Lawyers Journal

News from the Courts

JNC seeks applications

The Judicial Nominating Committee seeks applications for two positions: one at the Appeals Court and one at the Land Court. The application deadline for the Appeals Court vacancy is Friday, April 15, and the application deadline for the Land Court vacancy is Friday, April 8.

For more information, go to www.Mass.gov/, click on Gov. Deval Patrick's icon on the top left, then click on the Judicial Nominating Commission item under "Our Team" on the left.

SJC seeks comments on proposed amendments to Rules of Criminal Procedure

The Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure invites comments on proposed amendments to Rule 7 of the Massachusetts Rules of Criminal Procedure.

There are two major revisions to the rule. One eliminates the initial appearance as a step prior to the arraignment. The other eliminates the procedure that allows defendants who have retained counsel to avoid appearing at their arraignment. The committee was not unanimous in its recommendations, and this notice also includes two dissenting statements.

By April 15, comments should be directed to: The Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure, c/o Senior Attorney Barbara Berenson, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, One Pemberton Square, Boston, MA 02108. Or e-mail Barbara Berenson at [e-mail barbara.berenson].

Go to www.Mass.gov/Courts/SJC/Comment-crimproc-R7-041511.html to review the Standing Advisory Committee's report and dissenting statements.

SJC seeks comments on proposed amendments to Rules of Civil Procedure

The Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure invites comments on proposed amendments dealing with discovery of electronically stored information. The committee is considering amendments to Mass. R. Civ. P. 16, 26, 34, 37 and 45. The committee solicits and welcomes comments from the bar prior to presenting its recommendation to the SJC's Rules Committee.

By May 13, comments should be directed to: Christine Burak, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, One Pemberton Square, Boston, MA 02108, or e-mail Burak at [e-mail Christine.Burak].

Go to www.Mass.gov/Courts/SJC/Docs/Rules/Comment-civil-proc-rules-051311.pdf to view the proposed amendments. Go to www.Mass.gov/Courts/SJC/Docs/Rules/Reporters-notes-comment-civil-proc-rules-051311.pdf to view the draft reporter's notes.

SJC issues annual report for fiscal 2010

Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland has forwarded the Fiscal Year 2010 Annual Report on the state of the Massachusetts Court System to Gov. Deval Patrick, Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, pursuant to G.L. ch. 211B, § 9.

"My colleagues across the Massachusetts court system have achieved an impressive array of accomplishments amid these challenging times," Ireland noted in his transmittal letter. "I am very proud of their achievements, which are highlighted in this report."

Chief Justice for Administration & Management Robert A. Mulligan said, "On behalf of the departmental chief justices, I extend our highest regard and appreciation for the dedication of judges, clerks, probation and other court staff to ensure the delivery of justice across the state. The annual report summarizes many noteworthy accomplishments that reflect significant personal and professional commitment in very difficult circumstances."

Visit www.Mass.Gov/Courts/fy10AnnualReport.html to read the report.

Justices testify before Ways and Means Committee

Supreme Judicial Court Justice Francis X. Spina, Appeals Court Chief Justice Phillip Rapoza and Trial Court Chief Justice for Administration and Management Robert A. Mulligan presented testimony on Feb. 25 to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means on fiscal 2012 funding for the judicial branch. Spina, the senior justice of the SJC, spoke on behalf of Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland, who was unable to attend.

"Justice in the Balance: Budget Overview for the Massachusetts Judiciary," was provided to committee members. Mulligan focused his remarks on specific examples provided by chief justices, judges, clerks and court staff on the challenges faced daily in courthouses statewide as a result of the fiscal crisis.

Spina and Mulligan also advocated for keeping the Probation Dept. under the control of the judiciary. The judges all emphasized that trial court staff at all levels are at a breaking point in terms of managing caseloads.

Go to www.Mass.gov/Courts/ChiefJustices-testimony11.html to view the judges' testimonies. Go to www.Mass.gov/Courts/Justice-in-the-balance2011.pdf to review the report.

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