For the judges in our court system, 2014 is indeed a
happy new year, thanks to their long-awaited judicial pay
raise, which goes into effect this year. As members of the
Massachusetts Bar Association, we can also take pride in the MBA's
longstanding support, which helped push through this well-deserved
increase. But we cannot sit on our laurels. Court funding and
funding for legal aid remains a critical issue, despite our recent
The Trial Court appointed new chief justices for three of its
departments over the last few months: the District Court, Boston
Municipal Court and Land Court. While District Court Chief Justice
Paul C. Dawley has been at the helm since September 2013, Land
Court Chief Justice Judith Chanoux Cutler and BMC Chief Justice
Roberto Ronquillo Jr. began their terms this month. As the Trial
Court court moves into 2014, Lawyers Journal sat down with the
three new chiefs to get a sense of their departments' priorities
and what lies ahead for their respective courts.
Massachusetts Bar Association President Douglas K. Sheff
appointed a Blue Ribbon Commission on Criminal Justice Compensation
last month to examine the impact of low prosecutor and public
defender salaries on the state's criminal justice system.
It happens all the time - last year's changes turn into this
year's challenges. When new laws get announced, new questions
inevitably follow. The same can be said of 2014, if lawyers'
predictions hold true.
Lawyers Journal asked many of our section leaders to address the
issues they see coming up next for lawyers in year ahead. According
to our responses, 2014 may be the year of the "e" - as in
e-discovery, the economy and the effects of a number of new rules