News from the courts/agencies

Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018
New rule of professional conduct takes effect; Brandeis University Mock Trial Association seeks volunteers


New rule of professional conduct takes effect

A new rule of professional conduct pertaining to file retention took effect in Massachusetts on Sept. 1, following its adoption on June 7 by the Supreme Judicial Court.

The new rule, Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.15A, specifies the number of years lawyers are required to retain different types of client files and, with certain key exceptions, generally allows for destruction of the files after the allotted time without client notification. The rule and its comments also define what constitutes a “client file.”  

A copy of the SJC order can be found here. An article describing the rule in more detail can be found here and on the Board of Bar Examiners website.


Brandeis University Mock Trial Association seeks volunteers

The Brandeis University Mock Trial Association is looking for judges at its 13th annual Louis D. Brandeis Mock Trial invitational tournament, which will take place Nov. 10-11, at the Brandeis University campus. The Brandeis University Mock Trial Association has hosted an Annual Justice Louis D. Brandeis Invitational Tournament since 2006, as practice for local Mock Trial teams before they advance to higher levels of competition.

Mock Trial is a trial advocacy competition in which two teams enact every function of a trial: opening statements, two cases-in-chief with three witnesses per side, and closing arguments. College students across the country present the same fact pattern. This year, Midlands Television Studios, Inc. v. Danny Kosack involves celebrity animal handler Danny Kosack, who was scheduled to appear on the highly-rated show Midlands After Dark With Alex Grace (produced by Midlands Television Studios) with one of Kosack's creatures. But a rehearsal before the show went terribly wrong. Now a person is dead, the show is canceled, and Kosack's career is in shambles. Accusations are flying from all sides, and litigation looms ...

The success of the tournament relies entirely on the willingness of local attorneys and legal scholars to volunteer as judges, who serve as an integral element of Mock Trial competition. As a judge, your job will be to objectively score the performance of two competing teams, possibly preside over the trial, hear objections and, most significantly, provide teams with feedback on their strategies and performances. Your experience and input are extremely valuable to competing teams, all of whom benefit from your advice, expertise, and suggestions as they prepare for upcoming regional and national rounds of competition next spring.

During judges' meetings, which are half an hour before trial, you will be briefed on some important judging procedures and receive your judging assignments for the round. As a token of our appreciation, we provide breakfast, lunch and refreshments before your meetings.

The rounds are as follows:

Saturday, Nov. 10
Round 1

9-9:30 a.m.: Judge Registration
9:30 a.m.: Judges' Meeting
10 a.m.—1 p.m.: Trial 1

Round 2

2-2:30 p.m.: Judge Registration
2:30 p.m.: Judges' Meeting
3-6 p.m.: Trial 2

Sunday, Nov. 11
Round 3

8-8:30 a.m.: Judge Registration
8:30 a.m.: Judges' Meeting
9 a.m.-noon: Trial 3

Round 4

1-1:30 p.m.: Judge Registration
1:30 p.m.: Judges' Meeting
2-5 p.m.: Trial 4
6 p.m.: Awards Ceremony

The Brandeis University Mock Trial Association would greatly appreciate your willingness to volunteer as a judge during any or all of these rounds. Please contact Tournament Director Rachel Blau, at, if you are interested and indicate which round(s) you would like to judge. 

This program is not affiliated with the Massachusetts Bar Association and/or its High School Mock Trial Competition.