David J. Epstein, a dynamic attorney who has specialized in unclaimed property law for the past 30 years, is an active UCLA Law alumnus who has dedicated his life and work to giving back and to public service. Epstein founded Unclaimed Property Clearinghouse in 1984 which, on behalf of every state, audits businesses for unclaimed funds owing to others.
Thanks to Epstein’s tireless efforts, millions of individuals have been able to find and claim funds owed them. His path-breaking work returning abandoned financial assets to their rightful owners embodies the ideals of public interest that the UCLA School of Law seeks to imbue in its students. As a result of his audit program, state of California collections increased in a few years from $2 million to more than $100 million a year.
California is now looking for the missing owners of $4.2 billion in unclaimed property. Epstein served as a commissioner on the California State Little Hoover Commission. He has also been a reporter to the Uniform Law Commission, during which time he played an integral part in the rewrite of the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act, which was adopted by more than 30 states. He authored Escheat and Abandoned Property Laws: Survey and Analysis, published by the American Society of Corporate Secretaries, which is distributed to every major public corporation in the nation.
He also authored Unclaimed Property Law and Reporting Forms, a seven volume treatise that covers state escheat laws and the reporting requirements for holders of unclaimed property. True to his personal philosophy, "you must give back some," Epstein has made a landmark gift to support the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy at UCLA and serves as a member of the UCLA School of Law Board of Advisors.