Court and Community News

Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022
SJC to present Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards on Oct. 26; ABA state delegate shares report on ABA Annual Meeting; CM/ECF offline for upgrade over Oct. 8 holiday weekend


SJC to present Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards on Oct. 26

On Wednesday, Oct. 26, from 4-5:30 p.m., Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) Associate Justice Elspeth Cypher will present awards to two attorneys and two law students selected by the SJC Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services, in recognition of their exceptional dedication to providing volunteer services for persons who cannot afford an attorney for their essential legal needs. The committee will also recognize the achievements of attorneys, law students and legal organizations who qualified for the SJC Pro Bono Honor Roll. 

Cypher will present the annual Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards, named in honor of John Adams and John Quincy Adams, to the following individuals for their outstanding pro bono work:

  • Rebecca MacDowell Lecaroz, a partner at Brown Rudnick, for her leadership in federal voting rights litigation on behalf of community organizations representing Black and Latino/a populations in Worcester, and in preparing humanitarian parole applications for submission to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on behalf of Afghan families following the fall of Kabul, among other pro bono efforts.
  • Eleanor Newhoff, Newhoff Law Office, for her extraordinary dedication to pro bono work throughout her career, especially on behalf of immigrants and victims of crime and domestic violence, and to mentoring other pro bono attorneys.
  • Chris Creech, Boston University School of Law, Class of 2022, for his extensive pro bono service during law school in the field of international human rights. 
  • Raven Francomano, University of Massachusetts (Dartmouth) School of Law, Class of 2022, for providing hundreds of hours of pro bono service during law school to indigent artists and small arts nonprofit organizations through Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.
The program will be presented in person in the SJC's Seven Justice Courtroom at the John Adams Courthouse, One Pemberton Square, Boston, and will be available live online at

The SJC Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services works to promote volunteer legal work in Massachusetts to help people of limited means in need of legal representation, in accordance with Rule 6.1 of the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys. The awards ceremony is one of many activities celebrating and building support for pro bono legal work in Massachusetts during the month of October, a month officially proclaimed Pro Bono Month by Governor Charlie Baker. The American Bar Association has also proclaimed a National Celebration of Pro Bono during the week of Oct. 23-29.


ABA state delegate shares report on ABA Annual Meeting

Attorney Lisa Arrowood, the new American Bar Association state delegate for Massachusetts, recently shared with the Massachusetts Bar Association's House of Delegates a Report on the ABA Annual Meeting from the Select Committee of the ABA House of Delegates. The ABA Annual Meeting was held Aug. 4-9 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel, in Chicago, Illinois.

The report can be found here.


CM/ECF offline for upgrade over Oct. 8 holiday weekend

Due to a required software upgrade, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts has scheduled planned downtime this holiday weekend for the Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) system.

Beginning at approximately 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7, CM/ECF will be taken offline. This process will upgrade all facets of the CM/ECF servers and will run throughout the entire weekend. The system will be brought online and will be available no later than Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 6 a.m.

Click here to contact the court.