The Foundation disburses the funds to organizations that meet its mission: To increase access to justice by funding programs that target un- or under-served, low income populations, and by encouraging projects that improve the administration of justice.
Arkansas lawyers must certify annually to the Clerk of the Arkansas Supreme Court that they have compiled with Rule 1.15. If a lawyer or law firm has not complied with Rule 1.15, the lawyer will be referred to the Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct for investigation.
Simply contact the Foundation for the proper form to set up your IOLTA account. Use the account in the manner required by Rule 1.15 and return your executed IOLTA compliance statement along with your annual fees to maintain your Arkansas law license.
The Arkansas IOLTA Foundation is eligible to maintain NOW accounts because it is a IRC section 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Since the interest on an IOLTA account is paid to the Foundation for charitable and educational purposes, the Federal Reserve has ruled that any law firm can have a NOW account as long as it is an IOLTA account.
There are none. According to the Internal Revenue Service, interest income that is earned on pooled accounts containing clients' nominal or short-term funds held by lawyers and paid over to the Foundation pursuant to an order of the Arkansas Supreme Court is not includable in the gross income of either the clients or the lawyers. (Rev. Rul.
The Arkansas Supreme Court requires that clients be given an opportunity to know about IOLTA To that end, the Foundation supplies each law firm with an attractive notice that must be posted in a conspicuous place in your law office.
Very little time and no money. The mechanics of establishing an IOLTA account are simple and, once it is done, no further time or effort by the attorney is required unless the attorney changes banks. After the lawyer completes the one-page form, the IOLTA staff handles all the paperwork with the bank.
Any changes or fees associated specifically with having an IOLTA account are paid by the IOLTA Foundation. Lawyers pay for check printing and fees not specifically related to having an IOLTA account, such as wire transfers and check overdraft charges.
Every lawyer is required to establish his or her client trust account as an IOLTA account. However, if the account loses money because the interest earned is less than reasonable fees and charges, then the Foundation Board may, either in response to a request or on its own, exempt the lawyer from maintaining an IOLTA account. This exemption will be subject to periodic review.
Yes. Interest rates and service charges vary from bank to bank and even among different bank branches. The IOLTA staff can tell you which financial institutions have the combination of fees and interest rates that will allow more of the interest earned to go to law-related public service projects.
Should a lawyer's bank refuse to offer an IOLTA account, then the attorney will need to move his or her trust account to a bank that does offer IOLTA accounts. The Foundation can provide a list of banks in your area that offer IOLTA accounts.