Issue May 2011

Keeping a steady eye on court reform

As part of my testimony before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary last month, the MBA stressed that the time has come for the appointment of a professionally trained court administrator to oversee all management functions of the Massachusetts Trial Court. We were pleased to hear that House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland have filed court reform legislation that includes this recommendation.

Such a move will bring to fruition more than 30 years of best practices from the state and the nation.

Legislative, court leaders unveil court reform bill

House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, with Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland literally and figuratively standing by his side, unveiled major court reform legislation on April 21.

"Today, we have two branches of government standing together," DeLeo said at the start of a Statehouse press conference. In emphasizing the new level of collaboration between his office and the judiciary, he said longstanding tension between the two "ends today."

Window of opportunity: Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian

Peter Koutoujian didn't go looking for the job of sheriff of Middlesex County. The job came looking for him, in the aftermath of the resignation and subsequent suicide of the previous sheriff, James DiPaola. At first, Koutoujian says, he wasn't really inclined to take the post. He was enjoying a satisfying career as an eight-term state representative. But then he reconsidered: "I thought I could do a good job."