Sheff testifies in favor of House Bill No. 1211, in front of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary on Oct. 22.
Photo by Elyse Lindahl.
Massachusetts Bar Association President Douglas K. Sheff
testified on Tuesday, Oct. 22, in support of legislation that would
provide greater transparency and efficiency in the Massachusetts
civil justice system.
The hearing, held by the Joint Committee on the Judiciary,
focused on tort issues. Sheff spoke in favor of House Bill No.
1211, which would allow judges discretion to deal with liens in an
equitable manner. The bill would also prohibit the use of liability
waivers by employers in the commonwealth as void against the public
policy inherent in G.L. c. 152, the Massachusetts Workers'
Compensation statute, which specifically permits employees the
right to bring a third party action to recover for their injuries.
Additionally, this bill would provide for jury voir dire in civil
"The public doesn't like loopholes and barriers to real
justice," said Sheff. "In passing this bill, you would not just
make litigation more fair and efficient, you would not simply help
lawyers and judges to do the right thing and get the right result,
you would be restoring an element of public trust."