Attorneys holding client funds face a variety of ethical issues, complicated by the confluence of two apparently unrelated issues. On the one hand, state and federal statutes regulate the relationship between a bank and its customer, notably when it comes to the processing of checks. On the other hand, scam artists try to take advantage of the peculiarities of the check collection process by getting attorneys to release funds from an escrow account while the attorney’s exposure to a counterfeit or other bad check deposit has not expired.
Attorneys must follow a series of important steps in dealing with their escrow accounts. They must set the accounts up correctly. They must put client funds in the correct type of account and not commingle client funds with their own money. They must then exercise care in how they handle the accounts and disburse funds, and finally they must be vigilant against the many variations of scams targeting attorneys.
Jay L. Hack, a partner in the firm of Gallet Dreyer & Berkey, LLP and former Chair of the Business Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, calls upon his 39 years of practice representing banks and other financial institutions to help attorneys navigate the process of protecting both their clients’ funds and their own licenses to practice law.
I. Understand how to establish an escrow account and whether funds belong in an Interest on Lawyer Account (IOLA) deposit versus a non-IOLA deposit
II. Gain the ability to determine when funds can be safely disbursed from an attorney escrow account and how to disburse them
III. Learn about the state and federal legal framework that affects how checks are processed and the effect of check processing on escrow account risks
IV. Understand the “Bounced Check Rule” and the reporting requirements for attorney escrow accounts
V. Learn to recognize scams targeting attorney escrow accounts and how to avoid them
This course originally appeared as a part of our October 2015 Bridge the Gap Event.
Mr. Hack’s primary practice focus is providing full-range legal services to banks and other financial institutions. His broad-based financial institutions practice runs the gamut, from acting as issuer's counsel in many public offerings by bank holding companies to helping clients address examination report criticisms so that enforcement action can be avoided. He has also assisted many clients in developing retail banking documentation that satisfies federal and state consumer regulations or commercial necessities.
He also supports other practice areas within the firm by bringing his extensive knowledge of banking transactions and banking law to the table when bank clients are in need of real estate or litigation assistance.
Tugboats, Glaucoma and the Check Collection Process, NY Business Law Journal, Fall 2008.
Trust Preferred Securities. Community Bank Notes, the magazine of the Independent Bankers Association of New York State, March/April 2005.
Declarations Against Penal Interest - Standards of Admissibility in an Emerging Majority Rule, 56 Boston University Law Review 148 (1976), quoted by the United States Supreme Court inWilliamson v. United States, 512 US 594, 617 (1994) (Kennedy, J., concurring); also cited by United States Courts of Appeals for the first, third and fifth circuits, the Court of Military Appeals and the Supreme Courts in the states of California, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina and Wisconsin.
Professional Associations and Memberships
Very knowledgeable lecturer.
found this course well done
Very informative. Good lecturer.
very well done
Good course. Effective speaker.
He was great and I found it informative.
The program was excellent
Excellent trainer -very knowledgeable and communicated the material well.
Excellent thorough course!
Excellent, informative class
This was really informative.
Excellent overview of Attorney responsibility with client's money and to be weary of scams
Given the current state of scams explored, I would recommend this to attorneys in all levels of practice. Well addressed by lecturer.
Very technical and useful information.
Interesting and informative.
One of the best and most practically useful CLE programs I have heard.
This was one of the best CLEs I’ve attended this year! Perfect delivery!
GREAT CONTENT! Very useful.
The supplemental materials are very helpful.
Hack is a proverbial Hagrid, watching out for the new young students at Hogwarts. They don't fully know how lucky they are to have had his advice and counsel until perhaps many years later.
appreciate the subtle sense of humor :)
Great course with critical information about scams being attempted against attorneys.
This program provided numerous good tips and guidance to numerous potential problems. Excellent!yyf
I will be looking for more programs by Jay Hack.
Very interesting presentation. The amount of mistakes made unintentionally is quite frightening.
He likes his horror stories, but they are very memorable, which may keep us out of trouble.
Very good course, and great instructor.
Mr. Hack was terrific.
Excellent presenter and presentation.
Loved this guy! Good job.
Well worth your time.
Excellent, particularly in regard to describing scams done against attorney on escrow funds attorney's oversee
Very valuable warnings, even for experienced attorneys
Referred a colleague today!
Very helpful. Thank you.
Excellent program with useful info.
Great true stories to back up the presentation!
Excellent speaker with great examples
I really enjoyed the examples of actual check cashing frauds used during the presentation. Really interesting and educational.
good material and tips to maintain bank account.
VERY INFORMATIVE AND SPEAKER VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE, GOOD EXAMPLES OF WHAT NOT TO DO
Learned a lot.
This was an incredible class! Professor was incredibly knowledgeable as well as entertaining. As he says at the end of the lecture, "nailed it!"
This was an extremely useful CLE and the attorney's presentation was excellent.
Wonderful presentation, very informative and engaging speaker.
This has been by far one of my favorite Lawline CLEs. Jay L. Hack, the presenter, is captivating. I would highly recommend any of his CLE presentations. He made a dry subject, so fascinating. Thank you.
Very good presenter and CLE.
This was an excellent CLE!
Great Great Class
YOUR BEST LECTURER
Excellent course. Well presented
Good course material and good instructor - Thanks.
Very good course!
Very informative and well presented
This course was very practical with relevant examples
Fantastic presentation and presenter, bring him back!
Great Update on scams!
Good overview, Even for long time bar members
Great course. Really enjoyed the scenarios that the instructor presented.
