Informal Opinion Number: 2022-08

Adoption Date: 2022

Rules: 4-1.15; 4-1.6
Client-Lawyer Relationship
Safekeeping Property
Confidentiality of Information
Subject: Trust Accounts and Safekeeping Property
Summary: depositing check electronically

May Attorney deposit a check into a trust account electronically by sending the bank a photo of the check through the bank’s website or application?

Answer: Attorney has an obligation under Rule 4-1.6(c) to make reasonable efforts to prevent the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of, or unauthorized access to, a client’s confidential information. So long as the bank’s website or application provides for reasonable security over the transmission of the check by photo, and appropriate trust account records can be maintained in accordance with Rule 4-1.15(f)(1), (2), (7), and (8), Attorney may deposit a check into a trust account electronically so long as the records of such deposit are sufficiently detailed as to each check deposited. See Rule 4-1.15(a)(4). 

Informal Opinions are ethics advisory opinions issued by the Office of Legal Ethics Counsel to members of the Bar about Rule 4 (Rules of Professional Conduct), Rule 5 (Complaints and Proceedings Thereon), and Rule 6 (Fees to Practice Law) pursuant to Missouri Supreme Court Rule 5.30(c). Written summaries of select Informal Opinions are published for informational purposes as determined by the Advisory Committee of the Supreme Court of Missouri pursuant to Rule 5.30(c). Informal opinion summaries are advisory in nature and are not binding. These opinions are published as an educational service and do not constitute legal advice.

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