Ethics Help

Trust Accounts/IOLTA

Trust Account Handbook

Am I required to provide the Bar with up-to-date information about my lawyer trust account?
Yes.  Section 8 of the Annual License Fee Statement requires all members of the Wyoming State Bar to provide certified information regarding lawyer trust accounts, as provided in Rule 1.15 of the Wyoming Rules of Professional Conduct.

I am an out-of-state practitioner. Do I still need to complete Section 8?
Yes. If you are an out-of-state practitioner who does not, in the course of providing legal services requiring you to be a member of the Wyoming State Bar, receive funds of clients or third persons, so indicate by checking the box that follows the word or on the form. If, however, you do receive such funds, you must have a lawyer trust account with a financial institution located or having a branch in Wyoming. This requirement is not new, and is for enforcement purposes.

Are all IOLTA accounts “Wyoming IOLTA” accounts?
No. Many states have IOLTA programs. Colorado, for example, has the Colorado Lawyer Trust Account Foundation (“COLTAF”). COLTAF, like Wyoming’s IOLTA Program, uses the interest earned on IOLTA accounts to fund legal services for the poor. If you have a COLTAF account, you are still compliant with the Wyoming rules so long as your COLTAF account is with a financial institution that has a Wyoming branch. In that case, you should still provide the requested information required by Section 8 about your account (name of financial institution, location of Wyoming branch, account number, and name on account), but you should check “no” in response to the question “Wyoming IOLTA?”

My bank requires certain forms in order to open an IOLTA account, such as an “IOLTA Participation Form for Attorneys” or a “Notice to Financial Institution.” Where can I get those forms?
Different banks have different requirements for opening IOLTA and other accounts. Questions regarding Wyoming IOLTA Program accounts should be directed to Angie Dorsch at (307) 777-8383.

In previous years, if I chose not to maintain a Wyoming IOLTA account I was required to submit a written “Notice of Declination” every year. Must I still do that?
No. The requirement to submit an annual “Notice of Declination” has been eliminated.

Is there a list of IOLTA eligible financial institutions?
Yes. Click here to view the list.

I still have questions. Who should I call?
For questions regarding compliance with Wyoming’s lawyer trust account rules generally, contact Shannon Howshar, Assistant to Bar Counsel, at (307) 432-2104. For questions regarding Wyoming IOLTA Program accounts, contact Angie Dorsch at (307) 777-8383.