Ethics Committee Formal Opinion #1990-91/3
Donation to IOLTA of Interest Accrued on Trust Account Prior to Joining IOLTA
May 9, 1991
Rule 1.15 imposes a mandatory obligation on New Hampshire Attorneys to safeguard clients’ property and deliver such property to the clients unless another disposition is permitted by law or agreed to by the clients. (Rule 1.15)
An attorney must take steps to allocate accrued pre-IOLTA interest among the affected clients and return it to them unless the clients agree to its donation to IOLTA. (Rule 1.15; NH Supreme Court Rule 50).
May an attorney donate interest accrued on clients’ funds prior to the attorney’s membership in IOLTA, to IOLTA?