Court and Community News

Thursday, May 27, 2021
​Justice Index ranks Massachusetts third in nation and first in Northeast; Judicial vacancies open for applications; Job opening: Senior tax associate at Rath, Young and Pignatelli


Justice Index ranks Massachusetts third in nation and first in Northeast

Massachusetts court leaders last week announced results of the latest Justice Index, an online, data-intensive ranking survey published by the National Center for Access to Justice, which measures the extent to which states have adopted best practices for ensuring access to justice for all. Massachusetts ranks third overall behind Maryland and Washington, D.C., and first in the Northeast.

The Justice Index uses a 100-point scale to rank state policies in four areas: attorney access, support for self-represented litigants, language access and disability access. This year, a fifth area, fines and fees, was added but did not factor into the rankings. Massachusetts received an overall score of 63.71 out of 100 possible points. The Index outlines the policy questions, methodology and weightings used here.

Since the release of the previous Justice Index in 2016, Massachusetts has focused on several efforts to expand access to justice. Recent efforts include:

  • Expanding self-help information available on and organizing information in a user-friendly format;
  • Offering Lawyer for the Day Programs through which lawyers offer basic legal advice and assistance with court matters to self-represented litigants;
  • Establishing Zoom Room stations within select courthouses where litigants can use a computer to participate in hearings through videoconference;
  • Revising and simplifying court forms using plain language, and posting dozens of translated forms online;
  • Establishing seven physical Court Service Centers and one virtual Court Service Center accessible statewide to provide legal information to self-represented litigants.


Judicial vacancies open for application

The Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) is currently accepting applications for the following judicial vacancy:

District Court 
Hon. John M. Payne Jr.
(May 28, 2021)
Application deadline: June 18, at noon

The JNC has also extended the application deadline for the following vacancy:

Probate and Family Court 
Hon. Arthur C. Ryley  
(Sept. 20, 2021)
Application deadline: June 4, at noon

Click here for application instructions.


Job Opening

Senior tax associate at Rath, Young and Pignatelli

Rath, Young and Pignatelli PC, a mid-sized law firm headquartered in Concord, New Hampshire, with offices in Nashua, New Hampshire, Boston, Massachusetts, and Montpelier, Vermont, is seeking a senior associate with three to five years of federal and state tax experience to join its national tax practice.

The attorney will support both the long-standing federal and state tax practices. The federal practice encompasses a broad range of transactional matters, including debt and equity financings, mergers and acquisitions, and tax structuring, with a focus on renewable energy. The state tax practice focuses primarily on representation of multinational companies with state tax matters in New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts, as well as representation of New England-based companies with multistate issues.

The ideal candidate will possess excellent academic credentials and have significant experience with a large national or regional law firm or accounting firm. Send a resume, letter of interest and writing sample to Diane Vlahos, director of operations, at