In Mottl v. Missouri Lawyer Trust Account Foundation, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District addressed the constitutionality of Missouri's IOLTA program for the first time and held that participation in Missouri's IOLTA program is not state action because of the voluntary nature of the program. 6 By so deciding, the court shifted liability for participation in the program from the state to private attorneys and law firms. As a result, an attorney must inform a client during initial consultation that the attorney or the attorney's firm voluntarily participates in the IOLTA program and that, as a result of this participation, the interest on client funds that is nominal in amount or held for a short period of time will be transferred to the Foundation.7 Attorneys who fail to do so subject themselves to liability to the client for conversion of the client's interest and to possible disciplinary sanctions.
Timothy D. Steffens,
Are You Misappropriating Client Funds - Missouri's IOLTA Plan after Mottl,
71 Mo. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/mlr/vol71/iss1/12