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BOSTON —� A pair of decisions from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court denies legal clients a judicial appeal path for decisions made by the Clients’ Security Board about reimbursement of funds misused by their lawyers. The first decision said a board ruling about reimbursement of a claim is not subject to certiorari review. Janice Indeck v. Clients’ Security Board, No. SJC-09892 (Mass.) Indeck filed a request for certiorari with the Supreme Judicial Court in August 2006 to review the board’s award of $150,000 on a claim of $569,000 that Indeck thought her prior attorney was holding in bank accounts. Although the attorney never returned the principal, he paid Indeck an estimated $912,600 in interest from 1982 through 2000. The board generally considers such distributions return of the principal, but it gave Indeck $150,000 as a hardship award because she was an elderly client who lost her life savings. The board’s payouts administer the bar’s collective professional responsibility to members of the public who have experienced losses attributable to lawyers, wrote Associate Justice Robert J. Cordy. “That purpose does not vest a private right in wronged clients to a reimbursement of their lost funds, nor does it create an expectation of such reimbursement,” Cordy wrote. “Consequently, board decisions — relating to the reimbursement of claims — do not give rise to the substantial injury or injustice necessary for certiorari review.” Indeck’s attorney, Kara Larzelere of Gallagher & Associates of Charlestown, Ma., said the decision seems to foreclose any right of appeal to the Supreme Judicial Court. Clients’ Security Board counsel Michael Fredrickson said the decision will allow the board to do its job “without worrying about collateral litigation or someone suing the board for doing what it thinks is right.” The second decision, which the Supreme Judicial Court transferred from the Massachusetts Appeals Court on its own, affirmed that the board’s requirement that a claimant assign future recoveries beyond the reimbursement award to the board is not subject to judicial review. Audoire v. Clients’ Security Board, No SJC-10063 (Mass.) Audoire’s former lawyer allegedly misappropriated her money through fraudulent investment schemes. Audoire initially hired a an attorney to represent her in a civil case against the former lawyer, but later made a claim of $257,622.22 to a settlement trust formed to distribute the lawyers’ malpractice insurance monies to the former clients. As part of the settlement, the board required Audoire to sign an agreement assigning it the right to future claims, and the trust paid her $203,414. When the board attempted to claim the additional $10,993.57 awarded by the insurance company for Audoire’s claims, but Audoire and her former attorney objected. Audoire’s attorney Michael J. Walsh of Brookline, N.H. did not return a call seeking comment.

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