Attorney Escrow Accounts, IOLA and Ethics: What Every New Lawyer Needs to Know

Production Date: October 11, 2015 Practice Areas: Ethics and Business, Corporate, & Securities Law Estimated Length: 4117 minutes


$ 59 Ethics and Business, Corporate, & Securities Law In Stock

Attorneys holding client funds face a variety of ethical issues, complicated by the confluence of two apparently unrelated issues. On the one hand, state and federal statutes regulate the relationship between a bank and its customer, notably when it comes to the processing of checks. On the other hand, scam artists try to take advantage of the peculiarities of the check collection process by getting attorneys to release funds from an escrow account while the attorney’s exposure to a counterfeit or other bad check deposit has not expired.


Attorneys must follow a series of important steps in dealing with their escrow accounts. They must set the accounts up correctly. They must put client funds in the correct type of account and not commingle client funds with their own money. They must then exercise care in how they handle the accounts and disburse funds, and finally they must be vigilant against the many variations of scams targeting attorneys.


Jay L. Hack, a partner in the firm of Gallet Dreyer & Berkey, LLP and former Chair of the Business Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, calls upon his 39 years of practice representing banks and other financial institutions to help attorneys navigate the process of protecting both their clients’ funds and their own licenses to practice law. 


Learning Objectives:

I.     Understand how to establish an escrow account and whether funds belong in an Interest on Lawyer Account (IOLA) deposit versus a non-IOLA deposit

II.    Gain the ability to determine when funds can be safely disbursed from an attorney escrow account and how to disburse them

III.   Learn about the state and federal legal framework that affects how checks are processed and the effect of check processing on escrow account risks

IV.   Understand the “Bounced Check Rule” and the reporting requirements for attorney escrow accounts

V.    Learn to recognize scams targeting attorney escrow accounts and how to avoid them

This course originally appeared as a part of our October 2015 Bridge the Gap Event.

Vincent S.
Buffalow, NY


Sharon H.


elisa g.
New York, NY

He was great and I found it informative.

Michael L.
Orland Park, IL

The program was excellent

Sandra N.
Cheverly, MD

Excellent trainer -very knowledgeable and communicated the material well.

Steven S.

Excellent thorough course!

Tracy W.
Syracuse, NY


Edward M.
Los Gatos, CA

Excellent, informative class

Erika L.
Wilmington, CA

This was really informative.

Roberta B.
Chicago Heights, IL

Excellent overview of Attorney responsibility with client's money and to be weary of scams

Kent M.
Woodland Hills, CA

Given the current state of scams explored, I would recommend this to attorneys in all levels of practice. Well addressed by lecturer.

Laura P.
Jackson Heights, NY

Very technical and useful information.

Ellen K.
Mill Valley, CA

1/2/2018 Fantastic

Robert W.
Austin, TX

Interesting and informative.

Ray A.
Charlotte, NC


Thomas N.
Perkasie, PA


Robert K.
New York, NY

One of the best and most practically useful CLE programs I have heard.

Catherine B.
Wilton, CT

Good presentation.

Howard G.

This was one of the best CLEs I’ve attended this year! Perfect delivery!

Nadia G.
Las Vegas, NV

GREAT CONTENT! Very useful.

Meghan S.
Las Vegas, NV

The supplemental materials are very helpful.

Kevin M.
Shepherd, TX

Hack is a proverbial Hagrid, watching out for the new young students at Hogwarts. They don't fully know how lucky they are to have had his advice and counsel until perhaps many years later.

Murray M.
San Antonio, TX


irina a.
reno, NV

appreciate the subtle sense of humor :)

Michael W.
New York, NY

Great course with critical information about scams being attempted against attorneys.

crystal h.
Houston, TX

Great speaker

John M.
Alexandria, VA

Great speaker!

Robert N.
Alexandria, VA


Thomas M.
Alexandria, VA

This program provided numerous good tips and guidance to numerous potential problems. Excellent!yyf

Scott J.
Danville, VA

I will be looking for more programs by Jay Hack.

Joshua G.
Washington, DC

Very interesting presentation. The amount of mistakes made unintentionally is quite frightening.

Karen N.
New York, NY

Very useful

Linda H.
Hyattsville, MD

He likes his horror stories, but they are very memorable, which may keep us out of trouble.

William B.
Alexandria, VA

Very good course, and great instructor.

John W.
Great Falls, VA

Mr. Hack was terrific.

David M.
Plano, TX

very good

Francis M.
Springfield, VA

Excellent presenter and presentation.

Michael S.
Richmond, VA

Exceptional presentation,

Aubrey R.
Brooklyn, NY


Beth F.
Winter Park, FL

Loved this guy! Good job.

Vincent N.
Bedford, NY

Engaging speaker

Eric F.
Earlysville, VA

great examples!

Kathryn S.
Saint Petersburg, FL


Sharmila N.
Wheatley Heights, NY

Well worth your time.

Matthew W.
Houston, TX

Excellent, particularly in regard to describing scams done against attorney on escrow funds attorney's oversee

Richard C.
Chicago, IL

Very valuable warnings, even for experienced attorneys

Karen M.
Clearwater, FL

Referred a colleague today!

Edgar R.
Manhattan, NY

Very informative

Roberta W.
Tampa, FL

Very helpful. Thank you.

Janet T.
Jacksonville, FL

Excellent program with useful info.

James B.
New York, NY

Excellent speaker.

Patricia W.
Lincoln, RI

Great true stories to back up the presentation!

Juan Carlos L.
Los Angeles, CA

Excellent speaker with great examples

virginia b.
mattapoisett, MA

great class!

Jonathan S.
Manhattan, NY


Joshua L.
Tampa, FL

I really enjoyed the examples of actual check cashing frauds used during the presentation. Really interesting and educational.

Meredith M.
Scarsdale, NY

Excellent presentation!

udai s.

good material and tips to maintain bank account.

Rafiah B.
West Palm Beach, FL


Alfred L.
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Learned a lot.

Patrick S.
Cary, IL


Brian K.
Manhattan, NY

This was an incredible class! Professor was incredibly knowledgeable as well as entertaining. As he says at the end of the lecture, "nailed it!"

Tiffany H.
New York, NY

This was an extremely useful CLE and the attorney's presentation was excellent.

Brian H.
Saint Johns, FL

Very practical

Rebecca S.
Queens, NY

Wonderful presentation, very informative and engaging speaker.

Lisa W.
Pittsfield, MA

This has been by far one of my favorite Lawline CLEs. Jay L. Hack, the presenter, is captivating. I would highly recommend any of his CLE presentations. He made a dry subject, so fascinating. Thank you.

Michael L.
Bristol, VA

Very good presenter and CLE.

Krystle C.
Hollywood, FL

This was an excellent CLE!

Matthew W.
Staten Island, NY

Great Great Class

john m.
Sarasota, FL


Leonard G.
Boynton Beach, FL

Excellent course. Well presented

James B.
Briarcliff Manor, NY

Good course material and good instructor - Thanks.

Wilson L.
Gastonia, NC

Enjoyable guy!

Michell B.
Magnolia, TX

Very good course!

Melody S.
Roslyn, NY

Very informative and well presented

Tagiana S.
East Meadow, NY

Excellent lecture!!!

Ivan K.
New York, NY

This course was very practical with relevant examples

James F.
New York, NY

Fantastic presentation and presenter, bring him back!

John W.
Simi Valley, CA

Great Update on scams!

Michael H.
Bayonet Point, FL

Good overview, Even for long time bar members

William S.
Belmont, NC

Great course. Really enjoyed the scenarios that the instructor presented.

Vanessa B.
Staten Island, NY

Very engaging and informative speaker.

Theodore L.
Waterbury, VT

Given an amazingly technical area, a brilliant raconteur communicated a huge body of information with almost nail biting excitement. Wow.

Michael M.
New York, NY

Excellent job!

Robert P.
Houston, TX

good presentation overall

Olivia S.
West Palm Beach, FL

What an excellent presenter!

Sonia B.
New York, NY

This course was fantastic! K.
Tappan, NY

Speaker was extremely knowledgeable and spoke to inexperienced attorneys which was very helpful.

Lisa G.
Great Neck, NY

The best CLE presentation I have done to date.

Lisa W.
Brisbane, CA

Very interesting presentation! Exceeded my expectations.

Vanessa O.
Sarasota, FL

Vital information. Great presenter.

Margaret O.
Reston, VA

Great examples. Presenter appropriately emphasized importance of the rules. Presentation was clear and informative.

Anyekache H.
Brooklyn, NY

This was a really good video with a lot of valuable information.

Amy E.
Weston, FL

speaker was dynamic and interesting.

Lloyd F.
Boynton Beach, FL

Excellent information provided in an effective manner.

Glenn W.
Stuart, FL

liked the presenter!

Benjamin L.
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Instructor was excellent

Celeste B.
new york, NY

Very Good refresher course , even for an experienced attorney.

Danielle W.
Waxhaw, NC

Extremely good program.

Walter T.
Charlotte, NC


Andrew S.
Far Hills, NJ

Good program

Charles C.
Wilmington, NC

This guy was great. Could listen to him all day. great issues. great all the way around, again one of my favorite CLEs from Lawline.

joseph m.
Fort Pierce, FL

excellent speaker!

yekaterina l.
brooklyn, NY

The anecdote about how a lawyer almost was disbarred was very good.

Sally B.
Longmont, CO

Very good and interesting

Larry S.

Well done.

Nazar K.
New York, NY

Very useful course.

Jeffrey W.
New York, NY

Interesting topic, using real-life examples. Very scary stuff.

Kushal M.
Lake Grove, NY

well done!

John D R.
Leland, NC

Great lecture!

Robert B.
Brooklyn, NY

Iearned information that I did not previously know.

Gerald D.
Buffalo, NY

So interesting!

Mitchell M.
Evanston, IL

This is one of the most informative and usefull courses I have taken.

Maria M.
Farmington, MI

Excellent. Knowledgeable! Great examples.

James T.
Troy, MI

Very good

Sandra S.
Buffalo Grove, IL

The presenter took a topic (banking) that I personally thought would be boring, but his engaging style made it interesting. Very useful for new lawyers or those considering opening escrow accounts for the first time, like myself!

Gloria G.
New York, NY

Very interesting

Jo Anna S.
Chicago, IL

Thank you

Philip S.
Tenafly, NJ

an eye opener.

Steven W.
Squaw Valley, CA

Very knowledgeable speaker

Philip M.
Wilton Manors, FL

Very informative. Well done.

Frank A. M.
New York, NY

Funny, crystal clear, excellent speaker. I enjoyed this.

Stan I.
newyork, NY

It spelled out the dos and don't accurately and provided vivid examples

James R.
Alexandria, VA

Speaker was very good.

Phillp S.
Bedford, TX

Brilliant. A cut above. Loved the banking attorney insight.

Stuart P.
Fairfax, LB

The Speaker does a very nice job

David L.
Richmond, VA

Pretty informative

Scott R.
Quincy, IL


Jeffrey W.
Waynesboro, VA

This presenter is excellent, with important information on handling client's funds. I'd recommend this program to any attorney.

Noel M.
Apex, NC

Excellent course

Rhonda D.
Marked Tree, AR

Attorneys should be required to review this seminar annually! Such a great speaker, with so much content. I may have to watch it again because there are so many circumstances I may not be able to appreciate until more time passes.

Yvenne K.
Ashburn, VA

Some areas were basic, but the information about the actual processing time of a bank check (and the horror story) and disbarment resulting from a bounced check to open an escrow account were very very helpful.

Nick B.
Brooklyn, NY

Great topic and presentation.

Cynthia W.
Austin, TX

Extremely informative and interesting.

Thomas D.
Washington, DC

Riveting Lecture. Every lawyer should view it!

Kevin M.
Glen Allen, VA

very good practical advice.

Robert F.
Bedford, NY

Very well informed and very practical advise. Good examples bring the rules to light.

Raymond L.
LIberrtyville, IL

Great Program. The presenter was very interesting

Byron M.
Chicago, IL


Chris J.
Houston, TX

Well done.

Stephanie T.
Manhattan, NY

Really good class. The speaker is engaging and provides important practice tips.

Eugene A C.
Herndon, VA

Relevant, practical and well presented.

Morgan E. S.
Salem, VA

Very interesting

Steven H.
Richmond, VA

Every attorney should watch this.

Stanley F.
Washington, DC, DC

Very informative - very good presentation!!!

TeriMichelle J.
Chesapeake, VA

Great course; Good delivery of material

Robert S.
Grove city, PA

Excellent job!

Gerard M.
hicksville, NY

very important lecture speaker is great

Randall L.
Witt, IL

Presenter was excellent story teller with real life applications. Enjoyed it immensly

Michael E.
Lombard, IL

I would take the "new lawyer" out of the title. Its a great course and would apply to many attorneys who have been practicing for years.

Paul S.
Wharton, TX

I especially appreciated the examples of fraud directed at attorneys.

Stephen K.
Luray, VA

Very good presentation. Learned a lot of things I didn't know I didn't know.

Leah C.
Pompano Beach, FL

very interesting CLE.

Edward J. W.
New Canaan, CT

Great speaker.

David H.
Chicago, IL

Very good speaker and content.

Amy F.
Mentor, OH

Very informative.

William C.
St. Louis, MO

good presenter

Nathaniel F.

Excellent presentation

James C.
new york, NY

very practical; good examination of relevant law and rules

Robert W.
Royal Oak, MI

I liked the presenter. He's got a different style, personality. A breath of fresh air, after a steady stream of more rigid speakers.

Donald S.
San Angelo, TX

Keep this guy. He can make even ethics seminars entertaining and informative. A mostly impossible task, that he accomplished effectively!

