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Office of the Bar Counsel

Ethics Alerts and Announcements
  • NEW Effective September 1, 2016, all attorneys admitted to practice in Massachusetts are required to submit their registrations online at Please read the announcement here and FAQs here.

  • Email Scam Alert! Other Bar discipline authorities around the country are reporting fraudulent emails purporting to come from their agencies. Please read the announcement here.

  • Effective July 1, 2015, the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court adopted substantial revisions to the Rules of Professional Conduct (Mass. R. Prof. C.) contained in SJC Rule 3:07. The Justices of the subsequently adopted revisions to Mass. R. Prof. C. 3.8 (effective April 1, 2016) and Mass. R. Prof. C. 5.4, 5.5 and technical corrections to other rules of professional conduct effective May 1, 2015.

  • BBO/OBC Policy on Legal Advice on Medical Marijuana. (link)

  • Form for mandatory notice to financial institutions to establish individual non-IOLTA trust accounts. (link)

  • FREE! Trust Account Training from the the Office of Bar Counsel and the Mass and Boston Bar Associations. Learn more.

Lawyer Discipline in Massachusetts

The Board of Bar Overseers and the Office of the Bar Counsel were established by the Supreme Judicial Court in 1974 as independent administrative bodies to investigate and evaluate complaints against lawyers. Although both the Board and Bar Counsel are official bodies subject to the supervision of the Supreme Judicial Court, no public funds are spent to support them. The Bar Counsel's and the Board's expenses come solely from the annual registration fees paid by lawyers.

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