What Should I Do If My Settlement Check Bounces?

My lawyer settled my personal injury case.  He said that he put the check for $60,000 in his trust account and that I would get my share in 10 days.  Ten days later I received a check for $38,500 – the amount I was supposed to receive.  However, I deposited the check from my lawyer’s trust account in my checking account and just found out it bounced.  What should I do? 

This should not happen.  Lawyer trust accounts are accounts that are kept separate from a lawyer’s operating account – the account he or she uses for rent, payroll,etc.  Trust accounts are a "parking place" for client money.  There should never be a bounced check on that account because the account is holding client funds that have already "cleared" the bank  – and client funds can only be used for client purposes.

Thus, you need your attorney to explain exactly how this happened.  If you do not get an immediate, satisfactory answer,  call the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility immediately.