Frequently Asked Questions – Attorneys
Q: What are attorneys’ responsibilities under the IOLTA rules if they
do not handle client trust funds?
A: Licensed attorneys in Texas who do NOT handle client trust funds are not required
to establish an IOLTA account. However, such attorneys are required to advise the
Texas Access to Justice Foundation during the annual IOLTA compliance process that
they do not handle client trust funds.
Q: Where do attorneys deposit client trust funds that do not meet the short-term
or nominal fund requirements of IOLTA?
A: Client trust funds that do not meet the nominal or short-term fund requirements
of an IOLTA account should be deposited in a separate demand account to earn interest
for the benefit of that client. The attorney must use that client’s tax I.D.
number instead of the Foundation’s tax I.D.
Q: Do attorneys have to pay for service charges on IOLTA accounts?
A: Allowable reasonable fees are the only fees and service charges that may be deducted
by an eligible institution from interest earned on an IOLTA account. Allowable reasonable
fees may be deducted from interest or dividends on an IOLTA account only at the
rates and in accordance with the customary practices of the eligible institution
for non-IOLTA customers. No fees or service charges other than allowable reasonable
fees may be assessed against the accrued interest or dividends on an IOLTA account.
Any fees and service charges other than allowable reasonable fees shall be the sole
responsibility of, and may only be charged to, the attorney or law firm maintaining
the IOLTA account.
Q: Does the IOLTA program pay for the checks, deposit slips and other related
fees on the client trust accounts?
A: No. The Foundation will pay reasonable service charges on the IOLTA account.
However, the Foundation does not pay for checks, wire transfers or other business
expenses associated with the account.
Q: What do attorneys or law firms have to do to open an IOLTA account?
A: The attorney or law firm must take the IOLTA
Notice to Financial Institution to the financial institution in which the
IOLTA account will be opened. This form instructs the financial institution how
to establish an IOLTA account. Once the account is opened, the financial institution
must complete the form. The attorney, law firm or bank must then mail or fax a copy
of the completed form to the Texas Access to Justice Foundation. For more information,
please see How to Open an IOLTA account.
Nov. 19, 2013
Texas Corporate Counsel Community Raises $48,000 for Civil Legal Services
Nov. 18, 2013
State Bar of Texas Announces Move to a Prime Partner Bank
Serving the Legal Needs of Those Who Served - Veterans Day 2013
November is Prime Partner Bank Recognition Month!
Oct. 29, 2013
TAJF Seeks Director of Finance
Oct. 22, 2013
Pro Bono Week Kickoff Event Honors New Supreme Court Justice and Access to Justice Supporters
Oct. 18, 2013
The application period for the Texas Equal Justice Works Fellowship program has
been extended to Dec. 1
Sept. 13, 2013
Announces 2013-14 Grant Awards
Sept. 10, 2013
Announces 2013 Texas Equal Justice Works Fellows
Sept. 4, 2013
Ferguson and Tottenham appointed to TAJF Board
July 19, 2013
Announces Grants for Veterans' Legal Services
May 28, 2013
Legislature Provides Funding for the State's Legal Aid System
May 16, 2013
Fort Bend County Banks Receive Prime Partners in Justice Award
April 21-27, 2013
TAJF Recognizes National Crime Victims' Week
April 24, 2013
Justice Gala Raises More Than $338,000 for Legal Services to Veterans
April 3, 2013
Deadline for veteran grant applications extended to May 1
Public Welfare Foundation issues report "Natural Allies: Philanthropy and Civil
March 29, 2013
Children should have a voice in termination cases
March 27, 2013
Legal Aid Needs Unmet
- San Antonio Express News
March 1, 2013
IOLTA Program Find New Funding to Support Legal Services
March 1, 2013
Statement from TAJF Chair on Sequester Funding Cuts to Legal Aid
February 20, 2013
Legal Aid Funding Shortfall & Legislative Solutions Announced
February 20, 2013
New report on economic impact of legal aid released today
February 18, 2013
Press Conference to Held Feb. 20 at the Capitol