Greetings, everyone. Sharing some almost spring updates from the Commission.

Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission February 15, 2023, Meeting Highlights

Thank you to the Commissioners and guests who joined us at the MA Access to Justice Commission’s February meeting. We are grateful to Pamerson Ifill, Deputy Commissioner, Pre-Trial Services, Massachusetts Probation Services (MPS) for the informative presentation and discussion on the MPS Text Messaging Reminder System. Following Deputy Commissioner Ifill’s presentation, we had a conversation on text messaging and its potential to reduce defaults generally. We look forward to continued discussion on this important topic.

Save the date for our next meeting: May 15, 2023, from 10-11:30 am at the Trial Court Learning Center (Worcester Law Library), Room 300, 184 Main Street, Worcester. Stay tuned for more information.

Court Data on Race & Ethnicity in Civil Cases: Access to Justice Opportunities & Challenges

April 12, 2-5 (reception to follow), MCLE Conference Center, Ten Winter Place, Boston

Register here.

Join the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission’s Racial Equity and Justice Committee, in collaboration with MCLE, the Court Management Advisory Board, Justice Harry J. Elam Judicial Conference, Flaschner Judicial Institute, Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts, Boston Bar Association, Hispanic National Bar Association, Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys, Massachusetts Bar Association, Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association, Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys, Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association, MA Legal Services’ Attorneys of Color Group, South Asian Bar Association of Boston, and others, for a timely and important program on racial justice and data collection.

The program convenes a panel of court leaders and other experts to discuss the importance of, and challenges inherent in, collecting, maintaining, and reporting Massachusetts Trial Court data regarding race and ethnicity—particularly in civil cases—to identify and remedy racial disparities and improve access to justice. The panel dialogue aims to facilitate communication, coordination, and collaboration among justice partners engaged in this type of data collection and analysis.

More information and registration here.

Access to Justice Related Articles

These recent articles in the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly highlight access to justice issues in two areas of key concern to the Commission: housing and consumer debt.

A Moment of Truth for the Housing Court,” Esme Caramello, February 10, 2023

Small Claims Court op-ed based on a ‘series of faulty premises, misguided assumptions,” Matt Brooks, Alexa Rosenbloom, Ariel Clemmer, and Erika Lezcano, February 10, 2023

MA ATJ Commission Updated Website

Before I sign off, please check out the Commission’s updated website! Take a spin, read our reports and see how to get involved.

Hope to see you all soon at the April 12th Commission program at MCLE and the May 15th Commission meeting.