Friday, March 23, 2007

Bar Discipline Docs Closed to Public

Documents related to attorney discipline in Massachusetts do not fall under the state's public-records law, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled today. The public-records law applies only to the executive branch of government, while the Board of Bar Overseers -- the entity that oversees attorney discipline -- is under the judicial branch, the SJC said.
"This court has construed strictly the scope of G.L. c. 4, § 7, Twenty-sixth, to preclude the public disclosure of documents held by entities other than those specifically delineated in the statute. ... Neither the Legislature nor the Judiciary are expressly included."
The petitioner, Michael L. Kettenbach, had requested all BBO and bar counsel documents relating to a former state judge, who resigned from the bench and assumed inactive bar status after having been found to have violated canons of judicial ethics.

Today's decision is Kettenbach v. Board of Bar Overseers, SJC-09760.

No comments: