Supreme Judicial Court appoints interim executive
The Supreme Judicial Court announced the appointment of C.
Clifford Allen as its interim executive director. He fills the
position held by Francis S. Moran Jr., who retired on June 30. The
appointment is effective July 1.
The executive director reports to the chief justice and associate
justices and helps the Court to supervise, manage and coordinate
its day-to-day administrative responsibilities.
Allen will continue his duties as reporter of decisions for the
SJC and the Appeals Court, a position he has held since 1994. He
joined the SJC in 1982 as assistant reporter of decisions, after
serving the Appeals Court as a staff attorney, and was appointed
deputy reporter in 1987. Allen has served as president of the
international Association of Reporters of Judicial Decisions.
A resident of Beverly, he is a graduate of Muhlenberg College in
Allentown, Penn., and Capital University Law School in Columbus,
Ohio. He is a member of the Massachusetts bar.
SJC previews new juror orientation video to debut July
The Supreme Judicial Court unveiled the first new juror
orientation video in close to 25 years at the John Adams Courthouse
on June 29 in the historic Holmes Courtroom. Chief Justice Roderick
L. Ireland invited court colleagues and partners to preview the
video before it is introduced to jury pools statewide on July 5.
The event recognized the support of Suffolk University, which
collaborated with the Office of Jury Commissioner to produce the
The program included remarks by Ireland, Suffolk University Acting
President Barry Brown, Superior Court Judge Robert C. Rufo, who
chairs the Jury Management Advisory Committee, and Jury
Commissioner Pamela J. Wood.
The 18-minute orientation includes an introduction by Ireland and
scenes filmed from many courts around the commonwealth, and
commentary by judges and actual jurors. Jurors will learn
historical facts about the trial by jury system and information
about typical courtroom events they may encounter if called upon to
"Jurors represent a most fundamental and essential element of our
legal system," said Ireland. "The orientation video is a critical
tool to welcome, educate and thank jurors for their service. We
would not have been able to produce this long-overdue revision of
the video without the support of Suffolk University."
"Suffolk University is pleased to have partnered in the creation
of this video, which provides important information on the vital
role jurors play in the American system of justice," said Brown.
"We have a proud tradition of collaborating with the Supreme
Judicial Court, including by making oral arguments before the Court
accessible to the general public and the legal community through
Citizens reporting for jury service on July 5 will be the first
jurors to view the new orientation video. The video being replaced
was introduced about 25 years ago after Massachusetts was the first
state to adopt the "One Day or One Trial" system.
Last year, close to 246,000 jurors appeared in courthouses across
the state for service. The new orientation video will be available
for viewing next month on the website of the Office of Jury
Commissioner at www.MAjury.gov.
SJC seeks judge evaluations in five southeast
As part of the continuing program to evaluate and enhance
judicial performance, the Supreme Judicial Court recently sent
questionnaires to attorneys and court employees in Bristol,
Plymouth, Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket counties.
Jurors who participate in trials will receive questionnaires upon
completion of their jury duty for the next several months.
Eighty-six judges will be evaluated in the District Court, Juvenile
Court, Superior Court, Housing Court and Probate and Family
Attorneys should complete and return the questionnaires to the SJC
by July 13, as the success of the evaluation program depends upon
timely responses. A high rate of participation provides judges with
fair and complete evaluations.
Lawyers who have appeared in court multiple times in these
counties in the last two years, according to computerized court
records, have received questionnaires. All questionnaires are
confidential and do not request the names of respondents. The
resulting reports are also confidential and are given only to the
judge being evaluated and to the appropriate chief justices.
Among the categories covered in the evaluations are: a judge's
knowledge of the law; temperament on the bench; courtroom control;
treatment of litigants, witnesses, jurors and attorneys; fairness
and impartiality; and timeliness in issuing written
Attorneys whose e-mail addresses are known to the SJC receive an
invitation inviting them to use the evaluation website and are
given a username and password. Approximately 6,200 lawyers will be
able to complete the evaluation online. If an attorney wishes the
SJC to have their e-mail address for conducting evaluations in the
future, e-mail addresses can be registered at http://judeval.sjc.state.ma.us/?go=reg.
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].
The SJC began the judicial evaluation program in 2001. The
questionnaires are distributed to attorneys, court employees and
jurors throughout the state on a continuing cycle.
Nominations sought for 2011 Adams Pro Bono Publico
Nominations are being accepted for the 2011 Adams Pro Bono
Named in honor of attorneys John Adams and John Quincy Adams, the
Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards recognize individual lawyers, small
and large law firms, government attorney offices, corporate law
departments and other legal institutions in Massachusetts that have
"enhanced the human dignity of others by improving or delivering
volunteer legal services to our commonwealth's poor and
The Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal
Services will select awardees who have excelled in providing
volunteer services in one or more of the following ways:
Volunteer participation in an activity or pro bono program which
resulted in satisfying previously unmet needs or in extending
services to underserved segments of the population;
Successfully litigated pro bono cases that favorably affected the
provision of other services to the poor; and/or
Successfully achieved legislation that contributed substantially
to legal services to the poor.
- Nominations must be received by Friday, July 15.
- Submit all materials to: Richard McMahon, Esq., The 2011 Adams
Pro Bono Publico Awards, c/o South Coastal Counties Legal Services
Inc., P.O. Box 2507, 22 Bedford St., 2nd floor, Fall River, MA
02722-2507, or contact Jeanne Marcotte at (774) 488-5942 or
[e-mail jmarcotte] with questions.
- Nominations submitted in 2010 remain active for consideration
in the 2011 awards program.
This year, the awards will be presented in a ceremony at the
John Adams Courthouse on Oct. 26 in conjunction with the American
Bar Association's recognition of National Pro Bono Week.