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Can a party serve a subpoena on an attorney during litigation for inspection of records related to the attorney's IOLA ?

New York, NY |

22 NYCRR Part 1200(i) (Rule 1.15(i)) addresses the obligations of an attorney to produce records concerning his/her IOLA, but it seems to apply only to inspection in connection with a disciplinary proceeding. What if the information is relevant to non-disciplinary litigation. Are these records subject to a subpoena, or are they privileged and/or confidential?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

See previous response to same question.

Posted

You haven't provided sufficient information to give any guidance. But since you were clever enough to do your own research, doubtless you can find an answer to your question.

Posted

IOLA stands for interest on lawyers' accounts - it is funded by a fee on attorneys assessed biannually, and those fees are used to compensate clients whose attorneys have cheated them. I can't begin to imagine how you can believe that IOLA information is relevant to a non-disciplinary proceeding. Information pertaining to an attorney's IOLA account is not subject to a subpoena other than issued by the disciplinary authorities.

I am an attorney admitted solely in NY. None of the answers I submit on this forum constitutes legal advice, even to questioners in NY, and no attorney-client relationship is hereby created.

Asker

Posted

That was why the issue was framed as a question, rather than a "belief" one way or the other, but I take it your answer to the question is "no"

Susan Pernick

Susan Pernick

Posted

I directly answered your question, If you have a problem with a lawyer over money, file a grievance and you'll have access to the IOLA records. If your dispute does not involve money, the IOLA records are irrelevant.

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