Court and Community News

Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
Mass. Access to Justice Commission announces seven new members; Child Support Guidelines Task Force seeks public comment; Job opening: Legal research and writing instructor at USDC Lindsay Fellowship Program

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Mass. Access to Justice Commission announces seven new members

 The Supreme Judicial Court recently announced the appointments of seven new members to the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission.

First established by the SJC in 2005, the commission seeks to improve access to justice for people who are unable to afford an attorney for essential civil legal needs, such as cases involving housing, consumer debt and family law.

The new members are:

  • Hon. Julie Bernard, associate justice of the District Court.
  • Hon. Robert Fields, associate justice of the Western Division Housing Court.
  • Krietta Bowens Jones, associate general counsel at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
  • Elizabeth Cerda, senior manager for access to justice for the Trial Court. 
  • Lisa C. Goodheart, a partner at Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen. 
  • Rochelle Hahn, an attorney with the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and co-director of the Massachusetts Legal Aid Websites Project.
  • Sheriece M. Perry, acting co-director of support services for the Trial Court Office of Court Management. 

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Child Support Guidelines Task Force
seeks public comment 

Federal law and regulations require that each state review its Child Support Guidelines at least every four years. To comply with the federally required review, Hon. Paula M. Carey, chief justice of the Massachusetts Trial Court, has appointed a task force to review the Child Support Guidelines that became effective on Sept. 15, 2017, as amended June 15, 2018.

The public is invited to provide comments on the Child Support Guidelines for the task force's consideration. Public forums will be held on Jan. 21, from 4-6 p.m.; Jan. 22, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; and Jan. 26, from 2-4 p.m.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the forums will be held by Zoom. The forums will be open to the public to view. The forums are an opportunity to make a brief statement to members of the task force. Oral testimony is limited to three minutes per person, and should not refer to specifics about a speaker's court case. The task force also encourages people to email written testimony or comments to childsupport@jud.state.ma.us by Jan. 26.  Written testimony or comments should not be submitted to task force members individually.

The public forums will be recorded by the host. Anything said will be captured and made part of the recording. No other recording is allowed.

If you would like to speak at a forum, send an email in advance to childsupport@jud.state.ma.us to register. The email must include your full name, your affiliation (if any), your phone number and email address, and the date you would like to speak. Include in the subject line of your email the date you would like to speak. You may register by email up to 15 minutes before each forum begins.

Click here for Zoom meeting information for each forum.

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Job Opening

Legal research and writing instructor at USDC Lindsay Fellowship Program

The Lindsay Fellowship program at the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts currently has an opening for a legal research and writing instructor. The fellowship is an intensive nine-week summer legal program hosted at the U.S. District Court in Boston for approximately six college students interested in law.

Candidates must have a J.D. degree and be admitted to the bar. A background in teaching at the undergraduate and/or law school level is highly preferred. Current legal research and writing professors, law clerks or other attorneys with prior teaching or facilitation experience are welcome.

The 2021 Lindsay Fellowship is currently tentatively set to run from June 7 to Aug. 6.
A decision on whether the course will be taught remotely or in person will be made closer to the start date based on the latest state, court and CDC guidance.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by Feb. 5, 2021. For the full job posting, which includes applications instructions, email Public Information Specialist Carolyn Meckbach at Carolyn_Meckbach@mad.uscourts.gov.