What do lawyers need to do to participate in IOLTA?
By law, all lawyers who handle small amounts of money for their clients, or money that is held for a short period of time, must participate in the program.
They must open interest- or dividend-bearing trust accounts at Eligible Financial Institutions and deposit all small and short-term sums into these accounts. They also must report annually to the State Bar whether or not they held a client trust account (including IOLTA) at any time during the prior year.
Once the account is designated an IOLTA account, lawyers are not responsible for ensuring that the interest is accumulated and forwarded to the State Bar.
The financial institutions with which the funds are deposited are responsible for complying with the law, and the IOLTA Program is responsible for monitoring compliance.