Massachusetts Rule of Professional Conduct 1.5(b) diverges from the Model Rule effective 1/1/2013

Back in October, the Supreme Judicial Court ordered an amendment to Massachusetts Rule of Professional Conduct 1.5(b).  Before this amendment, the rule “preferred” fee agreements to be in writing, just like MRPC 1.5(b) that many of you studied for the MPRE.  Under the amendment, a fee agreement must be in writing unless the fee is for a single session legal consultation, the expected fee is less than $500, or there is an indigent representation fee imposed by a Massachusetts court (and therefore there is no fee agreement between the lawyer and the client).  This change is effective starting January 1, 2013.