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Automatic Reporting of Trust Account Overdrafts (ARTAO)

All Idaho attorneys are required to hold the property of clients or third persons in a trust account that has been specifically designed for this purpose.  (I.R.P.C. 1.15)

I.B.C.R. 302 provides that attorney trust accounts may only be kept in financial institutions that have agreed to automatically provide the Idaho State Bar with notification of any trust account overdraft.  (I.B.C.R. 302)

When any properly payable instrument is presented against an attorney trust account containing funds insufficient to honor the instrument in full, the financial institution will provide an overdraft notification to the Idaho State Bar/Bar Counsel.   (I.B.C.R. 302)
Upon receipt of the overdraft notification, Bar Counsel’s Office sends the attorney a letter requesting an explanation of the overdraft and copies of the last 6 months’ bank statements on all trust accounts maintained by the attorney, including the month that the overdraft occurred. The attorney has thirty days to respond to Bar Counsel’s inquiry.

Following the attorney’s response, Bar Counsel’s Office will close the matter if the explanation satisfactorily explains the overdraft or investigate the matter as a disciplinary complaint if the explanation is not satisfactory.

Questions? Contact Bar Counsel’s Office at (208) 334-4500.

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