Maryland Lawyers: New IOLTA Rules in 2008

On January 1, 2008, the new IOLTA rules approved by the Maryland Court of Appeals go into effect. There have long been rules for Maryland lawyers to open a trust account for the deposit of client funds that are not purely payments for legal fees or expenses. What had been absent is any requirement as to the nuances of the maintenance of the accounts.

The new rule, Maryland Rule 606.1, provides detail as to how IOLTA accounts in Maryland are to be kept in the future. At a quick glance, it appears that there is a lot more that must be done. But if your account is handled by a bookkeeper, as I suspect is the case for the vast majority of Maryland lawyers, you are probably already adhering to almost all of the new rules. The only rule we do not currently follow is a notation which requires a listing of the lawyer responsible for the transaction, and, at our firm, it is always the same lawyer.

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