Exemptions to the IOLTA Requirement

Know the requirements

Exemptions to the IOLTA Requirement

As of January 1, 2008, lawyers may no longer opt-out of the IOLTA program.  It is mandatory to maintain an interest-bearing trust account(s) for safekeeping the property of others unless a valid exemption can be found within Court Rules.  Exemptions granted by this Foundation prior to January 1, 2008 are no longer valid.

Supreme Court Rule 4-1.15(l) states:

"(l) Every lawyer shall certify in connection with this Court's annual enrollment statement that the lawyer or the law firm with which the lawyer is associated either maintains an IOLTA account with an eligible institution as provided in Rule 4-1.15(h) or is exempt because the:

  1. lawyer is not engaged in the practice of law;
  2. nature of the lawyer's or law firm's practice is such that the lawyer or law firm does not hold client or third party funds;
  3. lawyer is primarily engaged in the practice of law in another jurisdiction and not regularly engaged in the practice of law in this state;
  4. lawyer is associated in a law firm with at least one lawyer who is admitted to practice and maintains an office in a jurisdiction other than the state of Missouri and the lawyer or law firm maintains a pooled trust account for the deposit of funds of clients or third persons in a financial institution located in such other jurisdiction outside the state of Missouri and any interest or dividends, net of any service charges and fees, from the account is being remitted to the client or third person who owns the funds or to a nonprofit organization or government agency pursuant to the laws or rules governing lawyer conduct of the jurisdiction in which the financial institution is located;"

In addition to the exemptions above, lawyers may annually apply for individual exemptions from the Foundation as described in 4-1.15(l)(5).  Procedures to apply for an exemption for 2009 are available upon written request mailed to:

Missouri Lawyer Trust Account Foundation
P. O. Box 63
Jefferson City, Missouri 65102
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