Updates

MA ACCESS TO JUSTICE COMMISSION UPDATE – June 28, 2018

Highlights from the June 14th Meeting of the ATJ Commission
Thank you to the Commissioners and guests who joined us for the most recent meeting of the MA ATJ Commission on Thursday, June 14, 2018 at the Adams Courthouse. Highlights and key takeaways from the meeting included:

 

·         Courthouse cell phone policy: The Commission has formed a committee led by Commissioner Jeff Catalano and co-chaired by Judge Chernoff (ret.) of the Superior Court to investigate the origins and impact of the Trial Court's cell phone policy and explore alternative approaches.  Judge Cohen (ret.) of the Appeals Court will also consult on the project. The work will be informed by Appleseed's ...
Read More

MA ACCESS TO JUSTICE COMMISSION UPDATE May 30, 2018

ts from the May 17th Meeting of the ATJ Commission

Thank you to the Commissioners and guests who joined us for the most recent meeting of the MA ATJ Commission on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at the Adams Courthouse. Highlights and key takeaways from the meeting included:

  • Recap of the 2018 Access to Justice Commission Co-chairs Conference: This year's conference took place on May 12th in San Diego, immediately following the ABA's Equal Justice Conference in the same city.  Chief Justice Gants sat on two panels, one addressing civil legal needs of criminal defendants and the other discussing Justice for All efforts ...
    Read More

MA Access to Justice Commission Update – April 18, 2018

Highlights from March 22nd Meeting of the ATJ Commission

Thank you to the Commissioners and guests who joined us for the most recent meeting of the MA ATJ Commission on Thursday, March 22, 2018 at the Adams Courthouse. Highlights and key takeaways from the meeting included:

  • Legal Services Corporation Funding Update: the recent $1.3 trillion spending bill passed by Congress and signed by the White House included $410 million for LSC, most of which will go to field grants
  • Trial Court Cell Phone Policy presentation: Representatives from the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law provided an overview of the cell phone restrictions ...
    Read More

MA Access to Justice Commission Update, March 21, 2017

Upcoming ATJ Commission Meeting Thursday, March 22 from 3-5pm in the Social Law Library at the Adams Courthouse in Boston

Overview of Agenda:

  • Trial Court Access to Justice initiative update on court forms;
  • Justice For All update on proposed pilot projects;
  • Trial Court Cell Phone Policy presentation by the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law, with discussion to follow;  and
  • Administrative Justice Committee update.

For reference, we attached the JFA Implementation Grant Proposal Summary which will be discussed at the meeting. Also attached is the most recent Legal Resources Finder Report, which includes an analysis of the site's impact through December 2017.

The remaining schedule of ATJ Commission meetings for 2017-2018 is as follows:

MA Access to Justice Commission Update, January 16, 2017

Upcoming ATJ Commission Meeting Thursday, January 18th at 3pm – Overview of Agenda

The next ATJ Commission meeting will be taking place this Thursday, January 18th from 3-5pm in the Social Law Library at the Adams Courthouse in Boston. The agenda will include:

  • a discussion of the progress and goals of the Criminal-Civil Crossover Committee,
  • a presentation on the recently released Massachusetts Justice For All Strategic Action Plan, and
  • a discussion of the current proposals for Justice For All pilot projects.

For reference, we attached the Massachusetts Justice For All Strategic Action Plan we will be discussing, which outlines the recent progress and ...
Read More

Massachusetts Law Reform Institute Honors Justice Hines, Gerry Singsen, & John Carroll

Pictured above, left to right: John Carroll, Chief Justice Ralph Gants, Gerry Singsen, and Justice Geraldine Hines
 

Each year, the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI) hosts the Catalyst for Change Award Reception to honor the accomplishments of those in the legal profession working to advance MLRI’s mission of advancing economic, racial, and social justice through legal action, policy advocacy, coalition building, and community outreach. At this year's reception, held on September 27th, 2017, each of the three honorees was a member of the Massachusetts Access to Justice community.

The namesake award was delivered to Access to Justice Fellow John Carroll for his career-long dedication to serving those who cannot afford legal representation. MLRI’s Distinguished Alum Award was granted to former Commission Co-Chair Justice Geraldine Hines for her perseverance in ...
Read More

Access to Justice Update, October 10, 2017

Upcoming ATJ Commission Meeting Thursday, October 12th at 3pm – Overview of Agenda

The first 2017-2018 ATJ Commission meeting will be taking place this Thursday, October 12th from 3-5pm at the Social Law Library at the Adams Courthouse in Boston. We will kick off the year by welcoming Chief Justice Ralph Gants as the returning Co-Chair of the Commission, along with Laura Gal, Esq., the new consultant to the Commission. The agenda will include updates regarding the progress of the recent Justice for All initiative, a discussion of the strategic goals for the year, the implementation of the Massachusetts ...
Read More

Access to Justice Update, September 19, 2017

MA ATJ Commission Welcomes New Consultant, CLA’s Laura Gal

We are thrilled to welcome Laura Gal as the new consultant to the MA Access to Justice Commission! Laura brings years of professional experience in law and legal aid to the role. Laura is currently a staff attorney in the Family Law Unit of Community Legal Aid, where she will continue to practice part-time.  She has been a member of the Commission’s Access to Attorneys Committee since 2015. She also sits on the board of the Women’s Bar Association, is a member of the Worcester County Bar Association, and serves as a ...
Read More

Access to Justice Update, August 3, 2017

Commission Releases Annual Report

The Third Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission (“Commission”) has released its 2017 Annual Report on Activities detailing the Commission’s ongoing work and. This past year, the Third Commission had significant victories in various initiatives, including: receiving one of seven Justice For All grants from the Public Welfare Foundation; successfully advocating for the statewide expansion of the Housing Court in the Massachusetts FY2018 budget; spearheading the allocation of an additional $8.3 million in funding for civil legal aid for victims of crime; expanding the Civil Appeals Pro Bono Program; continuing to develop the Access to Justice Fellows Program; ...
Read More

Third Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission Releases 2017 Annual Report

In February 2015, the Supreme Judicial Court appointed the third Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission (Third Commission), after the end of the Second Commission. Charged with providing leadership, vision, and coordination in the search for “equal justice for all persons in the Commonwealth,” the Third Commission adopted a Mission Statement that focused on five core strategies: 

  • Increasing justice by improving the effectiveness of, and the funding for, civil legal services organizations;
  • Increasing services provided by private attorneys;
  • Improving assistance to unrepresented litigants;
  • Improving access to justice beyond the courts, such as in administrative agencies; and
  • Exploring the role of non-lawyers ...
    Read More

 

 

-