2. What accounts are subject to inspection and audit?
Clients’ funds accounts that are required to be registered with the Statewide Grievance Committee as part of an attorney’s annual registration
are subject to inspection and audit. These are accounts that hold the funds of more than one client and are often referred to as “trust accounts” or “IOLTA accounts.”
3. How will the selection process work?
Section 2-27(e) of the
Connecticut Practice Book and Rule 13 of the Statewide Grievance Committee Rules of Procedure provide that the Statewide Bar Counsel’s office will randomly select clients' funds accounts for inspection and audit. The computer selects a clients' funds account number randomly and then proceeds to determine which attorneys report the selected account.
4. Is the selection really random?
Yes. The random selection is done by computer.
5. How will I know that an account I have registered has been selected for an inspection and audit?
Each attorney who has had his or her account selected will receive
a letter by certified mail providing the date and time of the inspection and audit.
6. What financial records will I need to produce?
A detailed list
of all the documents that must be produced on the day of the audit will be enclosed with the random audit notice. The documents include,
among other things, the financial records that attorneys are required to maintain in accordance with
Section 2-27(b) of the Connecticut Practice Book for the previous 6 months.
7. How do I comply with the inspection and audit?
An attorney who has an office in Connecticut may comply by producing the financial records to the Statewide Bar Counsel’s Office by the date of the audit if conducting the audit at the attorney’s office creates a hardship. Normally, representatives of the Statewide Bar Counsel’s Office perform an on site inspection and audit at the attorneys’ office. An attorney who has an office outside of Connecticut will need to provide the requested financial documents to the Statewide Bar Counsel’s Office by the date of the audit.
8. How far back will the inspection and audit look?
Rule 13 of the Statewide Grievance Committee Rules of Procedure
states that, “the random inspection and audit shall cover, at a minimum, the previous six months from the date of the notice of the inspection and audit.”
9. What will happen if I do not cooperate with the inspection and audit?
Section 2-27(e) of the
Connecticut Practice Book and Rule 13 of the Statewide Grievance Committee Rules of Procedure requires an attorney to “fully cooperate” with the Statewide Bar Counsel’s Office in the inspection and audit. Rule 13(E) specifically provides:
The attorney(s) whose account is selected for inspection and audit shall fully cooperate with the inspection and audit. “Fully cooperate” as that term is used in Practice Book §2-27(e) means, among other things, providing the Statewide Bar Counsel’s Office with all the documents referred to in this Rule and any other records and information as may be necessary for the Statewide Bar Counsel’s Office to complete its inspection and audit. If the attorney(s) whose clients’ fund account is the subject of the inspection and audit fails to fully cooperate, the Statewide Bar Counsel’s Office shall, in its discretion, refer the matter to the Disciplinary Counsel’s Office for an interim suspension proceeding pursuant to Practice Book §2-42.
10. What can I do now to be prepared for an audit?
You should immediately review your financial records to make sure that your clients’ funds accounts are in compliance with
Section 2-27(b) of the Connecticut Practice Book.
You should also review the clients’ funds account information that you have registered to make sure it is accurate and up-to-date. Log into E-Services and select the Attorney Change of Information option from the E-Services menu. Your last registered information, including your clients’ funds account(s) information will be displayed. Verify that all accounts required to be registered are included and that the account number, financial institution, city and state of each registered account is correct and make any necessary changes now.