News and Notes

New Commission on Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Chair

The Commission on IOLTA is very pleased to welcome the Honorable Lora Livingston as its new Chair. Judge Livingston has served on the boards of the National Association of IOLTA Programs, Texas Equal Access to Justice Foundation, Texas Access to Justice Commission, Volunteer Legal Services (formerly Austin Lawyers Care), and Texas Center for the Judiciary. She has been active in local, state, and national bar association activities. Judge Livingston has served on the Judicial Section of the State Bar of Texas, and she is now a delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates, representing the State Bar of Texas. Previously, she served as a delegate from the Travis County Bar Association. She is currently serving a two-year term as a member of the Select Committee of the House of Delegates. She was previously appointed to the ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, and served three years as its Chair. She was then appointed to the Standing Committee for Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants and completed a three year term this past August.

Judge Livingston is a 1982 graduate of UCLA School of Law. She began her legal career as a Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellow assigned to the Legal Aid Society of Central Texas in Austin and worked in the area of poverty law until 1988. She then practiced at the firm of Joel B. Bennett, P.C. before starting the law firm of Livingston & Parr. In January, 1995, she was sworn in as an Associate Judge for the District Courts of Travis County, Texas. After her successful election, Judge Livingston was sworn in as Judge of the 261st District Court in January, 1999. She is the first African-American woman to serve on a district court in Travis County, Texas.

Kentucky Rule Change

The Kentucky Supreme Court has recently approved amendments to the state’s IOLTA rule which include mandatory IOLTA and interest rate comparability provisions. The amendments will become effective on January 1, 2010. With this change, Kentucky will become the 41st state to adopt mandatory IOLTA and the 28th state to adopt comparability.

Assistance in exploring, drafting and implementing mandatory IOLTA and other IOLTA revenue enhancement strategies is available through the Commission on IOLTA and National Association of IOLTA Programs Joint Technical Assistance Committee. Contact Commission Counsel, Bev Groudine, at 312/988-5771 or for more information.