To view the Board's schedule of upcoming events, including access to live-streaming public disciplinary hearings, please see our calendar here.
The Office of the Bar Counsel, the Board of Bar Overseers, and participating bar associations are co-sponsoring a free one-hour program on trust account record keeping. The program will provide guidance for attorneys, paralegals, bookkeepers, or other law office support staff interested in receiving training on the requirements of Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.15, as revised effective July 1, 2015. Learn more here.
On October 1, 2020, the Supreme Judicial Court issued its opinion In the Matter of Olchowski, an important decision concerning the administration of IOLTA accounts in the Commonwealth. The Court held that client funds on deposit in IOLTA accounts whose owners cannot be identified do not fall within the statutory definition of “abandoned property” under G.L. c. 200A, and therefore such funds should be remitted to the IOLTA Committee rather than escheated to the treasury. The court directed that Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.15 be amended accordingly, including to require that banks notify the Board of Bar Overseers when there is no activity in an IOLTA account for more than two years, and to provide for the transfer and disposition of unidentified funds.
In an article available for download here, Assistant Bar Counsels Robert Daniszewski and David Kluft discuss the importance of bar counsel’s Ethical Helpline service in helping Massachusetts lawyers confront ethical dilemmas that arise in their practices. This article was originally published in the August 2020 edition of the Boston Bar Journal.
On May 27, 2020 and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Bar Overseers entered an order extending its original procedural order of March 16, 2020. Both orders are attached here. Please check back frequently for further updates. Readers also should review our FAQs about legal ethics during a pandemic.
The Board of Bar Overseers and the Office of Bar Counsel lay out the answers to common ethical issues arising as a result of the pandemic. In this challenging time the BBO and OBC seek to provide guidance to Massachusetts attorneys to allow an ethical response in a changing legal landscape. For additional guidance please call the OBC Ethics Hotline as detailed in the Q&A.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic the Board of Bar Overseers, the Office of Bar Counsel and Attorney Registration are all currently closed to the public, but all entities remain open for business and are working remotely to accomplish their missions. For answers to the most common questions regarding BBO operations please read these FAQs.
On April 21, 2020 and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Bar Overseers entered an order extending its original procedural order of March 16, 2020. Both orders are attached here. Please check back frequently for further updates. Readers also should review our FAQs about legal ethics during a pandemic.
The Office of Bar Counsel submits its FY2019 Annual Report detailing the work done to fulfill its mission to protect the public and to improve the profession. Here you will find many details of the work done by the office from the intake of complaints to the resolution of those complaints. You may find the Annual Reports here.
The Supreme Judicial Court has announced that the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers recently named Rodney S. Dowell, Esq., as the Chief Bar Counsel, effective December 2, 2019. He fills the position following the retirement of Constance Vecchione, Esq. You can read the full announcement here.
The BBO’s website now provides basic guidance to attorneys seeking reinstatement and their counsel, along with quick links to important forms. Click on “Who We Are” above, and use the drop-down menu to navigate to the FAQs page. There you will find a tab for FAQs about reinstatement.
A July 2019 SJC Steering Committee Report takes an in-depth look, for the first time, at the issue of lawyer well-being in Massachusetts. Click here for a summary of the Report and its recommendations, and for a description of the SJC’s new Standing Committee.
The Board of Bar Overseers has received information and wishes to alert the bar about several email scams. Please click here to review this alert.
Pursuant to S.J.C. Rule 3:16, new attorneys admitted to the Massachusetts bar must attend a course on professionalism. You may view the current course calendar by clicking here.