Very engaging and informative speaker.
Given an amazingly technical area, a brilliant raconteur communicated a huge body of information with almost nail biting excitement. Wow.
good presentation overall
What an excellent presenter!
This course was fantastic!
Speaker was extremely knowledgeable and spoke to inexperienced attorneys which was very helpful.
The best CLE presentation I have done to date.
Very interesting presentation! Exceeded my expectations.
Vital information. Great presenter.
Great examples. Presenter appropriately emphasized importance of the rules. Presentation was clear and informative.
This was a really good video with a lot of valuable information.
speaker was dynamic and interesting.
Excellent information provided in an effective manner.
liked the presenter!
Instructor was excellent
Very Good refresher course , even for an experienced attorney.
Extremely good program.
This guy was great. Could listen to him all day. great issues. great all the way around, again one of my favorite CLEs from Lawline.
The anecdote about how a lawyer almost was disbarred was very good.
Very good and interesting
Very useful course.
Interesting topic, using real-life examples. Very scary stuff.
Iearned information that I did not previously know.
This is one of the most informative and usefull courses I have taken.
Excellent. Knowledgeable! Great examples.
The presenter took a topic (banking) that I personally thought would be boring, but his engaging style made it interesting. Very useful for new lawyers or those considering opening escrow accounts for the first time, like myself!
an eye opener.
Very knowledgeable speaker
Very informative. Well done.
Funny, crystal clear, excellent speaker. I enjoyed this.
It spelled out the dos and don't accurately and provided vivid examples
Speaker was very good.
Brilliant. A cut above. Loved the banking attorney insight.
The Speaker does a very nice job
This presenter is excellent, with important information on handling client's funds. I'd recommend this program to any attorney.
Attorneys should be required to review this seminar annually! Such a great speaker, with so much content. I may have to watch it again because there are so many circumstances I may not be able to appreciate until more time passes.
Some areas were basic, but the information about the actual processing time of a bank check (and the horror story) and disbarment resulting from a bounced check to open an escrow account were very very helpful.
Great topic and presentation.
Extremely informative and interesting.
Riveting Lecture. Every lawyer should view it!
very good practical advice.
Very well informed and very practical advise. Good examples bring the rules to light.
Great Program. The presenter was very interesting
Really good class. The speaker is engaging and provides important practice tips.
Relevant, practical and well presented.
Every attorney should watch this.
Very informative - very good presentation!!!
Great course; Good delivery of material
very important lecture speaker is great
Presenter was excellent story teller with real life applications. Enjoyed it immensly
I would take the "new lawyer" out of the title. Its a great course and would apply to many attorneys who have been practicing for years.
I especially appreciated the examples of fraud directed at attorneys.
Very good presentation. Learned a lot of things I didn't know I didn't know.
very interesting CLE.
Very good speaker and content.
very practical; good examination of relevant law and rules
I liked the presenter. He's got a different style, personality. A breath of fresh air, after a steady stream of more rigid speakers.
Keep this guy. He can make even ethics seminars entertaining and informative. A mostly impossible task, that he accomplished effectively!
I was glad to find that I knew most of this information already, but that is probably because I am a younger attorney and therefore more paranoid than some. This was a helpful overview and gave me peace of mind that I'm conducting myself ethically in terms of client funds.
Presenter was awesome. Reminded me of Bill Murray!
This was great. I loved the lecturer and the substance is memorable due to his storytelling.
Love this speaker--Jay Hack was informative and interesting and very likeable!
this type of information is something every attorney should know the basics on!
Very interesting fact situations! Need to be careful.
Although Florida differs some the content was great for Florida attorneys
Clear and concise
great presenter. good information and easy to follow
This guy was great.
The speaker made a somewhat boring topic interesting.
This course should be mandatory.
One of the most knowledgeable, effective presenters I've seen.
one of of your better presenters. very good
He is an old hand who knows his stuff.
Might be the most valuable course offered on lawline
good course will listen again.
This was very well presented and explained with the perfect balance of law and war stories.
Excellent, knowledgeable speaker with great real world examples
Speaker was very very good.
Substantive. Very well delivered. Worth the price of admission.
The instructor's examples were extremely helpful and relevant.
Information about new scams useful- with cellphones and electronic deposit could have used even more to prepare for increase in scams.
I learned a LOT!! Great information!! This course is a must!
The segment on the electronic deposit was eye-opening
MR HACK: ONE OF THE BEST ATTY LECTURERS THAT I HAVE EVER HEARD IN MY LONG YEARS OF PRACTICE
superb practical program and engaging speaker
Good warning to pitfalls trust accounts
I have an LL.M. in Banking .Law so this was most interesting! The speaker was very good!
Very good information from a banking attorney perspective. Excellent presentation!
Very important for every attorney to see this course, even if you have no IOLA account. Very important.
Great presentation; very useful information.
Very interesting scams were discussed.
This as really an eye-opener and how diligent an attorney must be with funds. Had no idea of all the possible way things could go wrong! Thank you for the info!
Geared to New York practitioners, but plenty of good information for any state. I learned about some new "scams" to look out for.
Excellent speaker - good examples and presentation.
excellent and very informative.
Important warnings about financial scams that target attorneys.
Good tips from an attorney familiar with issues from a bank's perspective. Some interesting recurring frauds revealed.
very helpful information, thank you.
Interesting especially when it comes to internet and cell phone scams
Good stuff. Some basics and warnings on latest scams.
Important information, engagingly presented.
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