The Essentials of IOLTA – A04

Ethics Track

Session A: 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

What do you need to know to comply with the IOLTA rules? Attend this seminar to be sure you’re following best practices. 

You will learn: 

  • Best practices to maintain your IOLTA compliance 
  • About the random audit process 
  • How to deal with overdrafts 


Frances Mickelson-Dera, First Assistant Bar Counsel, Connecticut Judicial Branch, Hartford 

Attorney Mickelson-Dera has been employed by the State of CT for nineteen years. She clerked at Hartford Superior Court as a temporary assistant clerk in Caseflow in Hartford for Judge Marshall K. Berger while attending law school at Western New England College School of Law evenings while raising two children.  While clerking, Dera was able to obtain a broad range of knowledge regarding court proceedings and procedures as  she participated in Court trials, pre-trails, hearings in damages, foreclosure and jury selection. 

Attorney Mickelson – Dera was extremely blessed in her career since she learned that she passed the Bar on a Wednesday, was sworn in by Judge Berger on a Friday, and started her legal career as litigation counsel for David C. Chase Enterprises, a real estate developer in Connecticut, New York and Florida, on the following Monday.  Mickelson-Dera worked for Mr. Chase for two years during a period of time he was embroiled in a contentious civil litigation.  In addition, she managed outside defense counsel retained to handle other lawsuits filed against the properties owed by Chase Enterprises.

In October of 2000, she started at the Statewide Grievance Committee and was hired primarily to investigate overdrafts suffered to attorney’s clients’ funds accounts.  In addition, Mickelson-Dera acted as counsel to the Statewide Grievance Committee.  In that capacity, she conducted hearings, drafted decisions and generally advised the committee on Ethics.  Pre-2004 when our office handled the litigation of grievance matters, she represented the grievance committee before the Superior Court, the Appellate Court and the Supreme Court.  In July of 2007, she was chosen to develop and administer the random audit program which she had been doing since then, in addition to overdraft investigations. Her and her and two auditors make up the “audit team” and they handle all grievance investigations involving financial matters.  Under Attornely Mickleson-Dera’s supervision, the Statewide Grievance Committee performs random audits in addition to performing audits ordered by the Statewide Grievance Committee, the Grievance Panels and the Court.  She also conduct numerous seminars around the state for the various Bar Associations, para professionals, title companies and law schools. 

CLE Credit: 1.5 Hours (Ethics)