Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Trust But Verify

From the web page of the District of Columbia Bar:

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has adopted new Rule XIV of the Rules Governing the Bar, establishing the D.C. Bar Foundation’s authority to develop a plan for lawyers and law firms to verify to the Bar Foundation their participation in the D.C. Court of Appeals’ Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program.

The adoption of the rule came after the court published the proposed new rule for a period of public comment from December 12, 2012, to January 31, 2013. Under new Rule XIV, the Bar Foundation, which administers the D.C. IOLTA program, may periodically request that lawyers and law firms verify their participation in the D.C. IOLTA program. With the change, former Rules XVI and XV will be renumbered as Rules XV and XVI.

If the Bar Foundation decides to undertake verification, it must develop a plan that addresses, among other things, the kind of information to be collected and how it will be used, the security of the information, and the scope of disclosure to other parties of the information collected. The plan and any subsequent changes to it are subject to the review and approval by the District of Columbia Bar Board of Governors and the D.C. Court of Appeals.

In addition, the Bar Foundation must submit an annual report to the D.C. Court of Appeals and the D.C. Bar Board of Governors about the Bar Foundation’s verification activities, including its implementation efforts, the number of requests made and responses received, the number of lawyers and firms participating, and the total funds obtained.

(Mike Frisch)

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