Top: (From left) Trial Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey, MBA President Robert W. Harnais, Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants and Trial Court Administrator Harry Spence.
Middle: Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants delivers his second annual state of the judiciary address on Oct. 20.
Bottom: (From left) Carey, MBA Chief Legal Counsel and Chief Operating Officer Martin W. Healy and House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo.
Photos by Jeff Thiebauth.
Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants delivered
his second annual State of the Judiciary Address to the legal
community at the Massachusetts Bar Association's Bench-Bar
Symposium at the John Adams Courthouse in Boston on Tuesday.
"The people of Massachusetts are fortunate to have judges who are
not only heard from at decision time, but also at events like our
Bench-Bar Symposium, where lawyers and judges speak together as a
united legal community and learn from each other," said MBA
President Robert W. Harnais.
Following introductory remarks from the MBA president, Gants
detailed progress toward reducing the rate of recidivism by
tailoring sentences to better fit the needs and circumstances of
each defendant. He described a push to make civil cases more
cost-effective and give litigants the opportunity to resolve
disputes through alternative means, which he reported is already
underway. Gants outlined several changes in litigation -- a wider
range of options to resolve disputes, a reduced time to resolution
and reasonable litigation costs and an increased number of
dedicated civil sessions. He also disclosed the expectation that
the SJC's Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil and
Appellate Procedure will amend Rule 26 to provide for proportional
Trial Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey spoke on matters of
substance abuse, domestic violence and mental health. She reported
that the Trial Court received $3 million dollars to fund eight
additional Specialty Courts this fiscal year, and that by the end
of the fiscal year, there should be 42 sessions running across the
Trial Court Administrator Harry Spence concluded the event by
commenting on the impending and continued modernization of the
legal system and the switch to digital documents and e-filing
throughout the legal process.