Lawyers Journal

Panel to study improving trial transcripts in Bay State

A new study committee formed by the Supreme Judicial Court is evaluating how to improve the timeliness and accuracy of trial transcripts.

"The accurate and timely recording and transcription of trial proceedings is crucial to the fair, prompt and efficient judicial review of cases," said Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall. "Transcripts that are unduly delayed or that are incomplete or inaccurate seriously compromise the delivery of justice at every level of our court system. I am grateful to the members for devoting their time to this new endeavor, which will provide enormous benefit to the courts, the bar, and the public."

The study committee will review Massachusetts practices and policies; conduct extensive outreach and gather information and perspectives from judges, court personnel, attorneys, providers and users of court transcription services, and other relevant constituencies. It also will evaluate current and emerging technologies and their training components; assess the costs and benefits of alternative or complementary methods of recording and transcription; and study the best practices of state and federal courts in the country. The panel will in six months submit a report of its findings and recommendations.

Appeals Court Justice and MBA member Mark V. Green will serve as committee chair, and Supreme Judicial Court Justice Robert J. Cordy, also an MBA member, serves as the SJC's liaison to the committee.

Other committee members include Ashley Ahearn, Appeals Court Clerk and MBA member; attorney and MBA member Thomas J. Carey, Jr.; attorney and MBA member Carol Donovan, Committee for Public Counsel Services; Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Donovan, an MBA member; Assistant Clerk Francis P. Driscoll, Middlesex Juvenile Court; Alexander Gray, general counsel, Administrative Office of the Trial Court; attorney John Henn, Foley Hoag LLP and an MBA member; District Court Judge Stephen S. Ostrach, an MBA member; Robert P. Panneton, Associate Court Administrator, Superior Court Administrative Office; Jacqueline Schelfhaudt, case manager, Juvenile Court Administrative Office; Darryl G. Smith, District Court Regional Coordinator; and Dukes and Plymouth Probate and Family Court Judge Stephen C. Steinberg, an MBA member.

Sandra Lundy, SJC administrative attorney and an MBA member, serves as staff support to the committee.

©2014 Massachusetts Bar Association