I am an attorney who lawfully practices in multiple jurisdictions, including South Carolina; however, I keep my trust account in the state where I primarily practice. Do I have to open a trust account in South Carolina in order to comply with the new IOLTA rules?
Answer: If you do not maintain an office in the state of South Carolina or maintain trust funds in a depository account in South Carolina,* you are excluded from Rule 412. If you maintain an office in the state of South Carolina or maintain trust funds* in a depository account in South Carolina, Rule 412 is applicable unless your practice falls under a specified exclusion or the attorney receives a hardship exemption from the South Carolina Bar Foundation. Rule 412 defines Participating Institution as a "bank, credit union or savings and loan association authorized by federal or state laws to do business in South Carolina and insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any successor insurance corporation(s) established by federal or state law." This definition seems broad enough to include a bank authorized to do business in the state of South Carolina, but located out of the state of South Carolina. It should be noted that the South Carolina Bar Foundation Web page lists only Participating Institutions with South Carolina addresses, and other jurisdictions require a written waiver from a client before funds are deposited out of state. It would be prudent to deposit funds in a Participating Institution located in South Carolina.
*Taken from the FAQ on the South Carolina Bar Foundation Web site