Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012
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News from the courts

SJC appoints MBA members to committee to study the Massachusetts Code of Judicial Conduct; Probate and Family Court releases procedural advisory and revised estate administration forms; SJC seeks judge evaluations in Middlesex Counties; Memorandum regarding Chapter 193 of the Acts and Resolves of 2012

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SJC appoints MBA members to committee to study the Massachusetts Code of Judicial Conduct

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court justices have announced appointments to a committee to study the Massachusetts Code of Judicial Conduct. The committee has been formed to review the current Massachusetts Code of Judicial Conduct adopted in 2003, in comparison to the Model Code of Judicial Conduct adopted by the American Bar Association in 2007. Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court Cynthia J. Cohen has been appointed chair of the Committee.

Appointed MBA members include:

  • Hon. Cynthia J. Cohen, Appeals Court;
  • Hon. Peter W. Agnes Jr., Appeals Court;
  • Hon. Kenneth V. Desmond Jr., Boston Municipal Court;
  • Hon. Judith Fabricant, Superior Court;
  • Hon. Linda S. Fidnick, Probate & Family Court;
  • Hon. Diana H. Horan, Housing Court;
  • Hon. Angel Kelly-Brown, District Court;
  • Hon. Mark D. Mason, District Court;
  • Hon. James F. McHugh, Appeals Court (retired);
  • Hon. Karyn F. Scheier, Land Court chief justice;
  • Hon. John S. Spinale, Juvenile Court; and
  • Michael S. Greco, K & L Gates LLP.

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Probate and Family Court releases procedural advisory and revised estate administration forms


Chief Justice Paula M. Carey of the Probate and Family Court has releases a procedural advisory for estate administration matters. The procedural advisory summarizes procedural changes to estate administration matters as a result of Chapter 140 of the Acts of 2012. Chapter 140 amended various sections of G. L. c. 190B, the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code and incorporates the Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code as Chapter 203E of the general laws. The procedural advisory was developed by the MUPC Procedures Committee which includes Probate and Family Court judges, court staff and members of the bar. The advisory is a new method to educate court staff, members of the bar and litigants on procedural updates. A procedural advisory on the MUTC will be released in late November.

Carey also announced the release of 'round one' of newly-created and revised estate administration forms for actions brought under the MUPC. In response to comments received from members of the bar, litigants and court staff, the MUPC Forms Committee created a new combination Assent and Waiver of Notice/Renunciation/Nomination and Waiver of Sureties form (MPC 455) and Instructions (MPC 941). The new form will replace the need to file separate forms for common requests in estate administration matters. The Assent and Waiver of Notice portion of the form may be used in all probate matters, excluding guardianship of minor proceedings.

Revised forms include:

  • MPC 801-Bond
  • MPC 255-Petition for Informal Appointment of Successor PR;
  • MPC 760-Order for Informal Appointment of Successor PR;
  • MPC 270-Petition for Formal Appointment of Successor PR;
  • MPC 765-Decree and Order for Formal Appointment of Successor PR;
  • MPC 264-Statement of Resignation of PR; and
  • MPC 550-Notice of Informal Probate.

New forms, now acceptable for filing, include:

  • MPC 455-Assent and Waiver of Notice/Renunciation/Nomination/Waiver of Sureties; and
  • MPC 941- Instructions for MPC 455.

Click here for forms.

A second round of form revisions for estate administration and trust matters is scheduled for late November. Comments on any of the forms may be sent to: [e-mail emily.deines].
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SJC seeks judge evaluations in Middlesex Counties


As part of the continuing program to evaluate and enhance judicial performance, the Supreme Judicial Court will evaluate judges of 46 District, Housing, Probate and Family, and Juvenile Court in Middlesex County.

Attorneys who receive a questionnaire should take the time to complete it, as the more responses received, the more helpful the judicial evaluations will be. The SJC's evaluation program is the best opportunity for attorneys to offer their opinions of the members of the judiciary. Attorneys 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 a confidential website to complete the evaluation electronically. If an attorney wishes the Supreme Judicial Court to have their e-mail address for conducting evaluations in the future, e-mail addresses can be registered here.

Inquiries concerning questionnaires and evaluations should be directed to Mona Hochberg, SJC judicial performance evaluation coordinator, at (617) 557-1156 or [e-mail mona.hochberg].
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Memorandum regarding Chapter 193 of the Acts and Resolves of 2012

On August 2, 2012 Gov. Deval Patrick signed Chapter 193 of the Acts and Resolves of 2012, An Act Further Regulating Animal Control, concerning animals in conjunction with restraining orders, which became effective on Oct. 31, 2012.

Click here to learn more.

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