JAMES S. BOLAN
BRECHER, WYNER, SIMONS, FOX & BOLAN, LLP
Newton, MA 02459
‑ Mr. Bolan is a partner with Brecher, Wyner, Simons, Fox & Bolan, LLP, an "AV" rated firm with a principal office in Newton, Massachusetts. He represents lawyers and law firms in Board of Bar Overseers and malpractice matters, partnership breakups, departures and law firm litigation. He provides counsel to local, national and transnational lawyers and law firms on professional responsibility, practice and ethics matters, malpractice defense and prevention, and risk management and law firm audits.
Mr. Bolan is "AV" rated in Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory. He has been recognized as one of the top 100 Lawyers in Massachusetts, a Massachusetts Super Lawyer by Boston Magazine/Law and Politics Magazine, a New England Super Lawyer in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, a top-rated "10" by AVVO, New England's Best lawyers, 2013, one of the Best Lawyers of America, 2013, 2015 and a 2014 U.S. News Best Lawyers - "Best Law Firm" in Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law practice area.
graduate of Belmont Hill School (1966), Trinity College
(1970), and Boston College Law School (1973), Mr. Bolan
was admitted to the bar in Missouri (1973-inactive) and
Massachusetts (1975). He started practice in
Kansas City in 1973 as a legal services lawyer. From 1978 to
1983, he was an Assistant Bar Counsel with the
Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers.
From 1983 to 1991, he was with Chaplin &
Milstein as an associate and then as a partner. He started the firm
of Bolan & Graeber, PC in
1991, which then became Bolan, Frank & Graeber,
PC in 1992.
He joined the present firm in January 1999 where
he is the head of the Litigation
Bolan has frequently served as an editor, lecturer and
author and participated in seminars and programs for
Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc., the
Massachusetts Bar Association, the Boston Bar Association, and
the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers in
disciplinary, professional liability and litigation
He is the co editor with Justice Kenneth Lawrence and co-author of Ethical Lawyering in Massachusetts (MCLE 1992, 1995, 2000, 2007, 2009), the author and editor of The New Rules of Professional Conduct: The Impact on Ethical Practice in Massachusetts (MCLE 1998), and a contributing author to the Massachusetts Attorney Conduct Manual (Lexis Nexis/Butterworths).
has been the Chair (since the inception in 1993) of the
biannual seminar sponsored jointly by MCLE and the Board
of Bar Overseers entitled, "How to Make Money and Stay
Out of Trouble".
He was the Chair of the MCLE seminar entitled,
"Practicing Before the Board of Bar Overseers"
is the author of an article published in the December 1994
issue of the Massachusetts Bar Journal entitled
"Representing a Respondent Before the Board of Bar
He is also the author of an article in the
May/June 1994 issue of the Boston Bar Journal
entitled, "Practice Before the Board of Registration in
was an author and panel member of the MCLE seminar
entitled "Handling the Non-Medical Professional
Malpractice Case" (1989) and panel member of the
seminar entitled "Dealing with the S.O.B.
Litigator..." (1990). He has been a
panel chair and member of a number of seminars conducted
by MCLE and the Massachusetts Bar Association, including a
panel member of the 1995 through 1998 (and Chair of the 1996
and 1997) MBA Annual Meeting Programs on Legal
is a Fellow of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, former
chair of the Attorneys and Accountants Liability
sub‑committee of the Business Litigation Committee;
former member of the Boston Bar Association's Professionalism
and Bench and Bar Committees and former member of the
Massachusetts Bar Association's Ethics Committee (1992 -
is a founding member (1990) of the national Association
of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL), was
elected as a Director for a three-year term (1996 - 1998),
Treasurer (1998 - 1999), Secretary (1999 - 2000),
President-Elect (2000 - 2001) and President (2001 -
2002). He has
been a panel member and chair of numerous seminars
presented at APRL meetings, including the following:
Documents: Fair Game for Adverse
by James P. Ulwick and James S.
Preclude or Not to Preclude: Should a Lawyer Have
Two Bites at the Apple Before Being Thrown Out of
Or, what is the appropriate use of fact or
issue preclusion in disciplinary proceedings?
