The Boston Bar Association frequently articulates its public policy positions in amicus briefs. Earlier this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that a judgment of $904,076.17 in attorney’s fees against the Real Estate Bar Association (REBA) violated REBA’s First Amendment right to bring a non-frivolous lawsuit, citing arguments made in a Boston Bar Association amicus brief. (REBA v. National Real Estate Information Services (NREIS) and NREIS Inc.)
Happily, Jonathan Albano and his colleagues Brandon Bigelow and Julie Palmer at Bingham McCutchen LLP volunteered to draft the amicus brief on behalf of the BBA. Working with the BBA Amicus Committee, chaired by Julia Huston of Foley Hoag, the BBA submitted the brief in February.
In its 33 page opinion, the court dealt with several issues and certified to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts the question of whether the defendants’ business constituted the unauthorized practice of law in Massachusetts. But the influence of the BBA’s amicus brief jumps from the pages of the First Circuit decision.
Good news to report! In May the BBA Amicus Committee completed a comprehensive review resulting in a new, streamlined process. The Committee files amicus briefs on behalf of the BBA relating to the practice of law or the administration of justice. In the last 5 years, the BBA has filed 10 amicus briefs on a range of different issues including wiretapping and attorney-client privilege. For more information about how to submit an amicus request, visit our website.
– Kathleen M. Joyce
Government Relations Director
Boston Bar Association