Lawyers Journal

Security rules change for Trial Court lawyers

Beginning Monday, Dec. 2, attorneys who enter court locations will have to present a form of photo identification in addition to their Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers (BBO) registration/identification cards.

The new procedure is designed to improve security and give attorneys ease of entry into court buildings. With proper identification, attorneys and their possessions will not be subject to screening. However, attorneys entering the federal building housing the Suffolk Superior Court and Boston Municipal Court are subject to screening in accordance with federal policies and procedures.

Currently attorneys in most court locations are able to enter without security screening by associate court officers, metal detectors and X-ray machines after they present their BBO cards.

This month attorneys also will have to show photo identification with a signature so associate court officers can match the data with the BBO cards. Attorneys also will have to respond to the associate court officers' inquiries regarding whether they are carrying firearms.

The Administrative Office of the Trial Court is adopting this new procedure to enhance security screening at court building entrances and to achieve screening consistency. The changes follow a September 2001 requirement that all Trial Court employees and others who work full time or have office space in courts present Trial Court photo identification cards for unscreened entry.

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