To maintain a license to practice law in Maryland, attorneys must fulfill several annual compliance requirements.
ATTORNEY INFORMATION SYSTEM
The Attorney Information System (AIS) is a comprehensive, secure database maintained by the Judiciary units that support the Court of Appeals in its role regulating the legal profession in Maryland. Maryland Rule19-802 requires attorneys to register with the Attorney Information System. Maryland lawyers can use AIS to:
- Review and update contact information
- Pay the annual Client Protection Fund Assessment
- Complete annual reporting on pro bono service.
- Complete annual IOLTA reporting.
Maryland Law 19-802(d) requires attorneys to use AIS to provide current contact information and to update that information within 30 days of any change. The Maryland Judiciary and constituent agencies have the right to rely on the latest information for billing and disciplinary purposes and for other correspondence or communication.
For additional information, or to register with or login to AIS, visit the AIS webpage.
NOTIFICATIONS AND TIMELINE FOR REPORTING AND ASSESSMENTS
A Single, Streamlined Compliance Process. The Court of Appeals adopted revised rules to make it easier for lawyers to comply with annual reporting and assessment requirements using AIS. These rules, which took effect January 1, 2019, make it possible to consolidate several annual requirements and notices into a single attorney compliance cycle. Beginning in July 2019, attorneys started receiving a single notice notifying them to use AIS to complete all annual payments and reports.
Pro Bono & IOLTA Reporting Period Will Now Be on a Fiscal Year Cycle. The revised rules provide that the annual Pro Bono Legal Service Report and the IOLTA Report shift to a fiscal year reporting cycle. Instead of reporting for the calendar year, attorneys will be asked to report annually for the prior fiscal year cycle (July 1 – June 30). Keep in mind when completing your IOLTA reporting, that only IOLTA accounts, current at the time of filing, are to be reported.
Form of Notice. All notice regarding attorney compliance requirements, including assessments and reporting, are provided by email using the contact information provide through AIS. Failure to maintain a current address with AIS may cause you to miss critical filing requirements resulting in decertification.
Timing of Notice. Attorneys will receive a single notice by July 10 of each year notifying them of the requirement to log onto AIS to pay their annual CPF assessment and file annual pro bono and IOLTA reporting. Assessments and reporting are due no later than September 10 each year.
CLIENT PROTECTION FUND
The Client Protection Fund, supported financially by practicing attorneys, reimburses claimants for losses caused by theft of funds by members of the Maryland Bar, acting either as attorneys or as fiduciaries. To remain in good standing you must pay an annual assessment to the Client Protection Fund.
Information for attorneys temporarily suspended for failure to pay the CPF assessment or update their TaxID number.
Contact information for the Client Protection Fund:
Client Protection Fund of the Bar of Maryland
200 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Suite 350
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
410-630-8140 - Phone
410-897-0555 - Fax
For additional information, visit the Client Protection Fund website.
PRO BONO REPORTING
Each year Maryland attorneys are required to provide information summarizing pro bono activities and contributions made during the prior reporting cycle. Pro bono reporting is required pursuant to Rule 19-503 referencing pro bono legal service as defined by Rule 19-306.1. Failure to timely complete pro bono reporting may result in your decertification from the practice of law. The pro bono reporting process is managed by the Administrative Office of the Courts' Access to Justice Department with assistance from the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland.
Information for attorneys DECERTIFIED FOR FAILURE TO FILE THE PRO BONO REPORT
Each year Maryland attorneys are required to submit information summarizing the current status of any Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) (client trust accounts). Interest from these accounts are provided by the banks to the Maryland Legal Services Corp. to fund civil legal aid programs in the state. Maryland Rule 19-409 requires that all Maryland attorneys admitted to practice complete and submit the IOLTA report, even if they do not have an IOLTA account. Failure to submit a timely IOLTA compliance report may result in your decertification from the practice of law.
Information for attorneys DECERTIFIED FOR FAILURE TO FILE THE IOLTA REPORT
Contact information for questions about IOLTA reporting:
Maryland Legal Services Corporation
15 Charles Plaza, Suite 102
Baltimore, MD 21201
410-385-1831 – Fax
For additional information, visit the Maryland Legal Services Corporation website.