News from the courts/agencies

Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017
Judicial Performance Evaluations begin for judges in Norfolk and Plymouth County; Supreme Judicial Court announces new executive director to the Board of Bar Overseers
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Judicial Performance Evaluations begin for judges in Norfolk and Plymouth County

Judges in the District Court, Superior Court, Juvenile Court, Probate and Family Court, and Housing Court in Norfolk and Plymouth County will be evaluated from mid-February through March. Members of the bar should receive an email asking for participation in the Judicial Performance Evaluation. Full participation of the bar in judicial evaluation is crucial to maintaining a high-quality judicial branch.

This evaluation system is the best way for members of the bar to tell the judge and court leadership about their experiences before the judge. Responding attorneys will remain anonymous.

For more information please contact Mona Hochberg, coordinator of Judicial Performance Evaluation.


Supreme Judicial Court announces new executive director to the Board of Bar Overseers

The Supreme Judicial Court has announced that the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers has named Gregory Wenger as its Executive Director, effective Feb. 6.

The Board of Bar Overseers was established by the Supreme Judicial Court in 1974 as an independent administrative body to investigate and evaluate complaints against lawyers. The twelve-member Board is comprised of volunteers appointed by the SJC to four-year terms. Eight of the members are lawyers; the other four are public members. The Board acts as an administrative tribunal to consider disciplinary charges brought by Bar Counsel. The BBO's Executive Director provides strategic planning and operational management for the board, as well as operational and administrative support for all BBO functions, including the Office of General Counsel, the Office of Bar Counsel, Attorney Registration, and the Clients' Security Board.

"We're pleased that the Board has filled this important position," said Supreme Judicial Court Justice Frank Gaziano, the Court's liaison to the Board. "We expect that Mr. Wegner's talents and experiences will be significant assets to the Board."

For the last fifteen years, Mr. Wegner has served as County Administrator for Hillsborough County, NH.  He has led the strategic administrative planning and implementation of all activities of the Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners and the Office of Administration and Finance. In this role, Mr. Wegner has had significant experience in finance, human resources, IT, and facilities management.

Prior to that, he held positions in law firms both in his native New Hampshire and the Boston-area. Mr. Wegner is a graduate of Boston College and Suffolk University Law School, and clerked for the Honorable Martin Loughlin, United States District Court District of NH.  He has been a member of the Massachusetts bar since 1985.

The activities of the board are governed by Supreme Judicial Court Rule 4:01 and the Rules of the Board of Bar Overseers. Although it is an official body subject to the supervision of the Supreme Judicial Court, no public funds are spent to support it.  The board's revenues come solely from the annual registration fees paid by lawyers.

Board of Bar Overseers members:

Donna Jalbert Patalano, Chair
Vincent J. Pisegna, Vice Chair
Andrew Ferrara
Erin K. Higgins
Thomas A. Kenefick, III
Francis P. Keough
David B. Krieger, M.D.
John J. Morrissey
Regina Roman
David A. Rountree
Kevin P. Scanlon
Michael G. Tracy


The recent amendments to the Federal Rules of
Appellate Procedure, effective December 1, 2016, make significant changes to appellate practice
before the United States Court of Appeals. These changes include a reduction in word limits for
briefs; the conversion of page limits to word counts for motions, petitions for a writ of
mandamus, petitions for rehearing/rehearing en banc and various other filings; the addition of a
requirement that most documents prepared on a computer include a certificate of compliance
with type-volume limits; and the elimination of the three-day service period for documents
served electronically. A notice, including a detailed summary of major changes and a redline
version of the full text of the amendments, is available on the First Circuit Court of Appeals
website, at, under News and Notices, as well as on the Notice of Rule
Amendments page under Rules and Procedures.