The Florida Bar has a pot of money available for swindled law clients.
But getting some isn’t easy. For starters, you have to document exactly what your thieving lawyer extracted during your attorney-client relationship. The breakup must have been painful.
After the Florida Supreme Court disciplines an attorney, P.J. Osborne swings into action. Osborne, who runs the Bar’s 50-year-old Clients’ Security Fund, wants to reimburse the bad lawyer’s client. Or clients, as there’s often more than one.
“It’s what I eat, live and breathe,” said Osborne, who has worked with the fund for a decade. By all accounts, she’s not exaggerating.
Osborne coordinates with one assistant in her Tallahassee office and two-dozen volunteer lawyers to vet every claim–there were 329 in the 2015-2016 fiscal year–and makes recommendations to the Florida Bar’s Board of Governors, the final arbiter of payments.