Informal Opinion Number: 960221

Rules: 1.15
Client-Lawyer Relationship
Safekeeping Property

Reference Note: Effective July 1, 2016, subdivision 4-1.15(f) of Rule 4 was repealed and a new subdivision 4-1.15(f) adopted in lieu thereof. This opinion is based on Rule 4-1.15 in effect prior to that date.

Reference Note:  Rule 4-1.15 was amended, effective July 1, 2013.  This opinion is based on the rule in effect prior to that date.  Please see the July 1, 2013 version of Rule 4-1.15.

QUESTION: Attorney is a prosecuting attorney. Attorney´s office maintains several bank accounts. Account #1 is used for office expenses such as notary license and vehicle licenses. Account #2 is the account in which monies collected on restitution, bad checks (excluding fees) and taxes are deposited. This is an interest bearing account. Account #3 is the account in which fees collected from other attorneys for discovery, fees collected from the courts, reimbursements for depositions, fire investigation reports, etc. are deposited. Account #4 is the account in which all fees collected on bad checks and bad check cases are deposited. Do these accounts need to be IOLTA accounts? ANSWER: It appears that Accounts 1, 3 and 4 do not need to be IOLTA accounts. Account #2 should, under Rule 1.15, be an IOLTA account, assuming that there is no statutory provision which requires the interest from such an account to be deposited into the General Revenue Account.

Informal Opinions are ethics advisory opinions issued by the Office of Legal Ethics Counsel to members of the Bar about Rule 4 (Rules of Professional Conduct), Rule 5 (Complaints and Proceedings Thereon), and Rule 6 (Fees to Practice Law) pursuant to Missouri Supreme Court Rule 5.30(c). Written summaries of select Informal Opinions are published for informational purposes as determined by the Advisory Committee of the Supreme Court of Missouri pursuant to Rule 5.30(c). Informal opinion summaries are advisory in nature and are not binding. These opinions are published as an educational service and do not constitute legal advice.

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