Issue November 2015

Opiates: We have the answer

"We have the answer." It's a statement we would love to hear in response to the devastating opioid problem that surrounds us. But we're not hearing it, and we probably never will. Because there is no single answer.

Any lawyer who spends even a small amount of time in criminal courtrooms these days knows how pervasive the opioid epidemic is. It crosses all demographic lines. When it comes to ruining lives, opioids do not discriminate, and they're proving it resoundingly, every day.

Senate overrides bar advocate pay veto in FY16 state budget

On Oct. 15, the Senate voted to override the veto of Gov. Charlie Baker on the outside section of the state budget relative to compensation for some private bar advocates. The measure, which will raise compensation rates from $50 to $53 per hour in the District and Juvenile Courts and from $50 to $55 for Children and Family Law Cases, was already approved by the House of Representatives. These rates are effective July 1, 2016.

Gants addresses civil case resolution, more at Bench-Bar Symposium

At the annual Bench-Bar Symposium on Oct. 22, Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants updated the legal community on the progress made on some of the initiatives set over the past year.

Last fall, the Trial Court departments with civil jurisdiction worked toward making the resolution in civil cases more cost-effective, and examined whether litigants could choose from alternative means of resolving the disputes to avoid the need for arbitration. Gants reported the beginning of ongoing improvement in this area.