Ethics Committee Formal Opinion #1990-91/10

Trust Funds:  Application of Retainer to Final Bill

April 11, 1991


A lawyer may not hold a client’s retainer in the lawyer’s client trust account (non-interest bearing) unless such funds are “nominal in amount” or held for “a short period to time”, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 50.  (Rule 1.15(a)(1)).


May the inquiring attorney deposit in his or her client trust account a client retainer that the attorney expects to hold until the conclusion of the representation, which might be several years, without paying the client interest on the retainer?

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