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Adams & Clark, PC
Trust Account Random Audit Compliance Evaluation
As most lawyers now know, the Arizona Supreme Court adopted a rule, which went into effect on January 1, 2009, authorizing the State Bar to conduct random audits of lawyer trust accounts. Until now, the most common way for the Bar to delve into lawyers’ bank accounts was through an investigation pursuant to an insufficient funds notice from a banking institution.
That is no longer the case. Now, all Arizona attorneys, from solo practitioners to law firms big and small, are subject to a surprise audit by the State Bar; the guidelines for which have not yet been set.
Don’t wait for a random State Bar audit to find out that you have a problem with your trust account. We can help you identify any issues you may have—and most importantly, take corrective measures—long before the Bar sends you notice of an audit. If the State Bar audits your trust account and finds a deficiency, you risk not only discipline, but the costs of the State Bar's audit.
TRACE is a comprehensive, independent and confidential assessment of your trust account. We will help bring you into compliance in advance of any Bar audit. Our service brings together the expertise of attorneys and certified public accountants – licensed professionals who will help ensure that your trust accounting systems comply with the legal and accounting requirements of ER 1.5, 1.15 and Rule 43, Rules of the Supreme Court.
TRACE service areas include:
Each service area examines and tests the required components—resulting in a comprehensive written management report identifying over 50 specific testing items. We will identify:
This will enable you and/or your law firm to take proactive corrective measures now.
State Bar Counsel are currently drafting guidelines for the audits, which must be approved by the State Bar’s Board of Governors and then the Supreme Court. Current estimates are that this process could take anywhere from six to twelve months.
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