Court and Community News

Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023
SJC and Appeals Court seeking input from attorneys; Suffolk County Civil Bench-Bar Meeting on Nov. 16; U.S. Judicial Conference approves increases to transcript fees; Job openings: Federal court vacancies


SJC and Appeals Court seeking
input from attorneys

The Supreme Judicial Court and the Appeals Court are asking attorneys who have appeared in either court since 2018 to complete an anonymous survey to assist in the planning of an upcoming Appellate Bench-Bar Conference. Presented in collaboration with the Flaschner Judicial Institute, the event will take place on Dec. 13 at the John Adams Courthouse and will follow the inaugural Appellate Bench-Bar Conference of 2018.

The conference is anticipated to focus on issues identified by lawyers with firsthand experience practicing before the two appellate courts. It is also expected to include a review of topics identified at the last conference, an assessment of the courts' collective pandemic experience and lessons learned from it, and a look forward to identify areas for improvement.

The survey should take no more than 45 minutes to complete in full. Respondents may be able to skip questions or sections that do not apply to their practice or experience.

As long as you complete all work on the survey on the same device and browser (and allow "cookies" on that device), the survey will automatically save each page as you complete it; you can pause and return to the survey at times that are convenient to you. 

Click here to take the survey.


Suffolk County Civil Bench-Bar Meeting on Nov. 16

The Suffolk County Superior Court will host a Civil Bench-Bar Meeting on Thursday, Nov. 16, from 2:30-4 p.m., in the Jury Assembly Room on the second floor of the Suffolk County Courthouse. The event is free and open to the public and will also be streamed via Zoom (Meeting ID: 161 409 4196; Passcode: 097547).

The meeting will feature a discussion of topics of importance to the bench and bar, including navigating the Clerk's Office, the Superior Court in the digital age, court scheduling, and recent amendments to the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure and Superior Court Rules. The conversation will be moderated by associate justices of the Superior Court and Acting Clerk for Civil Business John E. Powers III.

Questions for consideration from the bar may be directed to


Mass. Trial Court transitioning to FTR Recording Vault

Over the last few months, the Massachusetts Trial Court has been working with legal technology provider For The Record to upgrade the court’s online audio platform. The original platform,, will be replaced by a more advanced platform, FTR Recording Vault, which offers a more user-friendly interface and more comprehensive playback features. 
The transition to the new platform will be completed on Nov. 1, and all future audio requests will be submitted through FTR Recording Vault. In the interim, members of the bar should follow the below instructions to access and request audio:

  • Visit to request audio.
  • The court clerk will review your audio request. You will receive an email notifying you if the request has been denied or approved. 
  • If your request is approved, the email you receive will include a link to access content on FTR Recording Vault.
  • On FTR Recording Vault, you will need to set up an account with your first name, last name and email address (use the email address associated with your original audio request).
  • Navigate to the Shared Recordings tab, where you will find the requested audio.

Any content originally requested through still will be available on that platform. 
With any questions, contact: 

To learn more about FTR Recording Vault, click here.


U.S. Judicial Conference approves increases
to transcript fees

The Judicial Conference of the United States has approved increases to transcript fee rates for fiscal years 2024 and 2025.  Transcripts ordered prior to Oct. 1, 2023, will be billed at the rates in effect at the time the order was placed. 

In addition, the Judicial Conference approved modifying transcript category names, effective Oct. 1, 2023, to ensure clarity regarding delivery timing (definitions are not changed, and no categories were added). The table of new fees and transcript category names is available at or via the U.S. Bankruptcy Court website.


Job Openings

Federal court vacancies

The following federal court vacancies are currently open for applications:

  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge for the District of New Hampshire

Attorneys are encouraged to apply, even if their experience is not specifically in bankruptcy law. 

  • Federal Public Defender for the District of Maine
  • Federal Public Defender for the Districts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island

The federal public defender provides federal criminal defense to individuals unable to afford counsel. The defender is also responsible for providing training to the panel of lawyers who take indigent federal appointments. 

For more information on the positions and to apply, click here.