Daniel Crane

Practice/Organization Description

Daniel C. Crane was in private practice for 24 years before serving as bar counsel for almost 7 years. He graduated from Harvard College (1972) and Boston College Law School (1975). He was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1975, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts in 1976, the First Circuit Court of Appeals in 1983, and the United States Supreme Court in 1989. He is currently in a limited solo practice focusing on issues relating to professional conduct of lawyers.

During his years of private practice, Mr. Crane represented primarily represented individuals and small businesses, both in transactions and resolving disputes. He regularly tried cases in state and federal courts in Massachusetts, some of which involved commercial disputes relating to real estate transactions. He also represented clients on appeals heard by both the Supreme Judicial Court and the Appeals Court.

The Supreme Judicial Court for Massachusetts appointed him as chief bar counsel in 1999. As bar counsel, he was responsible for investigating and prosecuting, where appropriate, all allegations of professional misconduct against Massachusetts attorneys. This involved reviewing and approving disposition of all cases where attorneys were sanctioned in any manner (an average of 150 attorneys each year); establishing and maintaining policies and standards applied by assistant bar counsel in investigating and prosecuting matters; hearings before the Board of Bar Overseers and its hearing committees and appeals to the Supreme Judicial Court; and approval of dismissal or closing of grievances that did not warrant disciplinary action. Mr. Crane also evaluated applications for reinstatement to practice and opposed reinstatements when appropriate.

Mr. Crane served as president of the Massachusetts Bar Association in 1990-‘1, preceded by holding other officer positions and service on the board of delegates. He also served as a member of the ABA house of delegates. He was also president of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation (1992-‘4). The MBF distributes IOLTA funds to support civil legal services to the poor and to improve the administration of justice in the Commonwealth.

The Supreme Judicial Court appointed Mr. Crane to the Board of Bar Overseers in 1993. He served as chair of the Board in 1995 and 1997. As a member of the board, Mr. Crane ruled on appeals from recommendations of hearing committees of the board and made recommendations for disposition of allegations of attorney misconduct to the Supreme Judicial Court. He also sat regularly as a board panel member hearing allegations of professional misconduct following criminal convictions of lawyers and on applications for reinstatement following suspension. He was the primary author of all decisions by panels he chaired.

Mr. Crane served as a member of the Supreme Judicial Court standing committee on the rules of professional conduct between 1999 and 2006. The committee is charged with making recommendations to the SJC concerning revisions to its rules of professional conduct. He was regularly involved with drafting and deliberations of the committee, including evaluation of whether to recommend revisions consistent with changes made to the ABA model rules of professional conduct.

Mr. Crane speaks regularly and frequently at programs sponsored by the Massachusetts Bar Association, county bar associations, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, and the National Organization of Bar Counsel. He has also written a number of articles on topics in professional responsibility that have been published by the MBA and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. The articles are collected on the website of the Office of Bar Counsel.

In March 2009, Mr. Crane concluded over two years of service as undersecretary for consumer affairs and business regulation this March. The Massachusetts commissioners of banks and insurance and four other agencies reported to him.


Areas of Practice
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
  • Professional Malpractice
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