Constitutional Law Keyed to Chemerinsky
Brown v Legal Foundation of Washington
The State of Washington, and most other states, uses interest on lawyer’s trust accounts (IOLTA) to pay for legal services for the needy. This program was established by the Washington State Supreme Court pursuant to its authority to regulate the practice of law. In the course of legal practice, attorneys are required to hold any client funds in an separate account, as it is unethical to pool funds. However, they may pool several client’s funds together without comingling. Every state in the nation adopted an IOLTA program, requiring that attorneys put client funds in interest bearing accounts, or IOLTA accounts. In addition, every state provides that the interest from these accounts be used for charitable purposes. It should be noted that there is a requirement that any funds that would generate a net income should be deposited into a separate interest bearing account for that client. Petitioners are clients that assert that the taking of their interest amounts to a taking under the constitution, and they are entitled to compensation.
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