Download Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct PDF

TitleMassachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct
LanguageEnglish
File Size1.0 MB
Total Pages104
Table of Contents
                            Table of Contents
Preamble and Scope
	Preamble: A Lawyer's Responsibilities
	Scope
	Rule 1.0: Terminology
Client-Lawyer Relationship
	Rule 1.1: Competence
	Rule 1.2: Scope of Representation and Allocation of Authority between Client and Lawyer
	Rule 1.3: Diligence
	Rule 1.4: Communication
	Rule 1.5: Fees
	Rule 1.6: Confidentiality of Information
	Rule 1.7: Conflict of Interest: Current Clients
	Rule 1.8: Conflict of Interest: Current Clients: Specific Rules
	Rule 1.9: Duties to Former Clients
	Rule 1.10: Imputed Disqualification: General Rule
	Rule 1.11: Special Conflicts of Interest for Former and Current Government Officers and Employees
	Rule 1.12: Former Judge, Arbitrator, Mediator or Other Third-Party Neutral
	Rule 1.13: Organization as Client
	Rule 1.14: Client With Diminished Capacity
	Rule 1.15: Safekeeping Property
		(a) Definitions:
		(b) Segregation of Trust Property
		(c) Prompt Notice and Delivery of Trust Property to Client or Third Person
		(d) Accounting.
		(e) Operational Requirements for Trust Accounts.
		(f) Required Accounts and Records
		(g) Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts
		(h) Dishonored Check Notification
	Rule 1.16: Declining or Terminating Representation
	Rule 1.17: Sale of Law Practice
	Rule 1.18: Duties to Prospective Client
Counselor
	Rule 2.1: Advisor
	Rule 2.2: Intermediary [Reserved]
	Rule 2.3: Evaluation for Use by Third Persons
	Rule 2.4: Lawyer Serving as Third-Party Neutral
Advocate
	Rule 3.1: Meritorious Claims and Contentions
	Rule 3.2: Expediting Litigation
	Rule 3.3: Candor Toward the Tribunal
	Rule 3.4: Fairness to Opposing Party and Counsel
	Rule 3.5: Impartiality and Decorum of the Tribunal
	Rule 3.6: Trial Publicity
	Rule 3.7: Lawyer as Witness
	Rule 3.8: Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor
	Rule 3.9: Advocate in Nonadjudicative Proceedings
Transactions with Persons other than Clients
	Rule 4.1: Truthfulness in Statements to Others
	Rule 4.2: Communication with Person Represented by Counsel
	Rule 4.3: Dealing with Unrepresented Person
	Rule 4.4: Respect for Rights of Third Persons
Law Firms and Associations
	Rule 5.1: Responsibilities of Partners, Managers and Supervisory Lawyers
	Rule 5.2: Responsibilities of a Subordinate Lawyer
	Rule 5.3: Responsibilities Regarding Nonlawyer Assistants
	Rule 5.4: Professional Independence of a Lawyer
	Rule 5.5: Unauthorized Practice of Law; Multijurisdictional Practice Of Law
	Rule 5.6: Restrictions on Right to Practice
	Rule 5.7: Responsibilities Regarding Law-Related Services
Public Service
	Rule 6.1: Voluntary Pro Bono Publico Service
	Rule 6.2: Accepting Appointments
	Rule 6.3: Membership in Legal Services Organization
	Rule 6.4: Law Reform Activities Affecting Client Interests
	Rule 6.5: Nonprofit and Court-Annexed Limited Legal Services Programs
Information about Legal Services
	Rule 7.1: Communications Concerning a Lawyer's Services
	Rule 7.2: Advertising
	Rule 7.3: Solicitation of Clients
	Rule 7.4: Communication of Fields of Practice
	Rule 7.5: Firm Names and Letterheads
Maintaining the Integrity of the Profession
	Rule 8.1: Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters
	Rule 8.2: Judicial and Legal Officials
	Rule 8.3: Reporting Professional Misconduct
	Rule 8.4: Misconduct
	Rule 8.5: Disciplinary Authority; Choice Of Law
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

S.J.C. Rule 3:07
MASSACHUSETTS RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT

As amended effective 8/1/16

Preamble and Scope ........................................ 2
Preamble: A Lawyer's Responsibilities .............. 2
Scope……………………………………………… 3
Rule 1.0: Terminology ........................................ 4

Client-Lawyer Relationship ............................. 7
Rule 1.1: Competence ....................................... 7
Rule 1.2: Scope of Representation and

Allocation of Authority between
Client and Lawyer .............................. 8

Rule 1.3: Diligence .......................................... 10
Rule 1.4: Communication ................................ 11
Rule 1.5: Fees ................................................. 12
Rule 1.6: Confidentiality of Information ........... 20
Rule 1.7: Conflict of Interest: Current