Sarah McShea and James
Rise of "Private Citizen" Discipline and the
Demise of DR 1-102(A)(6): A Mystery in Two
James S. Bolan and Robert H. Davis, Jr.,
Client Funds for Non-Clients: Who Must the Lawyer
David P. Atkins, Moderator. Panelists: James S. Bolan,
Steve Lee, and Elizabeth A. Kohnen
of Counsel: The Ways and Means. James S. Bolan and
David Ross Rosenfeld
of Interest and Fiduciary Duty. (Shanghai
Conference) James S. Bolan, Richard Jacobson and
Professor Lu Zhi'an
to the Courts, Other Persons, and the Legal
Profession. (Shanghai Conference) Mark I.
Harrison, James S. Bolan and Zhu Hongchao
and Profit Sharing with Non-Lawyers: The Evolving
Definition of the Independence of Counsel; James
S. Bolan, Chair, William Wernz
and R. Gerald Markle
Advertising: Impossibility of Performance?
Peter R. Jarvis and James S.
Hazards of Multi-Jurisdictional Practice: Avoiding
Disciplinary Sanctions, Fee Forfeitures, and Legal
Malpractice Claims. (National Risk Management
Conference) William T. Barker, James S. Bolan, Anthony E.
Davis, and James J.
the Lone Wolf and other partner problems; James S.
Bolan and Robert A. Creamer;
and Other Issues For Lawyers With Ancillary
Insurance and Securities Businesses: Bad Idea,
Wave of the Multi-Disciplinary Future, or Both?
James S. Bolan and Charles W. Kettlewell
Is a License Not a License? Applying MJP
Principles to Federal Practice, James S. Bolan,
William Barker and Suzanne Westerheim
Advances in Ethics Research.Diane L. Karpman and James S.
and Consequences: Negotiation Ethics
James S. Bolan, Moderator; Richard Perlmutter, George R.
of Judicial Elections in the Context of Regulation,
Free Speech, Impartiality and Independence: Point and
Counterpoint:James S. Bolan, Moderator, Jeremy R.
Can Run, but You Can't Hide: Epic Encounters/Elusive
Ethics in Electronic Discovery:
Cooper, White & Cooper, LLP, San Francisco, CA
(chair/moderator) James S.
Bolan, Brecher, Wyner, Simons, Fox &
Bolan LLP, Newton, Massachusetts, Cynthia
K. Courtney, Day Pitney LLP, Hartford, CT
and Honorable Andrew J. Peck, New
See Your Face Before Me: The Ethics, Practicalities,
and Pitfalls of Electronic Networking (a/k/a
Marketing) and Virtual Lives; (chair/moderator)
Bolan, Brecher, Wyner, Simons, Fox &
Bolan LLP, Newton, Massachusetts, Elizabeth Clark Tarbert, Ethics Counsel, The Florida
Bar and Brian S. Faughnan Adams and Reese LLP Memphis,
Law and Ethics: James S.
Bolan, Brecher, Wyner,
Simons, Fox & Bolan, LLP, Newton,
Massachusetts, Moderator, Douglas Hauer,
Mintz, Levin, Cohn,
Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo,
P.C. Boston, Jennifer Barnes,
for Immigration Review, Office of the, General
Counsel, Washington, D.C., Rachel McCarthy,
Disciplinary Counsel for U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services, Burlington, Vt., and David Ross
and Choice of Law:
Conference in Istanbul, Turkey.
James S. Bolan, Brecher, Wyner, Simons, Fox &
Bolan, LLP, Moderator; Professor Bruce Green
Fordham University School of Law; William Frievogel,
James Ham, Pansky,
The Evolving Practice of Law: Insourced, Outsourced, & Online; Prof. Moderator and Panelist: James S. Bolan, Brecher, Wyner, Simons, Fox & Bolan LLP, Newton, MA with Prof. Renee Newman Knake, Michigan State University School of Law, East Lansing,, Kunoor Chopra, Esq. VP at Elevate, Inc. and Daniel Linna, Esq. Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP Detroit, Michigan.
was a panel member at the February 2000 ALI/ABA Program
in "Legal Problems in Museum Administration-Attorney
Client Privilege for In-House Counsel" and a panel member
at the February 2000 MBA Seminar - "Mass. R. Pro. C. Rule
4.2 and Labor Lawyers". He was a
panelist in May 2000 (on issues of conflicts of interest
and duties to third persons) at a Conference on Judicial
and Legal Ethics in the Peoples
Republic of China at Fudan
University Law School, Shanghai, China under the auspices
of the United States Department of State and the Peoples Republic of China.
