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May 19, 2011

In Tough Economic Times Vermont Bar Foundation IOLTA Honor Roll Banks and Credit Unions Stand Firm to Ensure Access to Justice in Vermont

As Vermont organizations such as Vermont Legal Aid, the South Royalton Legal Clinic, the Rutland County Pilot Project, Women Safe, Have Justice Will Travel and thirteen other organizations listed at the Vermont Bar Foundation website work to advocate for our most vulnerable neighbors in need, Vermont lawyers, banks and credit unions continue to build upon a partnership that produces hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to support the Vermont Bar Foundation, a Vermont non-profit corporation that provides financial support for legal services to disadvantaged Vermonters.

“Thanks to generous interest paid on IOLTA (Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts) accounts by Vermont Bar Foundation IOLTA HONOR ROLL financial institutions, more people have access to justice in Vermont,” said VBF Vice President Beth Danon.  “Again this year, Brattleboro Savings & Loan Association, KeyBank, Mascoma Savings Bank, New England Federal Credit Union, Passumpsic Savings Bank, TD Bank, The Bank of Bennington and the Vermont State Employees Credit Union pay at least 2% interest on IOLTA accounts, while Community National Bank, Merchants Bank and People’s United Bank pay at least 1.5% interest on those accounts.”

“Because of the current continuing recessionary climate and the accompanying slowdown of economic activity, the aggregate amounts in IOLTA accounts is lower than in past years and Vermont Bar Foundation revenue has decreased.  However, our leadership banks and credit unions have softened the devastating blow that the poorest Vermonters would otherwise be experiencing by remitting exceptionally high interest rates on IOLTA accounts, month after month, year after year.  Their generosity is cause for celebration,” said VBF President Joseph Cahill.

“Lawyers play an integral part in the success of the program by choosing to do business with IOLTA HONOR ROLL financial institutions,” said long-serving VBF Treasurer and Vermont Defender General Matthew Valerio.

“Vermont Bar Foundation President Joseph Cahill enumerated the contributions of our IOLTA HONOR ROLL financial institutions at the Vermont Bar Association’s March meeting before approximately 300 attorneys, judges and their guests,” said Vermont Bar Foundation Executive Director Deborah Bailey.

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