Tuesday, June 19, 2007, 1:10 PM

COA: Lawyer's Trust Account Check Better Than Personal Check

Today in an appeal by the caveator in In re Will of Turner, the COA confronted this issue: when a caveator gives the clerk of court a check drawn on the trust account of a local law firm, does that check constitute a "bond" or "money" in lieu of a bond under the relevant statute; or, does the check constitute neither under In re Will of Winborne (N.C. 1950), which held, in construing the same statute, that a personal check drawn on an out-of-state bank and "deposited with the clerk is not a bond, and it does not constitute cash deposited in lieu of bond within the meaning of the statute."

The trial court dismissed the case, holding that the check wasn't a bond or money in lieu of a bond, and that therefore the caveator didn't properly file within the statute of limitations.

The COA reversed. The COA distinguished Winborne on the basis that a check drawn on a lawyer's trust account is more reliable and secure than a personal check drawn on a bank. Hmm. I wonder whether the banks would agree.


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