Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012
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MBA statement in response to the release of the special counsel’s report on OUI cases

The Massachusetts Bar Association has a long history of advocating for and supporting an impartial justice system that protects the rights of all involved.

"The special counsel's report to the Supreme Judicial Court demonstrates that overall the Massachusetts courts are treating OUI cases in line with that of other states. While drunk driving cases are a serious matter, judges must remain independent and be provided the freedom to decide individual cases based on the weight of the evidence before them and the unique circumstances of each particular case," said Thomas Hoopes, chair of the MBA's Committee on Fair and Impartial Courts.

In regard to the high bench trial acquittal rates of certain judges, the report correctly cautions against drawing any adverse conclusions about those individual justices. Rather, as identified by the report, evidentiary barriers and other systemic factors may contribute to those elevated rates.

The MBA will closely examine the report's recommendations and work with court and legislative leaders to ensure that the independence of the judicial system is preserved.

For the full report and a statement from the Supreme Judicial Court, click here.

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