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Redefining Federalism

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Community Rights Counsel
1301 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 502
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-296-6889
Fax: 202-296-6895


On March 26, 2003, the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Legal Foundation of Washington (No. 01-1325), upholding programs in virtually every state in the country that provide critical funding for legal services for the indigent. Brown was a takings challenge against Washington State's "Interest on Lawyer Trust Account" (IOLTA) program, which provides the much-needed revenue for legal services for our nation's poor.


By a 5-4 ruling, the Court held that because the clients could not otherwise earn net interest, no compensation was due and, therefore, there was no constitutional violation. Community Rights Counsel's brief in Brown, filed on behalf of the National League of Cities, International Municipal Lawyers Association, and Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, focused exclusively on this dispositive issue.

To read more about this exciting victory, see the links below.


WLF v. LFW Supreme Court Briefs

Oral Argument Transcript (PDF)

Background Information

CRC Press Release

Media Coverage

CRC Legal Times op-ed on IOLTA






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