Legal Ethics

Court of Appeals Adopts Amendments to IOLTA Rules

Chief Judge Eric T. Washington of the D.C. Court of Appeals has written a letter to the membership about August 1, 2010,Changes to the Rules Governing the D.C. Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Account (IOLTA) Program.
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The amendments, effective August 1, 2010, make participation in the IOLTA program mandatory for D.C. Bar members who receive IOLTA–eligible funds, except when a lawyer is otherwise compliant with the contrary mandates of a tribunal, or when the lawyer is participating in and compliant with trust accounting rules and the IOLTA program of the jurisdiction where the lawyer is licensed and principally practices.

The revisions amend Rule 1.15 of the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct and delete Rule 1.19 and Appendix B to the rules. Some provisions of former Rule 1.19 and Appendix B were moved to Rule 1.15 and to a new Section 20 to Rule XI of the D.C. Court of Appeals Rules Governing the District of Columbia Bar.

The revised rules are intended to boost funds distributed by the D.C. Bar Foundation to local legal service providers by increasing revenue from D.C. IOLTA and interest paid by banks on funds held in these accounts. The revisions also provide greater clarity to the trust account ethics rules.

For more information on the revised rules, contact legal ethics counsel Hope C. Todd at 202-737-4700, ext. 3231, or Saul Singer at 202-737-4700, ext. 3232, or by e–mail at ethics@dcbar.org. For questions about how to set up and operate a DC IOLTA, contact practice management advisor Dan Mills at 202-737-4700, ext. 3212 or by e–mail at dmills@dcbar.org.

Court Order No. M-235-07 and Appendix I, Redline Version of D.C. Rule of Professional Conduct 1.15 as Amended
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District of Columbia Court of Appeals Amended order No. M–235–09
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