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Online Guide to E-Filing and IOLTA

To help Illinois lawyers prepare for mandatory e‐filing, the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois has published an online Guide to E‐Filing and IOLTA. Developed in collaboration with the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission, the guide provides lawyers with practical information about making electronic payments from client funds held in IOLTA and other client trust accounts.

By order of the Illinois Supreme Court, e‐filing in all Illinois civil cases will become mandatory on January 1, 2018. The e‐filing system, eFileIL, will accept payments for filing fees and other costs only through electronic payment methods such as credit cards, debit cards, and e‐checks. The Guide to E‐Filing and IOLTA anticipates questions and ethics considerations some lawyers may have as they adapt their trust accounting
practices to accommodate electronic payments.

E‐filing does not fundamentally change how lawyers should manage client funds held in IOLTA accounts. Electronic payments are permissible under the safekeeping of property rule (Rule of Professional Conduct 1.15), and lawyers’ duties under the rule remain the same. But for some lawyers, these new payment methods may raise questions about how to properly make electronic payments.

The guide seeks to clarify how and when the electronic payment methods are permitted under Rule 1.15, and offers additional tips for lawyers about using these methods in connection with their IOLTA accounts.

The Guide to E‐Filing and IOLTA is published online. Lawyers are urged to consult the guide. If they have questions they are encouraged to contact LTF.

The Lawyers Trust Fund is a charitable foundation established by the Illinois State and Chicago Bar associations in 1983. The Illinois Supreme Court designated the Lawyers Trust Fund as the administrator of the Interest on Lawyer Trust Account (IOLTA) program, which generates interest from attorneys’ pooled client trust accounts. The Lawyers Trust Fund is the largest single Illinois‐based source of funding for civil legal services, and second only to the federal Legal Services Corporation in terms of total grants for legal aid in the state.

Posted on Oct 23, 2017 by Sara Anderson | Comments (0)
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