District/Municipal Court Rules

District Court Standing Order

District/Municipal Court Rules District Court Standing Order 1-11: Limited assistance representation and substitute counsel

Adopted Date: 01/25/2011
Effective Date: 02/01/2019
Updates: Partially rescinded January 29, 2019, effective February 1, 2019

(Applicable to All Divisions)

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Standing Order 1-11

Part B of the Standing Order addresses court proceedings where an attorney substitutes or “covers” for an attorney who has already filed a general appearance on behalf of the litigant but is not present at that particular court proceeding. The Standing Order requires substitute counsel to file an appearance. The Order permits a time limited appearance, thereby acknowledging a common practice in certain civil proceedings in the court while permitting the court to maintain an accurate record of all attorneys who appear before the court. This part of the Order applies exclusively to those litigants who are already represented by counsel and not to the unbundling of legal services, which is addressed by the first part of this Standing Order. The Standing Order does not address the legal or ethical requirements applicable to such representation which are governed by the Code of Professional Conduct, S.J.C. Rule 3:07.

Part A: Limited Assistance Representation (Rescinded February 1, 2019)

Rescinded effective February 1, 2019

Part B: Substitute counsel

15. Substitute counsel. The term “substitute counsel,” shall mean one attorney standing in or “covering” for another attorney who has already filed a general appearance on behalf of a litigant.

16. Notice of appearance. In cases where a party is already represented by counsel who has filed a general appearance in the case, an attorney who is not current counsel of record shall not appear in court to answer for that party until he or she has filed with the court a written notice of appearance as substitute counsel. Such appearance may be time-limited and may indicate that the attorney is appearing as substitute counsel solely for that day's proceedings. The scope of an appearance as substitute counsel may not otherwise be limited, and substitute counsel must be authorized and prepared to proceed with all matters before the court at that time. Any such notice of appearance as substitute counsel shall be entered on the docket and filed with the case papers.

17. Notice to substitute counsel. The clerk need not notify counsel who has filed an appearance as substitute counsel of any orders, future events or proceedings in that case.

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