The New Jersey Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection ("Fund") operates pursuant to Rule 1:28 to reimburse clients for losses suffered due to the dishonest conduct of their lawyers. The awards paid are subject to limitations set by Fund regulations, which are approved by the Supreme Court. Since 1996, the limits have been $250,000 per claimant and $1 million in the aggregate in respect of any one respondent.
The Trustees of the Fund have petitioned the Court for approval of an amendment to their regulations that would increase the existing limits to $400,000 per claimant (for claims arising after 1/1/07) and $2 million aggregate. Points made by the Trustees include the following: the limits have not been increased for over a decade; the relief afforded under the current limits has eroded in that time; although not invoked often, the existing limits hurt deserving clients who have suffered the most; and the Fund's fiscal health would permit the increase consistent with the Fund's mission without requiring any foreseeable increase in the $50 annual assessment, which has been in place since 1976.
Written comments on the proposal should be directed, by November 15, 2007, to me at
Supreme Court of New Jersey P.O. Box 970 Trenton, NJ 08625-0970Comments also may be submitted via Internet e-mail to the following address: <SupremeCT.Mailbox@judiciary.state.nj.us>.
Stephen W. Townsend, Esquire
Clerk of the Supreme Court
Dated: September 18, 2007