Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Mar. 22, 2012
Image for Court Advocacy Day
Images from the 2012 Court Advocacy Day on March 19 at the Statehouse.

Photos by Jeff Thiebauth.

MBA and BBA lead lobby day for court funding

The Massachusetts Trial Court will lose the ability to both deliver justice and ensure security within their walls if the Legislature does not approve adequate funding for fiscal 2013. That was the message delivered by court leaders and lawyers at a Court Advocacy Day hosted by the Massachusetts Bar Association and the Boston Bar Association at the Grand Staircase of the Statehouse on March 19.

"Losing more than 17 percent of court personnel directly affects our ability or deliver justice in ways that are all too familiar to you and your colleagues," Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland said. "Inadequate funding has made access to justice all the more harder."

The Trial Court Department is asking for $593.9 million in "critical funding" it needs to preserve the integrity of the courts. Gov. Deval L. Patrick recommended level funding the courts when he released his state budget proposal in late January. The House and Senate will start debating the budgets in April and May, respectively.

"Our message today is pretty simple… supporting the courts request for $593 million is essential," MBA President Richard P. Campbell said.

Following the speaking program, attendees met with their local legislators to emphasize the need for $593.9 million in funding.

Click here to view event images.

Court Advocacy Day complements the Massachusetts Bar Association's comprehensive public awareness campaign on underfunded courts. In addition to a statewide billboard campaign on this topic, the MBA has posted videos on YouTube and conducted outreach to members of the legal community and other key community leaders and groups. All stress the importance of adequately funding the state's third branch of government. For more information on the March 19 event or the MBA's overall campaign on underfunded courts, visit www.massbar.org/courtfunding.

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