David H.
New York, NY


Sarah S.
Marietta, GA

I was glad to find that I knew most of this information already, but that is probably because I am a younger attorney and therefore more paranoid than some. This was a helpful overview and gave me peace of mind that I'm conducting myself ethically in terms of client funds.

Viviana M.
Manhattan, NY

Excellent program!

Terry K.
Galena, IL

Presenter was awesome. Reminded me of Bill Murray!

Jillian F.
Washington, DC

This was great. I loved the lecturer and the substance is memorable due to his storytelling.

Liza C.
Huntingtown, MD

Love this speaker--Jay Hack was informative and interesting and very likeable!

Mavis V.
Atlanta, GA

this type of information is something every attorney should know the basics on!

Warren M.
Western Springs, IL

Very interesting fact situations! Need to be careful.

John A.
Evanston, IL

Very useful

Tom D.
Barrington Hills, IL

Very helpful.

Richard K.
Niceville, FL

Although Florida differs some the content was great for Florida attorneys

Rudy M.
Palos Hills, IL

Clear and concise

Neal M.
Silver Spring, MD

great presenter. good information and easy to follow

Ilia Yvette F.
Highwood, IL

This guy was great.

Sandy M.
Newark, NJ

The speaker made a somewhat boring topic interesting.

Edward M. G.
Cedarhurst, NY

This course should be mandatory.

Edward J.
Mundelein, IL

One of the most knowledgeable, effective presenters I've seen.

Paul A.
Dallas, TX

great presentation

Edward S.
Brewerton, NY

one of of your better presenters. very good

Joseph M.
Syracuse, NY

He is an old hand who knows his stuff.

Michael M.
Carle Place, NY

Might be the most valuable course offered on lawline

Gerald C.
mount morris, NY

good course will listen again.

Jonathan W.
Valley Cottage, NY

This was very well presented and explained with the perfect balance of law and war stories.

Laura V.
Woodside, NY

Excellent, knowledgeable speaker with great real world examples

stephen h.
chicago, IL

very informative

Irena G.
Brooklyn, NY

good course

Richard W.
Amagansett, NY

Speaker was very very good.

Michael R.
New York, NY

Tough subject

thomas f.
Burr Ridge, IL

Substantive. Very well delivered. Worth the price of admission.

Linus W.
Oneida, NY

excellent presentation

Edward I.
Pittsburgh, PA

The instructor's examples were extremely helpful and relevant.

melvin f.
Sarasota, FL

Information about new scams useful- with cellphones and electronic deposit could have used even more to prepare for increase in scams.

Tadia W.
Lawrenceville, GA

I learned a LOT!! Great information!! This course is a must!

Christopher B.
Melville, NY

The segment on the electronic deposit was eye-opening



Andrew F.
Rochester, NY

superb practical program and engaging speaker

William M.
Oak Park, IL

Good warning to pitfalls trust accounts

William C.
Tallahassee, FL

I have an LL.M. in Banking .Law so this was most interesting! The speaker was very good!

Brandy C.
Orlando, FL

Very good information from a banking attorney perspective. Excellent presentation!

Jerry M.
Patchogue, NY

very informative

Tom S.
Plano, TX

Excellent presentation

Dane R.
Hanover, PA

Very important for every attorney to see this course, even if you have no IOLA account. Very important.

dalia b.
great neck, NY

Great presentation...

Ewa N.
Buffalo, NY

Excellent speaker.

David L.
Kingwood, TX


Francis B.
Cos Cob, CT


Mark C.
Forest Hills, NY


Daniel O.
Bangor, PA

Great presentation; very useful information.

Thomas B.
Los Angeles, CA

Very interesting scams were discussed.

Joanne C.
Bronx, LB

good overview

Tamela B.
Sacramento, CA

This as really an eye-opener and how diligent an attorney must be with funds. Had no idea of all the possible way things could go wrong! Thank you for the info!

Ira G.
Burbank, CA

Geared to New York practitioners, but plenty of good information for any state. I learned about some new "scams" to look out for.

George M.
Mt. Vernon, NY

Excellent speaker - good examples and presentation.

Sunil B.
Anaheim, CA

excellent and very informative.

Diane B.

Important warnings about financial scams that target attorneys.

Herbert S.
Huntington, NY

Good tips from an attorney familiar with issues from a bank's perspective. Some interesting recurring frauds revealed.

aryeh p.
Suffern, NY

Very good.

Chun L.
Brooklyn, NY

very helpful information, thank you.

Ronald C.
Franklin Lakes, NJ

Interesting especially when it comes to internet and cell phone scams

Daniel M.
Bernardsville, NJ

Good stuff. Some basics and warnings on latest scams.

Stephen M.
Port Washington, NY


Michael C.
Alden, NY

Very informative.

Mary Kathleen O.
Lake Forest, IL

Important information, engagingly presented.