Lawyers Journal

News from the Courts

Federal

USDC allows cameras, Virtual Press Box access

Effective Oct. 17, 2011, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts became one of 14 pilot courts participating in a three-year study of the use of cameras in courtrooms for civil cases in which the parties have consented to recording by the court. The recordings will be made publicly available on www.uscourts.gov.

The court is also expanding access to the court's electronic case filing system (ECF) by approved holders of a media ID issued by the court. Upon approval of an application for a Virtual Press Box (VPB), holders will be able to obtain a "read only" ECF account and receive e-mail notification of all activity in cases they have chosen to follow.

State

SJC appoints search committee for new court administrator

Dec. 2 deadline

In the wake of historic court reform legislation, the Supreme Judicial Court has appointed a search committee for the newly created court administrator position. The position will oversee the Trial Court Department's business operations, including budget preparation and oversight, labor relations, information technology, capital projects and personnel policy.

The SJC notes the challenges facing the administrator, including staffing shortages and many inadequate facilities in the midst of shrinking budgets.

The new, non-judicial position will work alongside the chief justice of the Trial Court, who will be responsible for all matters of judicial policy. The two positions will share the duties of current Chief Justice for Administration and Management Robert A. Mulligan, who will be appointed the new Trial Court chief justice. By statute, the two positions will receive identical salaries of $140,358 plus benefits.

Applications for court administrator must be received by the end of business on Friday, Dec. 2. The new administrator will be appointed for a five-year renewable term in early 2012 "to ensure the effective assumption of responsibilities before the legislation becomes fully effective on July 1, 2012."

For more information about the position and how to apply, go to www.mass.gov/courts/press/pr101911.html. 
For questions, contact Carol Lev at [e-mail carol.lev] or (617) 557-1074.

The search committee is chaired by attorney Michael B. Keating, a partner at Foley Hoag LLP chair of its Litigation Department. He is a former chair of the Court Management Advisory Board and past president of the Boston Bar 
Association.

The other members are:

  • Hon. Margot G. Botsford, SJC associate justice;
  • Craig Burlingame, Trial Court chief information officer;
  • Hon. Paula M. Carey, Probate and Family Court chief justice and a leader on several court committees;
  • Hon. Lynda M. Connolly, District Court chief justice and former co-chair of the Trial Court's Budget Advisory Committee and Court Relocation Committee;
  • Hon. Jeffrey A. Locke, Superior Court associate justice and former commissioner of the Department of Social Services;
  • Glenn Mangurian, business leader, Court Management Advisory Board member, and University of Massachusetts executive-in-residence;
  • Hon. James F. McHugh, Massachusetts Appeals Court associate justice and former special advisor on technology to the chief justice for administration and management;
  • Anthony S. Owens, Boston Municipal Court clerk magistrate, Dorchester Division, and former chief probation officer of the West Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court;
  • David B. Perini, Esq., former Division of Capital Asset Management commissioner and former chairman and CEO of Perini Corp.; and
  • Michael A. Sullivan, Esq., Middlesex Superior Court clerk of court and Superior Court Clerks Association president.

SJC issues Land Court judicial evaluations

The Supreme Judicial Court is asking attorneys to respond to questionnaires evaluating the performance of Land Court judges.

The SJC says the evaluation program, which began in October, is the best opportunity for attorneys to voice their opinions of the members of the judiciary, noting that the full participation of the bar is crucial to enhancing the performance and quality of the judicial branch. It asks attorneys to complete the questionnaire, because more responses will provide a more accurate representation.

Attorneys will receive a questionnaire via e-mail with a link to an evaluation website. As required by statute, the evaluations are confidential and anonymous. The results will be transmitted to the judge, the chief justice of the Land Court, the chief justice of the SJC and the chief justice of administration and 
management.

©2014 Massachusetts Bar Association