Clients .............................................. 25
Rule 1.8: Conflict of Interest: Current

Clients: Specific Rules ..................... 31
Rule 1.9: Duties to Former Clients .................. 35
Rule 1.10: Imputed Disqualification:

General Rule .................................... 37
Rule 1.11: Special Conflicts of Interest for

Former and Current
Government Officers and
Employees ....................................... 40

Rule 1.12: Former Judge, Arbitrator,
Mediator or Other Third-Party
Neutral ............................................. 42

Rule 1.13: Organization as Client .................... 43
Rule 1.14: Client With Diminished

Capacity ........................................... 46
Rule 1.15: Safekeeping Property ..................... 48
Rule 1.16: Declining or Terminating

Representation ................................. 57
Rule 1.17: Sale of Law Practice ....................... 59
Rule 1.18: Duties to Prospective Client ........... 61

Counselor........................................................ 62
Rule 2.1: Advisor ............................................. 62
Rule 2.2: Intermediary [Reserved] .................. 63
Rule 2.3: Evaluation for Use by Third

Persons ............................................ 63
Rule 2.4: Lawyer Serving as Third-Party

Neutral ............................................. 64

Advocate ......................................................... 65
Rule 3.1: Meritorious Claims and

Contentions ...................................... 65
Rule 3.2: Expediting Litigation ......................... 66
Rule 3.3: Candor Toward the Tribunal ............ 66
Rule 3.4: Fairness to Opposing Party and

Counsel ............................................ 70
Rule 3.5: Impartiality and Decorum of the

Tribunal ............................................ 72
Rule 3.6: Trial Publicity .................................... 72
Rule 3.7: Lawyer as Witness ........................... 74
Rule 3.8: Special Responsibilities of a

Prosecutor ........................................ 76
Rule 3.9: Advocate in Nonadjudicative

Proceedings ..................................... 78

Transactions with Persons other than
Clients ............................................. 79

Rule 4.1: Truthfulness in Statements to
Others .............................................. 79

Rule 4.2: Communication with Person
Represented by Counsel ................. 80

Rule 4.3: Dealing with Unrepresented
Person ............................................. 81

Rule 4.4: Respect for Rights of Third
Persons ............................................ 81

Law Firms and Associations ........................ 82
Rule 5.1: Responsibilities of Partners,

Managers and Supervisory
Lawyers ........................................... 82

Rule 5.2: Responsibilities of a
Subordinate Lawyer ......................... 83

Rule 5.3: Responsibilities Regarding
Nonlawyer Assistants ...................... 84

Rule 5.4: Professional Independence of a
Lawyer ............................................. 85

Rule 5.5: Unauthorized Practice of Law;
Multijurisdictional Practice Of
Law .................................................. 86

Rule 5.6: Restrictions on Right to Practice ..... 89
Rule 5.7: Responsibilities Regarding

Law-Related Services ...................... 89

Public Service ................................................ 91
Rule 6.1: Voluntary Pro Bono Publico

Service ............................................. 91
Rule 6.2: Accepting Appointments .................. 92
Rule 6.3: Membership in Legal Services

Organization .................................... 93
Rule 6.4: Law Reform Activities Affecting

Client Interests ................................. 93
Rule 6.5: Nonprofit and Court-Annexed

Limited Legal Services
Programs ......................................... 94

Information about Legal Services ................ 95
Rule 7.1: Communications Concerning a

Lawyer's Services ............................ 95
Rule 7.2: Advertising ....................................... 95
Rule 7.3: Solicitation of Clients ....................... 97
Rule 7.4: Communication of Fields of

Practice ............................................ 98
Rule 7.5: Firm Names and Letterheads .......... 99

Maintaining the Integrity of the
Profession ...................................................... 100
Rule 8.1: Bar Admission and Disciplinary

Matter..…………………………..…....100
Rule 8.2: Judicial and Legal Officials ............... 100
Rule 8.3: Reporting Professional

Misconduct .................................... 101
Rule 8.4: Misconduct ..................................... 101
Rule 8.5: Disciplinary Authority; Choice Of

Law………………..………………….102

Please click the Rule, section header, or page number to view that individual Rule or section.

Page 2

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PREAMBLE AND SCOPE



1. As a representative of clients, a lawyer performs various functions. As
advisor, a lawyer provides a client with an informed understanding of the client's legal
rights and obligations and explains their practical implications. As advocate, a lawyer
zealously asserts the client's position under the Rules of the adversary system. As
negotiator, a lawyer seeks a result advantageous to the client but consistent with
requirements of honest dealing with others. A lawyer acts as evaluator by examining
a client's legal affairs and reporting about them to the client or to others.

2. In all professional functions a lawyer should be competent, prompt, and
diligent. A lawyer should maintain communication with a client concerning the
representation. A lawyer should keep in confidence information relating to
representation of a client except so far as disclosure is required or permitted by the
Rules of Professional Conduct or other law.

