Attorneys in Iowa set up a fund 35 years ago to reimburse clients who were wronged by dishonest lawyers. But the commission hasn't necessarily paid up if the dishonesty took place when an attorney was suspended.
The commission is now weighing whether it should.
The hesitation by Iowa's Client Security Commission seems counterintuitive to Randall Archer, a businessman bilked out of $33,500 by his Des Moines attorney, Kristine Corcoran Frye.
Archer said he relied on Frye for years to close sales on a number of properties he purchased. But on their last deal together, the attorney kept the money he gave her to put in a trust account for the closing.
In 2010, Archer filed a claim with Iowa's Client Security Fund to try to recover some of the money he lost. But the commission that controls the fund, established by the Iowa Bar Association and overseen by Iowa's Supreme Court, decided to table a decision on paying any claim.
The hang-up: Frye's license was suspended at the time she took his money.
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Fund Won't Reimburse Some Who are Bilked by Lawyers