SJC temporarily modifies rules in practice of law for attorneys displaced by Hurricane Katrina

Issue November 2005

To assist attorneys who have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina,the justices of the Supreme Judicial Court announced that they have temporarily modifiedthe rules governing the practice of law in the commonwealth.

After consulting with those involved with the bar admissionsprocess, the justices issued an order that allows attorneys who have been admittedto practice in the highest courts of law in Alabama, Louisiana or Mississippi totemporarily practice in Massachusetts subject to certain conditions. The temporaryauthorization is effective until Sept. 1, 2006, unless otherwise ordered by thecourt.

“This is a challenging time for lawyers and others whose liveshave been disrupted by the extreme devastation caused by the hurricane. I am delightedthat Massachusettsis joining other states in extending support to the legal community to ensure thatthe judicial system functions well during this difficult transition period,” saidSupreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall.

The American Bar Association and the Conference of Chief Justices have urged state courts to consider ways to help clients and attorneys in the statesthat were affected by the hurricane, and a number of states have responded by temporarily modifying their rules of practice to accommodate the displaced attorneys.