A solicitor has denied stealing thousands of pounds from his clients.
Nathan Horsley is accused of pocketing around £19,000 belonging to 11 people he represented between 2011 and 2013.
The 33-year-old, who was formerly employed by Hedley's & Co in Fawcett Street, Sunderland, appeared in the dock at Newcastle Crown Court and pleaded not
guilty to 17 charges of theft.
A trial, which may last around seven days and involve a number of witnesses, has been listed to start on October 2 and there will be a further preparation hearing of his case in June.
Judge Robert Spragg granted Horsley unconditional bail.
The judge told him: "You have pleaded not guilty to these matters and there will need to be a trial, which will take place on October 2.
"There will also be a pre-trial hearing during week commencing June 26.
"You will need to come to court on those days."
Horsley, of Ashfield Close, Hartlepool, spoke only to confirm his name, enter pleas of not guilty and to indicate that he understood his requirement to attend future hearings.