New York’s Interest On Lawyers Accounts law (IOLA), despite its plain language, does not definitively block all lawsuits alleging that bankers mishandled the accounts, a Manhattan Supreme Court justice has ruled.

Justice Charles Edward Ramos said there is no evidence that by passing the law intended to use interest from short-term escrow accounts to fund legal services to the poor, the Legislature intended to absolve banks from their common law duties in managing them.

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