Programs providing legal aid to the poor are in need of aid themselves at the moment. Congress cut federal funding by 25% last year. But now Florida and California have come up with a shiny new money source: the funds that are routinely paid in advance by clients and held in escrow bank accounts by their lawyers. When the amounts are small or in the bank for only a short time, they accumulate little or no interest. But pooled, the funds could generate millions in interest. To tap that potential pool, Florida has adopted a voluntary plan that allows any lawyer,...

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