Information on IOLTA

Establishing an Interest on Lawyer's Trust (IOLTA) Account

*Source of Information: Hawaii Justice Foundation

Enclosed for your information and use is a two-page information sheet entitled “Complying with Rule 11 ” that describes the basic requirements of Rule 11 of the Rules of Supreme Court of Hawaii. This information sheet lists the various banks in Hawaii that offer IOLTA accounts, and we think you will find the process easier than you probably now imagine. Enclosed also is “Form 2,” which is the form you should give to your bank regarding establishing your trust account. Your IOLTA account is commonly referred to as your “trust account,” since the funds in the IOLTA account are held by you in trust for your client until fees and costs are earned and billed to the client, at which time they can then be transferred to another appropriate location. Please work directly with your bank to establish your IOLTA account. Please fax or mail to HJF a copy of a voided check or deposit slip, once you have your new IOLTA account established. Please note that under HRPC 1.15(b), the title of the account should be “Client Trust Account” and not “Clients Trust Account” or “Client’s Trust Account.”

All typical monthly service fees (other than special fees charged for cashier’s checks, insufficient funds, etc.) are paid by your bank and/or HJF. The net monthly interest from your trust account is paid over to HJF, and HJF uses this to fund various legal services projects and related activities. All fifty states have similar programs.

We realize that it will take some of your valuable time to establish this IOLTA account, and we appreciate your efforts. The Office of Disciplinary Counsel does require that unearned client fees be handled appropriately, either through your IOLTA account or through a special trust account set up for a particular transaction. You should contact the Office of Disciplinary Counsel if you have specific questions, or you can read Rule 11 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Hawaii. Rule 11 outlines in detail the requirements of IOLTA accounts.

Each year in November or early December, the Hawaii State Bar Association (HSBA) will send you your HSBA Dues Notice for the following year. Part of that dues information package will be your “IOLTA Certification,” which is a simple two-sided form. To meet your IOLTA reporting requirements, all you do is complete and sign that twosided form and attach a void check or deposit slip from your IOLTA Account. You return the form to the HSBA with your dues payment. Thus, once you have the IOLTA account set up, maintenance of your IOLTA account is relatively easy. You are of course required to report to HJF any changes in the location of your IOLTA trust account. We wish you the very best in your practice of law, and thank you again for your cooperation.

IOLTA Approved Banks
RSCH Rule 11 Certified Financial Institutions

There are only 9 Hawaii banks certified as IOLTA funds depositories:

American Savings Bank

For more information contact Isaiah K. Peroff, Assistant Branch Manager (808-527-4332) or at [email protected] or Cliff Kaneshiro, Branch Manager (808-527-4324) or at [email protected].

Bank of Hawaii

Bank of Hawaii offers The Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Account (IOLTA) Program, sponsored by the Hawaii Justice Foundation (HJF). This account enables attorneys to deposit your clients’ funds to an interest-bearing business checking account. Interest earned on these accounts are transferred automatically at month end to the HJF, which uses the funds to sponsor charitable law-related projects in the State of Hawaii. Bank of Hawaii offers special account packages that can assist with your business needs. For Inquiries, please contact Lono Kealoha at 808-694-4152 or email [email protected] .

Central Pacific Bank

For more information contact Glenn Ching, Chief Legal Officer at [email protected].

First Hawaiian Bank

For more information contact a First Hawaiian Bank (808-525-6340) or visit any of First Hawaiian Bank’s branch locations.

First Foundation Bank

For more information contact Louis Nozaki at [email protected] or visit their website .

Bank of the Orient

For more information contact Rochelle Kaai De Costa (808-543-3761) or at [email protected].

Hawaii National Bank

For more information contact a Hawaii National Bank (808-524-1331) or visit any of Hawaii National Bank’s branch locations.

Home Street Bank

For more information, visit their website .

Ohana Pacific Bank

For more information contact an Ohana Pacific Bank (808-237-6551) or visit any of Ohana Pacific Bank’s branch locations.


Smarter Legal Research included with your HSBA Membership