The Concord Session of the Probate and Family Court will close
Jan. 1, 2010, due to the budget crisis and the shortage of staff to
run the sessions in Concord.
The Probate and Family Court announced that the suspension of
sessions in Concord is expected to be temporary and will work to
open the session when it has sufficient staff.
In a release, the court announced: "We carefully listened to the
valid concerns expressed by the bar, both at our recent meeting and
by e-mail; however, our circumstances make it extraordinarily
difficult to continue to deliver justice in one location in
Middlesex County, let alone four locations."
Over the last couple of months, the Middlesex Probate and Family
Court lost 10 people to voluntary retirements and layoffs.
At this time, the Marlboro and Lowell sessions will continue to
operate. The Cambridge Probate and Family Court will attempt to
accommodate those traveling long distances in the Cambridge,
Marlboro and Lowell sessions. Additionally, the current policy of
uncontested cases being heard by any judge, independent of the
individual calendar system, will continue in Marlboro, provided
prior arrangements are made.
New John Adams exhibit opens in Adams
A new exhibit, "John Adams: Architect of American Government,"
recently opened to the public in the John Adams Courthouse. Using
text, images and audio, it describes the essential role that John
Adams played in the development of our constitutional form of
government in Massachusetts and the United States.
Located in one of two exhibit rooms in the Great Hall on the
first floor of the courthouse, the exhibit is free and open Monday
through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
"It is only fitting that the courthouse honoring the legacy of
John Adams have a room dedicated to showcasing his significant role
in shaping our three branches of government. We welcome teachers
and students, and people of all ages, to visit this wonderful new
exhibit to learn how the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 was
formed and inspired the U.S. Constitution," said Supreme Judicial
Court Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall.
The John Adams exhibit was created by SJC Senior Attorney
Barbara Berenson. Social Law Library Art Director/Graphic Designer
Carole Doody did the design and collaborated with Berenson. The
second exhibit room houses "Sacco and Vanzetti: Justice on Trial,"
which Berenson and Doody also created.
Superior Court Chief Justice Rouse
Superior Court Chief Justice Barbara J. Rouse has been
reappointed for a five-year term by Chief Justice for
Administration and Management Robert A. Mulligan. Rouse was named
chief justice in 2004 and has served on the Superior Court since
"Under her dedicated and energetic leadership, the Superior
Court has achieved impressive results in reforming criminal and
civil case management. She has engaged judges, clerks, district
attorneys and the bar in introducing a wide range of operational
improvements and performance-based measurements," Mulligan
"Chief Justice Rouse's dynamic vision for the commemoration of
the Superior Court's 150th Anniversary has created a renewed spirit
of commitment and cooperation within the court and in communities
across the state," he added. "This occasion was used to build and
enhance the reputation of the judiciary and the Superior Court at a
critical time in expanding public understanding and support for the
Mulligan said Rouse received strong support from judges,
attorneys and others in the legal community. She has received
numerous honors, including the Haskell Cohn Award for Distinguished
Judicial Service from the Boston Bar Association.
"Any success the Superior Court has enjoyed over the last five
years has been due to the terrific efforts of the judges, clerks,
probation and all court personnel," Rouse said. "I greatly value
their daily commitment and dedication to ensuring the delivery of
justice across the state, particularly in these challenging fiscal
The Superior Court Department comprises 14 divisions with 82
authorized judicial positions across the state. The Massachusetts
Trial Court includes seven court departments with 379 judges in 103
courthouses across the state.
Appeals Court justices appoint Stanton
The justices of the Massachusetts Appeals Court have appointed
attorney Joseph Stanton of Braintree as clerk of the Appeals Court,
the fourth person to hold that position since the court was
established in 1972.
A graduate of Boston College and New England School of Law,
where he was editor-in-chief of the Law Review, Stanton has served
as chief law clerk to the justices of the Superior Court, as a
staff attorney in the Supreme Judicial Court, as an associate at
the Boston law firm of Sloane and Walsh, and, since 1999, as an
assistant clerk in the Appeals Court. He also serves as reporter to
the Supreme Judicial Court's Advisory Committee on Massachusetts
Evidence Law, providing research, writing and editorial assistance
for the Massachusetts Guide to Evidence.
Appeals Court Chief Justice Phillip Rapoza said of Stanton: "In
his capacity as assistant clerk for over a decade, he has
demonstrated both the knowledge and leadership skills necessary to
maintain the high level of service that the justices, the public
and the bar have come to expect from that office. He has my
complete confidence in his new role and I look forward to working
with him, particularly during these fiscally challenging
On Nov. 2, Stanton succeeded Ashley Ahearn, who retired Oct. 31
after serving as clerk for 12 years.