News from the Courts

Issue January/February 2016

Supreme Judicial Court posts oral argument schedule

The Supreme Judicial Court has posted its sitting list for oral arguments in February  and March 2016. Oral arguments are public proceedings. Arguments are webcast and are archived for later public viewing. Visit for more information.

Superior Court's new guidelines for Probation Violation Proceedings take effect

The Superior Court's newly-adopted Guidelines for Probation Violation Proceedings take effect Feb. 1, 2016.

The purpose of the guidelines is to ensure that judicial proceedings undertaken in the Superior Court on an allegation of a violation of probation are conducted in accordance with applicable law, and in a prompt, uniform and consistent manner. The guidelines clarify certain legal requirements, set timelines and establish a general policy against tracking of violation hearings with pending criminal cases, subject to exception based on a finding of good cause by a judge or magistrate.

New website for Center of Excellence for Specialty Courts

The Massachusetts Trial Court, in partnership with the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the Department of Public Health, and the Department of Mental Health, now has a new website for the Center of Excellence for Specialty Courts,

The site will be a vital resource for judges, probation officers, clinicians, attorneys, drug court participants and their families and the public. It includes a searchable database of national case law and research about specialty courts, the Trial Court's new Adult Drug Court Manual, announcements for upcoming trainings and other events, court forms and a list of specialty court sessions in Massachusetts.

The new website will share evidence-based practices, as well as information about training and resources to enable specialty courts to incorporate the latest advances. The site will also provide useful information to educate the public about specialty courts.

Probation commissioner appoints new statewide Electronic Monitoring Program manager

Massachusetts Commissioner of Probation Edward J. Dolan has appointed Daniel Pires as the new statewide manager of the Electronic Monitoring (ELMO) Program.

The ELMO Program is a 365-day, 24-hour operation which employs a 40-member staff. The employees closely monitor the whereabouts of 2,900 probationers and parolees who are sentenced to wear the GPS bracelet.

As the new statewide manager of ELMO, his duties will include the development and implementation of ELMO Center operation policies and practices, management of ELMO Center operations and oversight of staff, ensuring compliance with subpoenas for records and testimony by ELMO staff, and monitoring the issuance of warrants by the on-call staff.

Pires held the position of program manager at the Electronic Monitoring Center prior to his new appointment. He first joined the service as an assistant ELMO coordinator in 2004. In 2007, he was promoted from assistant ELMO coordinator to ELMO coordinator, a position he held until 2008, when Pires was named program manager.

He earned both a bachelor of arts degree in elementary/special education in 1999 from Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island and a master's degree in public administration with a concentration in criminal justice in 2014 from Anna Maria College in Paxton.

Attorney vacancies at the U.S. Department of Justice

Every year, more than 1,800 volunteer legal interns serve in U.S. Department of Justice components and U.S. Attorneys' Offices throughout the country. Any law student enrolled at least half-time, and who has completed at least one semester of law school, is eligible to apply for a volunteer legal internship.

DOJ offices recruit for legal interns through vacancy announcements posted on the DOJ Legal Careers website at Each announcement lists the applicable deadlines and requirements and students interested in volunteer internships at DOJ for spring and summer 2016 should apply now. Students apply directly to each office in which they have an interest.