Issue November 2011

Safety, security, constitutional imperative in the Probate and Family Court

Chief Justice Paula Carey addressed the House of Delegates at our kick-off meeting for the 2011-12 association year at UMass-Dartmouth with this thoughtful yet chilling message: "We can no longer deliver meaningful justice in our courts and cannot sustain any cuts. … [W]e have hit the wall. … [W]ith our current budget, we will be in a constitutional crisis."

Courts receive $20 million more

The Trial Court Department will receive $20 million in additional funding for fiscal 2012 after Gov. Deval Patrick signed a $480 million supplemental budget appropriation Oct. 27.

Practicing law in a war zone

Al Asad Air Base, Iraq -- 
We are currently mobilized U.S. Army reservists with the 804th Medical Brigade out of the former Fort Devens in Ayer. We deployed to Iraq in February and will remain here until later this fall.

CJ Ireland: Judiciary at 
turning point

In his first address to the legal community since his confirmation as the chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court last year, Roderick L. Ireland spoke of his hopes for the judicial branch -- including adequate funding -- and reaffirmed his commitment to the priorities he established in December.

Alimony for the real world

It only took eight years. But once it got traction, nothing could stop it.

The Alimony Reform Act of 2011 was signed into law by Gov. Deval Patrick on Sept. 26 after winning unanimous approval from both houses of the Legislature. Family court judges are no longer constricted by legislation derived from 1785 English law, and now have many options to use when issuing an alimony decree.

clients get 
$2 million 
from CSB

The Clients' Security Board has awarded $2.06 million this year to compensate clients whose lawyers stole from them, according to the annual report it filed recently with the Supreme Judicial Court.

For fiscal 2011, which ran from Sept. 1, 2010 to Aug. 31, 2010, three lawyers accounted for 50 percent of the total paid out to clients, or $1.07 million.