Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers

An admonition is a form of non-public discipline which declares the attorney's conduct improper, but does not limit the attorney's right to practice. It is administered when the attorney has committed misconduct that violates the Rules of Professional Conduct, but the misconduct is determined to be of insufficient gravity to warrant the prosecution of formal charges. An admonition does not identify the respondent by name, and remains on the lawyer's record at the BBO for eight years. After eight years, if the lawyer remains free of any further misconduct, the admonition is vacated and the complaint dismissed. While the admonition is in effect, its imposition serves as an aggravating factor should the lawyer face later disciplinary proceedings.