New Rule Provides Direction to Attorneys with Unclaimed Funds in their IOLTA Account

After several years of receiving calls from attorneys seeking guidance on the ethical distribution of unclaimed and unidentifiable funds in their IOLTA trust account, the IOLTA Board is pleased to share that recently adopted Pennsylvania Rule of Professional Conduct 1.15(v) provides such guidance. It is an especially common question when an attorney is winding down a law practice in preparation for retirement or when his or her attempts to contact a former client are unsuccessful.

The new rule provides that after reasonable efforts have been undertaken to reunite funds in an IOLTA account with their rightful owner for at least two years, any unidentifiable or unclaimed funds may be transferred to the IOLTA Board for safekeeping. The funds may be reclaimed if the rightful owner is identified or located at a later time.

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