News from the courts/agencies

Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017
SJC Standing Advisory Committee on Rules of Professional Conduct invites comment on proposed amendments to Rule 3.5 and new Rule 1.6A
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The Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct invites comment on proposed amendments to Rule 3.5 of the Rules of Professional Conduct. The amendments would add a new subparagraph (4) to Rule 3.5(c) and replace Comment 3 to that rule with proposed Comments 3, 3A and 3B. These proposed amendments are intended to conform Rule 3.5 to the Supreme Judicial Court's decision in Commonwealth v. Moore, 474 Mass. 541 (2016).

At the request of the Supreme Judicial Court, the committee has also proposed for comment a new Rule 1.16A on file retention and disposition and related comments. The rule is not based on an ABA Model Rule, but similar rules have been adopted in some other jurisdictions. The court and the committee believe that lawyers and clients will benefit from clearer guidance on the rules relating to client files. Paragraph (b) of the proposed rule incorporates and updates provisions found in current Rule 1.16(e). The adoption of proposed Rule 1.16A and its related comments would be accompanied by the repeal of Rule 1.16(e) and Comment 10 to Rule 1.16.

The committee will make its final recommendation to the justices of the Supreme Judicial Court following review of comments received. Comments are due by May 1. Comments received will be made available to the public.


The recent amendments to the Federal Rules of
Appellate Procedure, effective December 1, 2016, make significant changes to appellate practice
before the United States Court of Appeals. These changes include a reduction in word limits for
briefs; the conversion of page limits to word counts for motions, petitions for a writ of
mandamus, petitions for rehearing/rehearing en banc and various other filings; the addition of a
requirement that most documents prepared on a computer include a certificate of compliance
with type-volume limits; and the elimination of the three-day service period for documents
served electronically. A notice, including a detailed summary of major changes and a redline
version of the full text of the amendments, is available on the First Circuit Court of Appeals
website, at, under News and Notices, as well as on the Notice of Rule
Amendments page under Rules and Procedures.