A lawyer shall not:

(a) seek to influence a judge, juror, prospective juror, or other official by means prohibited by law;

(b) communicate ex parte with such a person except as permitted by law;

(c) engage in conduct intended to disrupt a tribunal; or

(d) after discharge of the jury from further consideration of a case with which the lawyer was connected, initiate any communication with a member of the jury without leave of court granted for good cause shown. If a juror initiates a communication with such a lawyer, directly or indirectly, the lawyer may respond provided that the lawyer shall not ask questions of or make comments to a member of that jury that are intended only to harass or embarrass the juror or to influence his or her actions in future jury service. In no circumstances shall such a lawyer inquire of a juror concerning the jury's deliberation processes.

Adopted June 9, 1997, effective January 1, 1998.

Comment:

[1] Many forms of improper influence upon a tribunal are proscribed by criminal law. Others are specified in S.J.C. Rule 3:09, the Code of Judicial Conduct, with which an advocate should be familiar. A lawyer is required to avoid contributing to a violation of such provisions.

[2] The advocate's function is to present evidence and argument so that the cause may be decided according to law. Refraining from abusive or obstreperous conduct is a corollary of the advocate's right to speak on behalf of litigants. A lawyer may stand firm against abuse by a judge but should avoid reciprocation; the judge's default is no justification for similar dereliction by an advocate. An advocate can present the cause, protect the record for subsequent review and preserve professional integrity by patient firmness no less effectively than by belligerence or theatrics.

Corresponding ABA Model Rule. Identical to Model Rule 3.5 (a), (b) and (c); (d) added from DR 7-108 (D).

Corresponding Former Massachusetts Rule. DR 7-106, DR 7-108 (D), DR 7-110( B), S.J.C. Rule 3:08, PF 1, DF 1.