2022 - Michael J. Knight
Michael began his legal career as Assistant Counsel with the
New York Lawyers’ Fund in 1990 following his graduation from
Albany Law School. In 2000, he was appointed Deputy Counsel,
and in 2018, Michael became the New York Fund’s Executive
Director and Counsel, where he continues to serve today.
During his 32 years with the New York Lawyers’ Fund, Michael has
played a vital role in reimbursing victims of dishonest lawyers, as
well as in the administration and oversight of several New York
regulatory rules for the benefit of law client victims. Initiatives
championed by Michael include the dishonored check reporting
rule; missing client and deceased attorney funds rule; and
Insurance Regulation 64, requiring payee notification. Most
recently, he was instrumental in the expansion of the dishonored
check reporting rule to include overdraft notifications.
Michael has provided countless lectures throughout New York state with bar associations, and continuing legal education programs, educating New York attorneys on how to comply with their fiduciary and escrow obligations and avoid situations that can result in losses.
It is because of Michael’s dedication and service to the New York Lawyers’ Fund that it has become one of the foremost client protection programs in the nation.
For over three decades Michael has been a leader in the client protection field throughout the U.S. and Canada. He served as NCPO’s president, participates in virtually all NCPO workshops and ABA Forums, and is clearly a “go to” person whose experience, knowledge, grace and wit has helped so many of us in the field. He has also been an active member of the Standing Committee on Law Client Protection of the American Bar Association, and continues to develop and offer analysis, forms, and advice in support of funds across the country. In his many roles, Michael has been the consummate ambassador of the ideals of law client protection.
Michael Harmon, chair of the Hecht Award Committee, talks about Isaac Hecht and the award bearing his name.