has conducted seminars on ex parte communications for the
MBA in June 2000, June 2002 and MCLE in August 2002. He was co-chair
of an MBA Seminar in May 2003 on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act,
chair of Seminars on Staying Professional in the Practice in
June 2003, 2004 and 2007 and participated in the
inaugural and subsequent Annual Seminars for "In-House
Counsel" in 2003, 2004 and 2006 conferences before the
Massachusetts Bar Association on the subjects of the
attorney-client privilege, confidentiality rules and ex parte
communications (2003 and 2004) and the erosion of the
attorney-client privilege (2006). He has also
participated in several panels for the MBA on the new
IOLTA rules in Massachusetts in December 2003.
provided ethics commentary for MCLE’s inaugural Health
Law Manual (2004) and authored an article in November
2004 in the Boston Bar Journal on extrication from an
addition to chairing the first MCLE panel on the Ethics
of Negotiation held in May 2005, he was a speaker on
ethics issues at the Real Estate Bar Association for
Massachusetts Spring Seminar in May 2005, he spoke on the
Ethics of Negotiation with Prof. Richard Perlmutter
in an MCLE/Westlaw Webcast in November 2005, and chaired
an APRL panel in February 2006 entitled Truth or
Consequences: Negotiation Ethics.
presented two seminars at the MBA Annual meeting in March
2006 on ethics and malpractice.
He chaired the first MCLE ethics panel on Avoiding
Attorney Liability in Business Practice in August
He recently participated in a panel presentation on
Advertising and Solicitation at a meeting before the
Legal Marketing Association of New England.
He conducted a seminar for the Boston Bar
Association in March 2008 on the intersections of the bar
discipline process and professional liability actions and
spoke at the MCLE Professional Liability Seminar (on the same
topic) and, as well, at the Real Estate Bar Association
Spring Conference in May 2008 (on multiple client
In 2008, he presented a lecture at Boston
University Law School on Legal Malpractice. In 2009 and 2010,
he presented seminars before the Boston Bar Association,
APRL Annual Conference, the MBA Annual Conference and the
Massachusetts Business Lawyers Network on Transcendental
Lawyering - Ethics, Cyberspace and Social Networking and
He has also presented several LOMAP (Law Office
Management Assistance Project) webcasts, including one on
Legal Advertising (2011).
participated in the Suffolk Law School Advanced Legal
Studies seminar in October 2010 on Avoiding Pitfalls in
Starting and Running a Law Practice, which presentation
was reprised in January 2012. And, he
presented a training seminar of the Licensed Private
Detectives or Investigators of Massachusetts on the use
and misuse of social media; privacy, data privacy and
conflicts of interest.
was recently on a panel at the ABA/Center for
Professional Responsibility Conference in May 2012 on
"Old Rules, New Tools: The Challenge Of Social Media For
Bar Associations And Lawyers".
He was on a panel at the ABA/Center for Professional Responsibility Conference in May 2012 on "Old Rules, New Tools: The Challenge Of Social Media For Bar Associations And Lawyers".
He presented two CLE presentations in 2013 for MyLawCLE and the Boston Association of Legal Administrators of a range of legal ethics, practice and professional responsibility matters.
In 2014, he served on an MCLE Panel legal ethics and malpractice issues in Common and Complex Real Estate Title Issues.
In 2014, Mr. Bolan served as a presenting member of the first Supreme Judicial Court's Program on Practicing with Professionalism through MCLE.
In 2014, he chaired two panels for REBA on "Exit Strategies" - Succession Planning for Solo and Small Firm practitioners.
Also, in 2014, the Real Estate Bar Association of Massachusetts invited Mr. Bolan to write a standing column in REBA's Newsletter. The column appears as The Lawyers' Counsel".
In October 2013, he received the 2013 Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Scholar-Mentor Award.
was a member of the Supreme Judicial Court's Advisory
Committee on Clerks of Courts from 1997 - 2010 and was a
member of the Massachusetts Bar Association's Ad Hoc
Committee on Proposed Revisions to the Massachusetts Rules of
Professional Conduct. He is a former
Instructor of Law at Boston University Law School and New
England School of Law.
* Admitted in Massachusetts only.