MBA President Thomas M. Bond presents at the Dec. 1 IT Bond Bill Info Session.
Massachusetts Bar Association President Thomas M. Bond convened a virtual informational meeting with county and affiliated bar leaders and Trial Court IT officials on Dec. 1 to discuss the proposed $164 million Court Information Technology Bond Bill (“bond bill”), which is pending in the Joint Committee on the Judiciary in the Massachusetts Legislature.
If passed, the bond bill would fund the replacement of MassCourts (the court’s case management system), the expansion of electronic filing, the installation of WiFi in all courthouses and real time data access, plus increase digital security.
The roundtable-type meeting offered an opportunity for court users to convey their technology needs and ask court officials about what to expect from the funding. Meeting participants included leaders from county bar associations representing Barnstable, Berkshire, Bristol, Hampden, Hampshire and Worcester counties; the Women’s Bar Association; and the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys.
In addition to a presentation by Bond, attendees heard from Trial Court Chief Information Officer Steven Duncan, Statewide Manager for eCourts Sam Kurle and Senior Counsel for Governmental Affairs Georgia Critsley, who is also a member of the MBA’s Criminal Justice Section Council.
The MBA is strongly advocating for passage of the bond bill. In his Oct. 29 letter (see below) urging the Joint Committee on the Judiciary to give the bond bill a favorable report, MBA Chief Legal Counsel and Chief Operating Officer Martin W. Healy wrote:
"The court has brought e-filing, e-payment and electronic document storage to fruition in the court system. However, there is a great opportunity to create a seamless court user experience for all and bringing the court system the same modern technology employed in other branches of government and the everyday life of court users."
For more information on the bond bill, access the following resources: