Committees

Committees of the

Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission

 

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee oversees the work of the Commission overall, the work of the committees, and the annual report to the Supreme Judicial Court.

 

Access to Lawyers Committee

This committee seeks to increase access to attorneys for both low-income litigants and those above the poverty threshold, but still lacking income sufficient to be able to afford a lawyer.  Efforts include promoting Limited Assistance Representation, fee-shifting models, and law school incubators and similar programming.

 

Cell Phone Policy Committee

This committee investigated the trial court cell phone restrictions policies and developed recommendations to the Trial Court regarding best practices for allowing and/or prohibiting cell phones in courthouses or individual courtrooms. The committee produced a report in March 2018 that included its preliminary findings and is engaging in follow-up and implementation activities.

 

Communications/Engagement Committee

This committee aims to inform the public of the purpose and need for the Access to Justice Commission; educate the public on the Commission’s mission and activities; learn from the public and stakeholders about issues that may warrant a systemic response or collaborative response; engage the Commissioners and potential future Commissioners with the Commission’s activities; and engage other stakeholders with the Commission’s activities.

 

Consumer Debt Committee

This committee engages in a range of related systemic reforms concerning the substantive practice of consumer debt, addressing many of the reforms suggested in the Justice for All Strategic Action Plan.

 

Criminal-Civil Crossover Committee*

This committee has investigated gaps in legal services at the intersection of the civil and criminal justice systems and is working to identify opportunities for greater coordination, replication of localized best practices, and expansion of legal assistance for civil legal issues affecting persons involved in the criminal justice system.

 

Delivery of Legal Services Committee*

This committee’s scope encompasses the whole civil legal services delivery system and seeks to identify opportunities for systemic improvement.

 

Ecosystem Committee

This committee focuses on identifying improvements in our statewide delivery system that would foster collaboration and coordination among the various individuals, organizations, institutions, materials, technologies, practices, and infrastructure that comprise the legal help ecosystem.

 

Housing Committee

This committee engages in a range of related systemic reforms concerning the substantive practice of housing law, specifically, summary process (eviction), addressing many of the reforms suggested in the Justice for All Strategic Action Plan.

 

Self-Represented Litigants Committee*

This committee seeks to identify and support improvements in the justice system for those who do not have a lawyer.

 

Revenue Enhancement Committee

This committee identifies ways to increase the funding of civil legal aid through innovative means, including investigating new sources of state funding, federal funding, foundation funding, and private philanthropy.

 

*Currently inactive as a committee but maintains some ongoing projects