3. A lawyer's conduct should conform to the requirements of the law, both in
professional service to clients and in the lawyer's business and personal affairs. A
lawyer should use the law's procedures only for legitimate purposes and not to harass
or intimidate others. A lawyer should demonstrate respect for the legal system and
for those who serve it, including judges, other lawyers, and public officials. While it
is a lawyer's duty, when necessary, to challenge the rectitude of official action, it is
also a lawyer's duty to uphold legal process.

4. As a public citizen, a lawyer should seek improvement of the law, the
administration of justice, and the quality of service rendered by the legal profession.
As a member of a learned profession, a lawyer should cultivate knowledge of the law
beyond its use for clients, employ that knowledge in reform of the law, and work to
strengthen legal education. A lawyer should be mindful of deficiencies in the
administration of justice and of the fact that the poor, and sometimes persons who are
not poor, cannot afford adequate legal assistance, and should therefore devote
professional time and civic influence in their behalf. A lawyer should aid the legal
profession in pursuing these objectives and should help the bar regulate itself in the
public interest.

5. Many of a lawyer's professional responsibilities are prescribed in the Rules of
Professional Conduct, as well as in substantive and procedural law. However, a
lawyer is also guided by personal conscience and the approbation of professional
peers. A lawyer should strive to attain the highest level of skill, to improve the law
and the legal profession, and to exemplify the legal profession's ideals of public
service.

6. A lawyer's responsibilities as a representative of clients, an officer of the
legal system, and a public citizen are usually harmonious. Thus, when an opposing

S.J.C. RULE 3:07
MASSACHUSETTS RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT

AS AMENDED EFFECTIVE 5/1/16

Page 52

Rule 1.15

E. Reconciliation Reports.

F. Account Documentation.

G. Electronic Record Retention.

(2) Business Accounts.

(3) Trust Property Other than Funds.

(4) Dissolution of a Law Firm

Page 53

Rule 1.15

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(g) Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts.

(1) The IOLTA account shall be established with any bank, savings and loan
association, or credit union authorized by Federal or State law to do business in
Massachusetts and insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or
similar State insurance programs for State chartered institutions. At the direction
of the lawyer, funds in the IOLTA account in excess of $100,000 may be
temporarily reinvested in repurchase agreements fully collateralized by U.S.
Government obligations. Funds in the IOLTA account shall be subject to
withdrawal upon request and without delay.

(2) Lawyers creating and maintaining an IOLTA account shall direct the
depository institution:

(i) to remit interest or dividends, net of any service charges or fees, on
the average monthly balance in the account, or as otherwise computed in
accordance with an institution's standard accounting practice, at least
quarterly, to the IOLTA Committee;

(ii) to transmit with each remittance to the IOLTA Committee a
statement showing the name of the lawyer who or law firm which deposited
the funds; and

(iii) at the same time to transmit to the depositing lawyer a report
showing the amount paid, the rate of interest applied, and the method by
which the interest was computed.

(3) Lawyers shall certify their compliance with this Rule as required by
S.J.C. Rule 4:02, § (2).

(4) This court shall appoint members of a permanent IOLTA Committee to
fixed terms on a staggered basis. The representatives appointed to the committee
shall oversee the operation of a comprehensive IOLTA program, including:

(i) the receipt of all IOLTA funds and their disbursement, net of actual
expenses, to the designated charitable entities, as follows: sixty-seven percent
(67%) to the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation and the remaining
thirty-three percent (33%) to other designated charitable entities in such
proportions as the Supreme Judicial Court may order;

(ii) the education of lawyers as to their obligation to create and maintain
IOLTA accounts under this Rule;

(iii) the encouragement of the banking community and the public to
support the IOLTA program;

(iv) the obtaining of tax rulings and other administrative approval for a
comprehensive IOLTA program as appropriate;

Page 103

Rule 8.5

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(b) Choice of Law. In any exercise of the disciplinary authority of this
jurisdiction, the Rules of professional conduct to be applied shall be as follows:

(1) for conduct in connection with a matter pending before a governmental
tribunal, the Rules of the jurisdiction in which the tribunal sits, unless the Rules
of the tribunal provide otherwise; and

(2) for any other conduct, the Rules of the jurisdiction in which the lawyer's
principal office is located shall be applied, unless the predominant effect of the
conduct is in a different jurisdiction, in which case the Rules of that jurisdiction
shall be applied. A lawyer shall not be subject to discipline if the lawyer’s
conduct conforms to the Rules of a jurisdiction in which the lawyer reasonably
believes the predominant effect of the lawyer’s conduct will occur.

Comment
Disciplinary Authority

Choice of Law

Page 104

Rule 8.5

- 104 -

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