MA Clients' Security Board of the Supreme Judcial Court
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CSB Recovery & Restitution

Upon making an award, the Board becomes subrogated to a claimant's rights against the former attorney or liable third-parties. The Board aggressively asserts its right of subrogation by seeking restitution from three sources: First, as part of a criminal sentence, the Board requests that courts order the former attorney to make restitution to the Board for awards made to that attorney's former clients.  Second, former attorneys voluntarily make restitution payments to the Board, often before seeking reinstatement to the bar.  Third, the Board brings civil actions against the former attorneys, former law partners, or financial institutions that are liable for claimants' financial losses that were reimbursed by the Board.

Because the Board, under its right of subrogation, had commenced several actions against attorneys, the Board filed an amicus curiae brief in New Hampshire Insurance Co. v. McCann, 429 Mass. 202 (1999).  In McCann, the Court considered whether a voluntary assignment of a legal malpractice claim is enforceable.  Answering the question in the affirmative, the Court specifically stated that it, "permit[s] assignments of legal malpractice claims in cases before clients' security board." Id. at 206 n.3

 

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