In January, the Massachusetts Bar Association launched a
high-profile awareness campaign on the effects of underfunded
courts through a series of videos, billboards and other outreach.
The campaign launched shortly before Gov. Deval Patrick released
his proposed fiscal 2013 budget and will continue leading up to the
House and Senate budget debates in April and May,
As part of this campaign, four public service announcement-style
videos have been produced and released so far. The videos highlight
the negative impact of inadequate court funding through the
perspective of judicial leadership, attorneys, academic leaders and
court staff. The four videos debuted in January and February and
can be found at www.massbar.org or YouTube. Two more videos will be
posted in the weeks ahead.
The association's billboard campaign has aimed to grab the average
citizen's attention to reinforce that court funding does impact him
or her. The MBA's message was showcased on billboards in Greater
Boston, along I-93 in Dorchester and Medford; in Worcester along
I-290; and in Fall River along Rt. 24. The board on I-93 in
Dorchester remains on display.
"As officers of the court, it is imperative for the MBA to
continue to be out front on the importance of adequately funding
the third branch of government," MBA President Richard P. Campbell
said. "The rule of law is in jeopardy without that financial
Campbell explained that the MBA will continue its commitment to
advocate for this cause by organizing a Court Funding Advocacy Day
on March 19 with the Boston Bar Association and affiliated bars
throughout the state (see page 21 for more information).
For more information on this campaign, visit www.massbar.org. Also
included on the MBA's site are informational materials on court
funding, as well as resources that members of the legal community
can reference when reaching out to their respective legislators on
this important issue.
"We've never done this before," Campbell said. "The fact that the
MBA has committed to elevating awareness in this fashion is a clear
indication of how dire the circumstances have gotten in the court
room atmosphere and operations."