Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012
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News from the courts

SJC seeks Trial Court judges' evaluations; 2012 edition of Massachusetts Guide to Evidence now available; 2011 annual report on Access to Justice Initiative issued

As part of the continuing program to evaluate and enhance judicial performance, the Supreme Judicial Court is sending questionnaires to attorneys, court employees and jurors to evaluate Massachusetts Trial Court judges. Judges in Suffolk County in the Boston Municipal, District, Juvenile, Housing, and Probate and Family Courts will be evaluated starting Feb. 22.

Lawyers who have appeared in these courts in the last two years, according to court records, will receive questionnaires. Attorneys will receive an e-mail requesting them to log into our website to complete the evaluation electronically. As required by statute, the electronic system keeps the evaluations confidential and anonymous. If there is no attorney's e-mail on record, then a paper questionnaire will be mailed.

Inquiries concerning questionnaires and evaluations should be directed to Mona Hochberg, SJC judicial performance evaluation coordinator, at (617) 557-1156, or via e-mail.


2012 edition of Massachusetts Guide to Evidence now available

The Supreme Judicial Court and its Executive Committee on Massachusetts Evidence Law announced the release of the 2012 edition of the Massachusetts Guide to Evidence on Feb. 10. The SJC justices recommend use of the guide by the bench, bar and public.

The 2012 edition is available for free on the web sites of the SJC, Appeals Court and Trial Court. The print edition is available for purchase from the Flaschner Judicial Institute, which is again providing a complimentary copy to every judge in the commonwealth.

The 2012 edition reflects developments in Massachusetts evidence law that occurred between Jan. 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2011. In includes dozens of new opinions issued in 2011 by the SJC, Appeals Court and the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as new sections addressing industry and safety standards, electronic or digital, consciousness of guilt or liability, and missing witness.


2011 annual report on Access to Justice Initiative issued

The 2011 Annual Report on the Access to Justice Initiative in the Trial Court has been submitted.

The report discusses the role of technology in enhancing access to justice, identifies grants obtained in 2011, and summarizes the activities and accomplishments of five task forces.

Click here to learn more and view the report.

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