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Oklahoma BAR Association Reimbursing Victims Of Legal Mistakes

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The Oklahoma BAR Association is reimbursing clients all across the state for lawyers who are no longer practicing law. The Oklahoma BAR Association is reimbursing clients all across the state for lawyers who are no longer practicing law.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Lawyers are playing Santa for victims of legal wrong-doing. While their timing is just coincidence, their gift giving is voluntary.

The Oklahoma BAR Association is reimbursing clients all across the state for lawyers who are no longer practicing law.

The fund is called the Clients Security Fund. Each year, a portion of Oklahoma lawyer BAR dues are set aside to reimburse client's lost money.

But that money is not all lost. This year, the association paid back over $100,000.

"They were taking money and not doing the work," said Oklahoma Bar Association's Gina Hendryx.

"My lawyer took the money and ran, what can I do?" This is the headline written by Greg in an online chat room.

Greg described his situation in which he hired Norman lawyer Dane Wilson and after paying Wilson, Greg said he never heard from Wilson again.

Left with no representation and feeling cheated out of his money, Greg had one last hope.

"There's not many resources after this one," Greg said.

Gina Hendryx, along with the Oklahoma BAR Association, has a fund for many clients in situations like Hendryx.

"That small few cause harm to the public, we want to step in and see what we can do to help," Gina Hendryx said.

This year, the Client's Security Fund reimbursed clients a total of more than $100,000 to 21 clients whose attorneys were either deceased, disbarred or lost their license while on the case.

"It doesn't hurt that is comes during the holidays, we wish we could do more, but it is a good feeling." said Hendryx.

The payback is at least 86 cents on the dollar. And the fund has nothing to do with tax dollars.

"It's simply our membership wanting to give back to people who have been harmed," Hendryx said.

As for attorney Dane Wilson, he is now suspended by the Oklahoma BAR Association and two other clients of his were reimbursed from this year's Client Security Fund.

Those 21 clients were from three separate attorneys. And for any attorney who the Association had to cover, if they want to practice ever again, they must pay back the BAR Association, 100 percent.

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