Supreme Court considers mandatory IOLTA participation

March 8, 2006

The Supreme Court is considering joining 31other states in adopting mandatory participation in IOLTA (Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts). Mississippi currently is one of 18 states which require lawyers to participate in the IOLTA program unless they opt out.

The proposed rule change would affect a lawyer’s general trust account, but would not affect interest-bearing trust accounts held for individual clients. The interest earned on trust accounts held for an individual would continue to be paid to the individual client. The interest earned on IOLTA trust accounts would continue to provide a portion of the funding for Legal Services and the Volunteer Lawyers Project, both of which provide legal services to the poor in Mississippi.

If adopted, the change would come in the form of an amendment to Rule 1.15 of the Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct. The Supreme Court is soliciting public comments on the proposed amendment. Comments should be addressed to the Clerk of the Supreme Court, Gartin Justice Building, P.O. Box 117, Jackson, MS 39205. Comments should be clearly marked as “Comments on proposed changes to Rule 1.15, Rules of Professional Conduct.” The deadline for submitting comments is April 13, 2006.

A copy of the proposed revisions is available on the News page of the Supreme Court website at