Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Apr. 25, 2013
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News from the courts

Law libraries to consolidate two locations; Housing Court announces public Internet access; Proposed amendment to SJC Rule 4:02


Law libraries to consolidate two locations

The Trial Court has announced the closure of two law libraries as a result of low utilization, outdated facilities and staff reductions. The Bristol Law Library in Taunton and the Fitchburg Law Library will cease operation as of May 10 and discontinue circulation of their materials as of April 19. The library consolidation allows the trial court to redeploy staff to nearby sites and better serve the public statewide.

Fifteen other law libraries remain open. Patrons of the Bristol Law Library can use the libraries in Fall River, New Bedford or Brockton. The Worcester Law Library, across from the Worcester Trial Court, will serve the northern Worcester County communities.

Click here to learn more.


Housing Court announces public Internet access

The Housing Court Department of the Massachusetts Trial Court has announced the introduction of Internet access to summary process, small claims, civil and supplementary process case types that are currently available to the public. Case information can be accessed via the trial court's eAccess Internet site.

The site allows users to conduct searches by case type, case number or case name. Users can find detailed instructions on the housing court page of the trial court's website. Electronic access to all publicly available case types also continues to be available at public access computers at the five housing court divisions and at courthouses throughout the state.

Public internet access is made available through MassCourts, the trial court's web-based, case management platform now utilized by six of the seven trial court departments. MassCourts allows real-time data collection and electronic data exchange with other entities and once fully implemented will replace 14 legacy systems. Internet access also is available to case information in the Land Court and to estate cases in the Probate and Family Court.


Proposed amendment to SJC Rule 4:02

The Supreme Judicial Court's Rules Committee invites comments on proposed amendments to S.J.C. Rule 4:02(1) and (10). The proposed amendments would require attorneys to furnish their e-mail address on their annual registration statements filed with the Board of Bar Overseers. E-mail addresses would be given the same confidentiality safeguards that apply to residential addresses.  

The amendments were proposed by the Board of Bar Overseers as a measure to increase efficiency and realize savings. They would allow the board to issue electronic notices to all members of bar who have e-mail accounts. If the amendments are adopted, the registration statement will be revised to include a statement that those attorneys without an e-mail address can state "none" in answer to the question and they will receive notices by regular mail.

Click here to view the proposed amendments. Comments should be directed to Christine P. Burak, secretary, Supreme Judicial Court Rules Committee, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, One Pemberton Square, Boston, MA  02108 on or before May 3, 2013. Comments may also be sent to [e-mail christine.burak].



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