Welcome to the State Bar of New Mexico Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Program.
Effective on January 1, 2015, the New Mexico Supreme Court named the State Bar of New Mexico the IOLTA program administrator for New Mexico. "IOLTA" stands for Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts. An IOLTA account is a pooled, interest-bearing demand deposit account used by lawyers to hold client funds. The idea originated in British, Canadian and Australian jurisdictions in the 1960s. In the US, IOLTA was pioneered in Florida and now exists in every state in the country.
The New Mexico IOLTA program was created by the State Supreme Court in 1984, and was a voluntary program until April 1, 2002, when it was converted to opt-out. In 2009, New Mexico's IOLTA program was converted again - this time to a mandatory program with a comparability requirement. The current rules require that all New Mexico attorneys who hold eligible funds participate in IOLTA and that the funds be held at eligible financial institutions. Rule 24-109 NMRA, governs the New Mexico IOLTA program. The ethics rules, compliance and enforcement of trust accounting are described in Rules 16-115 and 17-204 NMRA and should be consulted along with the IOLTA rule.
The interest generated by the client funds held in a pooled interest-bearing trust account are remitted to the State Bar of New Mexico, which holds the funds and distributes them annually at the direction of the New Mexico Supreme Court, on recommendation from its Access to Justice Commission. The funds are used to provide civil legal assistance to the poor, legal education and improvements to the administration of justice in New Mexico. To enroll in the IOLTA program or for more information on IOLTA, please refer to attorney or financial institution link below: