Top: Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants delivered his first State of the Judiciary Address to the legal community at the MBA's Annual Bench-Bar Symposium on Oct. 16.
Bottom (from left): Trial Court Administrator Harry Spence, Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Trial Court Paula M. Carey, MBA President Marsha V. Kazarosian and SJC Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants were the featured speakers at the symposium.
Photos by Jeff Thiebauth.
Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants discussed
the court's agenda for the year and stressed the importance of
cooperation in his first State of the Judiciary address on Oct. 16,
at the Massachusetts Bar Association's Annual Bench-Bar
Addressing the crowd, Gants called for an end to mandatory
minimum sentencing in drug offenses. He also challenged the courts
and bar to "compete with private arbitration" by developing more
litigation options for civil court cases, and he announced plans to
release information sheets that will help self-represented
litigants know how and where to access legal assistance. Gants
concluded his remarks by pledging his commitment to voir
During her opening remarks, MBA President Marsha V. Kazarosian
celebrated the strong collaboration between lawyers and judges, as
well as legislators and others who work closely with the legal
community. "This is truly a community of people used to working
toward common goals, and achieving those goals. And each time I
have the honor of speaking to our legal and legislative community,
I am reminded of the humbling power of cooperation and
collaboration," she said.
Chief Justice of the Trial Court Paula M. Carey and Trial Court
Administrator Harry Spence also spoke at the symposium, each
lauding their successes in establishing a unified management team
for the trial court. Carey also spoke about the bar's invaluable
role in helping the courts serve the people of Massachusetts.
"[T]he Trial Court would not have been able to effectively
deliver justice over the five years of the fiscal crisis without
the help and commitment of the bar," Carey said, adding: "As we
move forward, we are keeping the needs of the bar in the