South Florida networking events to highlight the roll out of Nota, the Bar’s new free trust accounting software
The gatherings are set for Tuesday, September 12, in Coral Gables and Wednesday, September 13, in Ft. Lauderdale
Two networking events in South Florida celebrating the launch of Nota — the Florida Bar’s new free member benefit that helps small law firms and solo lawyers manage trust accounts and adhere to accounting requirements — are scheduled for next week.
- The first is set for Tuesday, September 12, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., at the Coral Gables Museum at 285 Aragon Ave., in Coral Gables. Register here.
- The second is Wednesday, September 13, from 5:30 – 8 p.m., at the Ft. Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa at 3030 Holiday Dr., in Ft. Lauderdale. Register here.
Both events are sponsored by The Florida Bar and a host of local voluntary bar associations. RSVP to each event by September 9.
Nota’s technology addresses the need for a simplified, seamless, and efficient trust accounting platform — especially among solo practitioners and small firms.
Trust account maintenance and compliance is critically important. Lawyers who agree to hold money in trust have an ethical obligation to account for every penny as long as the funds remain in their possession. Commingling of funds, poor ledger management, and even basic accounting errors can result in client complaints, audits, and disciplinary action that could lead to suspension or disbarment. And while most attorneys diligently comply with Rules Regulating Trust Accounts (Chapter 5), trust accounting violations have ranked among the top three most common disciplinary complaints over the past three years and is on track to be the top complaint in 2022-2023.
Nota’s platform provides attorneys with total visibility into their bank accounts along with full integration into law firm workflows. The platform, designed specifically for attorneys, helps to streamline the exacting management of client IOTA accounts, and integrates easily with major practice management, legal payment, and accounting platforms. Nota seamlessly integrates with client accounts across multiple financial institutions or as a standalone trust accounting solution.
“Florida’s legal community continues to see substantial growth from solo and small firm practitioners, who now represent nearly 70% of Florida attorneys,” said Florida Bar President Scott Westheimer. “With Nota, our members have access — at no cost — to the latest in trust accounting technology and a provider who can help them focus on the growth and continued success of their practice.”
Bar disciplinary records show why Westheimer has long considered a free and easily accessible trust accounting solution a proverbial holy grail.
“In the last 10 years, trust accounting violations have always been a top-10 violation (complaints filed against members),” according to a Member Benefits Program application. “In fact, the Bar gets one NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds) notification per day due to poor trust accounting practices.”
Bar records show that in 2019-2020, trust accounting was the top violation, the fourth highest in 2020-2021, the third highest in 2021-2022, and “currently this year, 2022-2023, it is again a top violation.”
“Nota was designed to help smaller legal practitioners easily manage the complex and onerous process of trust reconciliation so they can focus on what’s important — their clients,” said Paul Garibian, CEO, Nota. “Core to Nota’s platform is providing small businesses with access to the banking and recordkeeping services they need to remain compliant and drive growth.”
For a preview of the platform and to pre-register for access, visit www.trustnota.com/TheFloridaBar.
Sponsors for these two events include Nota, The Florida Bar, Cuban American Bar Association, Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, Miami-Dade Bar, Miami Lakes Bar Association, Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr., Bar Association; Colombian American Bar Association; Honorable Peter T. Fay Inn of Court, Florida Association of Women Lawyers, Miami-Dade Chapter, Spellman-Hoeveler Chapter, American Inns of Court, Key Biscayne Bar Association, Coral Gables Bar Association, Broward County Bar Association, Collaborative Family Law Professionals of South Florida, North Dade Bar Association, Association of South Florida Mediators & Arbitrators, South Broward Bar Association, and the Broward County Hispanic Bar Association.