Updates

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 ...
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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; ...
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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 ...
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Access to Justice Update, July 25, 2017

Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants to Succeed Justice Geraldine Hines as Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission Co-Chair

We are pleased to announce that Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants will succeed retiring Supreme Judicial Court Associate Justice Geraldine Hines as Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission. Chief Justice Gants had previously co-chaired the Commission from 2010 to 2015, and we are honored to have him serve in this role again as we continue the Commission’s critical work in improving access to justice in Massachusetts.   Co-Chair Susan Finegan, of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C., will ...
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Commission Releases new Access to Attorneys Report

In 2015, the Supreme Judicial Court’s third Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission
(“Commission”) adopted a Mission Statement which included increasing the legal services
provided by private attorneys to those who cannot obtain the services of counsel. To implement
this goal, the Commission appointed the Access to Attorneys Committee (“Committee”), chaired
by attorneys Joel Feldman and Mary Lu Bilek.

 
The Committee had nine members, including: Shannon Barnes of Barnes and Leighton
LLP, Esme Caramello, Faculty Director of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, Jared Correia of Red
Cave Consulting, Joel Feldman of Heisler, Feldman & McCormick, P.C, Judge Robert Fields of
the Housing Court-Western Division, Laura Gal of Community Legal ...
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Access to Justice Update, July 12, 2017

MA ATJ Commission Seeking Part-Time Consultant

Following the departure of valued consultant Gerry Singsen, the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission is seeking a new part-time consultant to oversee the activities of the Commission. Working closely with the Commission’s Co-Chairs, the consultant will ensure that the Commission will continue to have a meaningful impact on the administration of justice in the state, and beyond. Specifically, the consultant will provide strategic guidance on access to justice issues, manage the Commission’s day-to-day activities, and provide insights into the civil legal aid aspect of the Commission’s work. A detailed position description and application instructions are available Read More

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The Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission (Commission) is seeking a part-time consultant to oversee the activities of the Commission, working closely with the Commission’s Co-Chairs. The 30-member Commission, appointed by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, is charged with providing leadership, vision and coordination in the search for “equal justice for all persons in the Commonwealth.” In its twelve-year history, the Commission has often been at the forefront of developing and nurturing innovative access to justice projects. The consultant will ensure that the Commission will continue to have a meaningful impact on the administration of justice in the state, and beyond.

A ...
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Gerry Singsen Retirement

Farewell Presentation to Gerry Singsen

At the May 23, 2017 meeting of the Access to Justice Commission, Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants, Associate Justice and Commission Co-Chair Geraldine Hines, and Commission Co-Chair Susan M. Finegan, Esq. presented Antone G. "Gerry" Singsen with a special Access to Justice Award in recognition of Gerry's longtime service as a consultant to the Access to Justice Commission and his many years of leadership in improving access to justice in Massachusetts.

Antone "Gerry" Singsen (seated), surrounded by Chief Justice Gants, Sue Finegan, former Access to Justice Commission Co-Chair David Rosenberg, Justice Hines, and former ...
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Access to Justice Update, June 21,2017

 

Access to Justice Fellows Program End of Year Reception on Thursday, June 29

Please join us for the end-of-the-year reception for the Access to Justice Fellows Program at Mintz Levin, 1 Financial Center, Boston, MA next Thursday, June 29th at 5:00-6:30 p.m. (see details below).  The keynote speaker will be Chief Justice Ralph Gants of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

The Access to Justice Fellows program is an initiative of the Access to Justice Commission and the Lawyers Clearinghouse, pairing retired lawyers and judges with a nonprofit, court, or legal services agency for 10-20 volunteer hours/week for an academic year.  Five years ...
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Access to Justice Update, June 5, 2017

ACCESS TO JUSTICE UPDATE, JUNE 5, 2017

 

Last Commission Meeting of the 2016-2017 Year on June 13, 2017 at 3:00PM

The last meeting of the Access to Justice Commission will take place in the Social Law Library on the fourth floor of the Adams Courthouse, One Pemberton Plaza, Boston. The meeting begins at 3:00PM and is open to the public. The meeting will consist of a discussion on the civil right to counsel, an update on the Justice For All project, and several other updates and announcements.  Please note that this is the last Commission meeting for Co-Chair Justice Hines and is ...
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