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The Missing Client: An Ethical Quagmire

by Robert M. Jarvis
According to the FBI, every day 1,860 Americans — including 141 Floridians — are reported missing. While most are quickly found, at the end of 2011, the FBI had 85,158 active missing person files. Of course, the actual numbers are greater, for not everyone who goes missing is reported. When a client disappears, a lawyer is confronted with a host of perplexing ethical questions. Can he or she simply mark the file “closed,” or must the lawyer make an attempt to find the client (and if so, how much of an attempt)? What about any property the lawyer was holding for the client? Likewise, what are the lawyer’s duties to the court, opposing counsel, and third parties? And what happens if the client eventually reappears?

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February 2013
Volume 87, No. 2
The 2009 Amendment Expands the Types of Fraud Subject to the Federal False Claims Act Jerald D. Stubbs

Whose Shoes to Use: Achieving a Subrogation Footing in the Wave of Foreclosures — by David L. Boyette (Jan 2013)

When a Lender Fails, a Borrower’s Litigation Defenses May Be “(D’Oench) Duhmed— Gregory S. Grossman and Daniel M. Coyle (Jan. 2013)

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[Revised: 03-25-2013]