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RULE 19-409. INTEREST ON FUNDS

West's Annotated Code of MarylandMaryland Rules

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Maryland Rules
Title 19. Attorneys
Chapter 400. Attorney Trust Accounts
MD Rules Attorneys, Rule 19-409
RULE 19-409. INTEREST ON FUNDS
(a) Definition. In this Rule, (1) “AIS” means the Attorney Information System created in Rule 19-801, (2) “AOC” means the Administrative Office of the Courts, and (3) “Client Protection Fund” means the Client Protection Fund of the Bar of Maryland.
(b) Generally. Any interest paid on funds deposited in an attorney trust account, after deducting service charges and fees of the financial institution, shall be credited and belong to the client or third person whose funds are on deposit during the period the interest is earned, except to the extent that interest is paid to the Maryland Legal Services Corporation Fund as authorized by law. The attorney or law firm shall have no right or claim to the interest.
Cross reference: See Rule 19-411 (b)(1)(D) providing that certain fees may not be deducted from interest that otherwise would be payable to the Maryland Legal Services Corporation Fund.
(c) Duty to Report IOLTA Participation.
(1) As a condition precedent to the practice of law, each attorney admitted to practice in Maryland shall report in accordance with this Rule information concerning all IOLTA accounts.
(2) On or before July 10 of each year, AOC shall send electronically to each attorney on active status a notice requiring the attorney to complete an IOLTA Compliance Report on or before September 10 of that year. The report shall require disclosure of the name, address, location, and account number of each IOLTA account maintained by the attorney as of July 10 of each year.
(3) If all IOLTA eligible trust funds of all attorneys in a law firm are deposited in shared law firm IOLTA accounts, the firm shall designate an attorney to be its “IOLTA Reporting Attorney.” The Reporting Attorney shall report on all law firm IOLTA accounts by submitting one report listing the specific account information for the firm with the Reporting Attorney's signature. Each attorney at the law firm other than the firm's IOLTA Reporting Attorney shall submit a report that includes the attorney's name, law firm address and phone number, and the name of the IOLTA Reporting Attorney. The report need not include account information.
(4) On or before September 10 of each year, the attorney, through AIS, shall file electronically a completed IOLTA Compliance Report with AOC.
(5) Enforcement.
(A) Notice of Default. As soon as practicable after February 10 of each year, AOC shall electronically notify each defaulting attorney of the attorney's failure to file the required Report. The notice shall (i) state that the attorney has not filed the required IOLTA Compliance Report and (ii) state that continued failure to file the Report may result in an order by the Court of Appeals prohibiting the attorney from practicing law in Maryland.
(B) Additional Discretionary Notice. In addition to the electronic notice, AOC may give additional notice in other ways to defaulting attorneys. This discretion shall be liberally construed with respect to notices given in 2019.
(C) List of Defaulting Attorneys. As soon as practicable after February 10 of each year but no later than March 10, AOC shall:
(i) prepare, certify, and, transmit to the Court of Appeals a list that includes the name and, unless the attorney has elected to keep the address confidential, the address of each attorney engaged in the practice of law who has failed to file the IOLTA Compliance Report for the preceding reporting period;
(ii) include with the list a proposed Decertification Order stating the name and, unless the attorney has elected to keep the address confidential, the address of each attorney who has failed to file the IOLTA Compliance Report; and
(iii) at the request of the Court, furnish additional information from its records or give further notice to the defaulting attorneys.
(D) Decertification Order. If satisfied that AOC has given the required notice to the attorneys named in the proposed decertification order, the Court of Appeals shall enter a decertification order prohibiting each of them from practicing law in Maryland until such time as a Recertification Order applicable to a listed attorney is entered pursuant to subsection (c)(4)(F) of this Rule. If the Court concludes that an attorney was not given the required notice, it shall delete that attorney's name from the proposed Order.
(E) Transmittal of Decertification Order. AOC shall transmit a copy of the decertification order to each attorney named in the Order.
(F) Recertification; Reinstatement. If a decertified attorney thereafter files the outstanding IOLTA Compliance Report, AOC shall inform the Court of Appeals and request the Court to enter an order that recertifies the attorney and terminates the decertification. Upon the entry of that order, AOC promptly shall transmit confirmation to the attorney. After an attorney is recertified, the fact that the attorney had been decertified need not be disclosed by the attorney in response to a request for information as to whether the attorney has been the subject of a disciplinary or remedial proceeding.
(G) Duty of Clerk of Court of Appeals. Upon entry of each Decertification Order and each Recertification Order entered pursuant to this Rule, the Clerk of the Court of Appeals shall comply with Rule 19-761.
(H) Certain Information Furnished to the Maryland Legal Services Corporation. AOC promptly shall submit to the Maryland Legal Services Corporation the data from the IOLTA Compliance Reports.
(I) Confidentiality. Except as provided in subsections (c)(4)(H) and (c)(4)(I) of this Rule, IOLTA Compliance Reports are confidential and are not subject to inspection or disclosure under Code, General Provisions Article, § 4-301. Neither AIS nor AOC shall release those Reports to any person, except as provided in this Rule or upon order of the Court of Appeals. Non-identifying information and data contained in an attorney's IOLTA Compliance Report are not confidential.
Cross reference: See Code, Business Occupations and Professions Article, § 10-103.
Source: This Rule is derived from former Rule 16-608 (2016).

Credits

[Adopted June 6, 2016, eff. July 1, 2016. Amended Dec. 4, 2018, eff. Jan. 1, 2019.]

Editors' Notes

HISTORICAL NOTES
2018 Orders
The December 4, 2018 order amended this Rule to accommodate the implementation of the Attorney Information System, to modify the dates when certain notices and responses are due, and to make certain style changes.
MD R Attorneys, Rule 19-409, MD R ATTORNEYS Rule 19-409
Current with amendments received through December 15, 2019.
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