Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Sep. 26, 2013
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News from the courts

Probate and Family Court announces pilot program; Superior Court posts vacancies


Probate and Family Court announces pilot program offering free settlement conferences

Probate and Family Court Chief Justice Angela M. Ordoñez has announced the creation of a pilot program designed to settle cases where the majority of the contested issues have already been resolved.

The Limited Issues Settlement Conference (LISC) program is envisioned as a judicial case management tool intended to bring parties and counsel together, by agreement, to settle any kind of Probate and Family Court matter, with the involvement and expertise of an active or retired judge of the Probate and Family Court. Potential cases range from divorce settlements, child custody and support issues, and will contests to guardianships of children or the elderly, among others.

To be eligible to request a conference, the parties to the case need to have been before the court on at least one prior occasion, one side must be represented by counsel and the parties must agree to bring a working agreement to the scheduled hearing. The LISC program is intended to assist the parties in resolving outstanding issues. If complete resolution is achieved at the conference, a decree or judgment necessary to conclude the matter will enter immediately after the conference, thus saving parties, counsel and the courts from additional expense of time and money in preparation for, and presentation of, a trial.

Cases pending in any county may participate in this process. The conferences will be held on the first Friday of each month at the Norfolk Probate and Family Court in Canton. The first conference session will be held on Nov. 1, 2013. Free parking is available at the conference site.

Click here for more details about the program (PDF). Click here for the form that needs to be completed for consideration and scheduling (PDF).


Notice of Superior Court vacancies

Gov. Deval L. Patrick's Office encourages applications from all Massachusetts regions for the following Superior Court vacancies. All applications are due by Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013.

  • Feb. 2, 2014: The Honorable Paul E. Troy
  • Feb.11, 2014: The Honorable Thomas R. Murtagh
  • May 11, 2014: The Honorable D. Lloyd Macdonald
  • Dec. 1, 2014: The Honorable Sandra L. Hamlin
  • Dec. 23, 2014:The Honorable Barbara J. Rouse

In the next few months, the Judicial Nominating Commission will be posting additional vacancies due to mandatory retirements in 2014 on the Appeals Court, the Juvenile Court, the District Court and the Land Court. All postings will be listed on the JNC website. Questions should be directed to JNC staff at (617) 725-4031.

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