FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 10, 2002
CONTACT: Timothy Dowling or Doug Kendall, 202-296-6889
Community Rights Counsel ("CRC") expressed confidence
that IOLTA programs would survive Supreme Court review in
reaction to the Court's decision today to resolve a direct
conflict between the Fifth and Ninth Circuits over the constitutionality
of these court-run programs. According to Timothy Dowling,
CRC's Chief Counsel, "we welcome the opportunity to defeat
once and for all the campaign against IOLTA programs being
waged by Washington Legal Foundation."
The Court's recent decision in Tahoe-Sierra Preservation
Council v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency demonstrates
that six justices on the Court are willing to seriously consider
the interests of the community in deciding takings claims
brought by property owners. The equities in this case (captioned
Washington Legal Foundation v. Legal Foundation of Washington)
weigh even more in favor of upholding Interest on Lawyer Trust
Accounts ("IOLTA") programs. By definition, the
claimants lose nothing by participating in IOLTA programs.
The programs, on the other hand, are in place in all 50 states
and provide over $100 million for legal services for the poor.
In the words of Doug Kendall, CRC's Executive Director, "this
case exposes the cold, unsympathetic underbelly of the 'so-called'
property rights movement. WLF has little to gain here except
the satisfaction of depriving poor people of desperately-needed
CRC is a nonprofit public interest law firm in Washington,
D.C. that helps local governments defend challenges to land-use
controls and other community protections. Community Rights
Counsel (CRC) filed a brief in the Tahoe case for our
nation's governors, mayors and other state and local officials
on behalf of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.