lawyers admitted and licensed to practice law in Utah or licensed paralegal practitioners licensed in Utah, occurring in the course of the lawyer/client, licensed paralegal practitioner/client or fiduciary relationship between the lawyer or licensed paralegal practitioner and the claimant.

(c) Every lawyer and licensed paralegal practitioner have an obligation to the public to participate in the collective effort of the Bar to reimburse persons who have lost money or property as a result of the dishonest conduct of another lawyer or licensed paralegal practitioner. Contribution to the Fund is an acceptable method of meeting this obligation.

(d) These rules shall be effective for claims filed after August 1990, and the Committee, which was previously authorized under the former resolution, may act under the terms of the former resolution on claims filed prior to the effective date of these rules.

Effective May 1, 2019

Rule 14-902 Note.

By resolution of the Board of Commissioners of the Utah State Bar, a Client Security Fund was approved and established by the Supreme Court, effective April 9, 1977. The Fund was established to provide meaningful, prompt cost reimbursements to clients who had been injured by a lawyer's dishonest act. The original resolution did not provide sufficient rules and/or guidelines for the Committee that was embodied by the resolution to utilize in making its recommendations to the Board of Bar Commissioners. The American Bar Association has adopted, as of August 9, 1989, Model Rules for Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection. The following Rules adopt many of the principles from the American Bar Association Model Rules, as well as features from other states and from the prior resolution of the Board of Commissioners of the Utah State Bar, as approved by the Supreme Court.

Licensed Paralegal Practitioners were included in the Fund in 2019 after the Utah Supreme Court exercised its constitutional authority to govern the practice of law and authorized Licensed Paralegal Practitioners to provide limited legal services in the practice areas of: (1) temporary separation, divorce, parentage, cohabitant abuse, civil stalking and custody and support; (2) forcible entry and detainer; and (3) debt collection matters in which the dollar amount in issue does not exceed the statutory limit for small claims cases.