Massachusetts State House.
Policy Library

In re Olchowski [SJC-12730]

January 01, 2020

This case has to do with a dispute between the Massachusetts Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Committee and the State Treasurer relating to unidentified funds in IOLTA accounts. The BBA brief sided with the IOLTA Committee, which argued that unidentified funds should be remitted to the Committee instead of the Treasurer.

The brief argued that the Abandoned Property Act was never intended to address unidentified IOLTA funds, inasmuch as it was enacted decades before the creation of the Commonwealth’s IOLTA program in 1985. Further, amici point out, on behalf of their respective members and the bar as a whole, that treating these funds as abandoned property would interfere with the practice of law by intruding on attorney-client confidences—“a critical aspect of the practice of law”—and jeopardizing the security of client information.