Happy Fall! Sharing some of the great work of the Commissioners and volunteers with the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission.
Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission Fall Meeting Highlights
Thank you to the Commissioners and guests who joined us for the meeting of the MA Access to Justice Commission on October 10th. We enjoyed seeing everyone in person and gathering over lunch. At the meeting, Commissioner Hon. Serge Georges, Jr., Co-Chair, moderated a panel discussion focused on digital equity and Massachusetts Internet for All, an effort from the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) to make internet access, devices, and digital skills available to all MA residents.
Panelists included Virginia Benzan, Director of Racial Justice Advocacy, Mass Law Reform Institute; David Colarusso, Director of Suffolk University Law School’s Legal Innovation and Technology Lab; Cheryl Coss, Manager, Digital Equity, Outreach& Engagement, Massachusetts Broadband Institute; Margaret DeMarco, Senior IT Business Partner, Massachusetts Trial Court; and Marvin Venay Chief Advocacy Officer, Tech Goes Home.
If you are interested in getting involved and learning more about MBI, please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.orgWe were also very excited to welcome the 2023-2024 Class of Access to Justice Fellows as they kick-off their fellowship year. Amazing work ahead!
News from the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission Consumer Debt Committee
We are pleased to share a recent Standing Order from the Boston Municipal Court regarding volunteer Lawyer for a Day Programs that serve unrepresented litigants in consumer debt collection cases. The Standing Orders specifies that these programs shall be permitted to operate in any division of the Boston Municipal Court Department as operational needs allow and under enumerated guidelines.
Commissioner Colin Harnsgate, Co-Chair with Alexa Rosenbloom of the Consumer Debt Committee, explained that “this Order encourages courts and legal services organizations [LSOs] to work together to serve as many people as possible. Our committee is hopeful that such an Order will make it easier for LSOs to expand their operations and serve more people in the BMC courts.” Looking forward, Co-Chair Alexa Rosenbloom, notes the “hope is to expand the presence of Lawyer for a Day programs in the district courts as well.” The Commission is grateful to the Consumer Debt Committee for its critical role in ensuring the promulgation of this Order.
Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission Annual Report
Sharing the Commission’s 2022-2023 Annual Report! Thank you to everyone who made the 2022-2023 Commission year such a success!