trust or escrow account

A fee deposit or advance payment from a client to an attorney for services to be performed in the future remains the property of the client until it is earned by the attorney. Such an unearned fee deposit generally must be held in the attorney’s trust or escrow account and not deposited into the attorney’s operating account or otherwise accessed until the attorney has done the work and earned the fee.

If the client or the attorney terminates the representation at any time, the attorney generally must return the unearned portion of the fee to the client. The terms of the engagement letter or agreement between the attorney and client may impact the attorney's obligation to return unearned fees, and a potential client should read and understand it.

State Statutes for the State of Texas

Federal Statutes