If your attorney faces State Bar discipline, you may want to file an application for reimbursement early to make sure you get reimbursed for any losses.
However, the Client Security Fund does not review your application until your attorney complaint is processed. Processing an application for reimbursement from the Client Security Fund is separate from the process of any discipline complaint, which is handled by the Office of Chief Trial Counsel. Please see this page for application and instructions.
Once the complaint is processed, the time to process your Client Security Fund application depends on three main factors:
Once the State Bar receives it, we will be in touch if more information is needed. The more information you can provide, the faster we can process the application. If your address changes, please notify us immediately.
The volunteer-run Client Security Fund Commission administers the fund for the State Bar. It has the final authority decide whether to approve all or part of the requested amount or deny the application.
After reviewing your case, the Client Security Fund may issue a tentative decision that tells you and the lawyer whether the application has been approved and why.
If you are satisfied with the commission's ruling, you do not need to do anything at this stage. If neither side objects, the decision becomes final after 30 days.
If you are dissatisfied with the commission’s decision, you have 30 days to send your written objections to the Client Security Fund. You must send a copy of your objection to the lawyer, whose address is listed on the last page of the decision (called “Proof of Service”). The lawyer also has a right to object to the decision.
If either you or the lawyer sends objections, the commission will review them and issue a final decision. If you are still dissatisfied with the decision, you have a right to ask your county superior court for a review.
You may want a lawyer to help you with a court review. If you do not know a lawyer for this purpose, call a Lawyer Referral Service in your area.
If you qualify for reimbursement from the fund, the State Bar issues a check about four weeks after the final decision. Large checks are sent by certified mail.
It is the policy of the Client Security Fund Commission to mail reimbursement checks directly to the applicant being reimbursed, even in those circumstances where the applicant is represented by counsel. Checks will be mailed to counsel only at the specific instruction of the applicant. Checks are never made payable to third party lienholders or creditors.
For questions or more information, call or write the State Bar at:
Client Security FundThe State Bar of California845 South Figueroa StreetLos Angeles, CA 90017-2515213-765-1140
Client Security Fund Application
Read The Client Security Fund: We are Here to Help