Notice Inviting Comment
Proposed Amendment to Rule 4:03 of the Rules of the Supreme Judicial Court
The Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on a proposed amendment to Rule 4:03 of the Rules of the Supreme Judicial Court. The amendment, derived from a proposal from the Access to Justice Commission, adds an annual fee of $50 to the bar dues paid to the Board of Bar Overseers to be used "in the administration of justice and provision of civil legal services to those who cannot afford them." The additional fee is an opt-out fee, so that a lawyer who so chooses is not required to pay the additional fee. An attorney's decision as to whether to pay the additional fee will be treated as confidential by the Board of Bar Overseers.
The additional fee collected by the Board of Bar Overseers under the amendment will be distributed, at least quarterly, to the IOLTA Committee, which shall disburse the fees in accordance with S.J.C. Rule 3:07, Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.15(g)(4) to the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, the Massachusetts Bar Foundation and the Boston Bar Foundation. The charitable entities receiving the distributions shall describe their distribution of the funds received from the Board of Bar Overseers in the annual report to the Court required by Rule 1.15.
The proposed amendment and a marked up version showing changes to the current rule are attached and are posted on the Supreme Judicial Court website at www.mass.gov/courts/sjc. Comments on the proposed amendments should be directed to Christine P. Burak, Secretary, Supreme Judicial Court Rules Committee, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, One Pemberton Square ,