The Transformation of the Massachusetts Court System

A message to Massachusetts attorneys from Chief Justice Gants, Justice Carey, and Justice Greene. May 14, 2020 Dear Bar Leaders and Members of the Bar, With two months having passed since our courthouses were physically closed, we want to update the bar, self-represented litigants, and the public regarding the judiciary’s tentative plans for the months ahead. We emphasize the word “tentative” because our plans remain a work in progress, and may vary depending on the data regarding the number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Massachusetts, and on the Governor’s orders regarding the State of Emergency. As we move
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Middlesex Probate and Family Court Announces Their Move to a Second Location in the Lowell Justice Center under Emergency Closure Protocols

On May 4, 2020, the Middlesex Probate and Family Court entered a historic phase in its service to the people of Middlesex County when it completed the move of half their operation to a new location in the Lowell Justice Center. Originally expecting large numbers of attorneys and litigants to take advantage of the increased access to the court in this large county, the move comes in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, limiting all access to the court. Although there are judges and employees at the Lowell site daily, like the Cambridge location, it is minimally staffed and operating
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Middlesex Juvenile and Probate & Family Court Closed

A Trial Court employee who works at the Cambridge courthouses for the Middlesex Juvenile and Probate & Family Courts has tested positive for coronavirus. The courthouses will be closed temporarily for thorough cleaning and you will be notified when the reopening date is determined. As recommended by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, those working in the courthouses should self-quarantine to monitor their health until the courts reopens. Anyone who has concerns or experiences symptoms should contact their health provider. The more that we all are aware of the facts on the coronavirus and are vigilant on our healthy workplace
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SJC Issues Order Restricting Court Appearances to Emergency Matters Until May 4

In light of the ongoing and urgent public health concerns regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the Supreme Judicial Court today issued an Order that continues to restrict the number of people coming to Massachusetts state courthouses. Effective April 6, 2020, the new order repeals and replaces two earlier court orders; the Order Regarding Empanelment Of Juries, issued by the court on March 13, 2020, and the Order Limiting In-Person Appearances In State Courthouses To Emergency Matters That Cannot Be Resolved Through A Videoconference Or Telephonic Hearing, issued by the court on March 17, 2020. All trials, whether jury or bench,
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Berid & Schutzbank – Prepared and Ready to Help Clients.

As our society as a whole deals with the pandemic COVID-19 crisis, I want to share with your our plans for keeping our clients, employees and community safe. Berid & Schutzbank will be adhering to all protocols issued by the Commonwealth. My top priority will be to ensure the safety of those we come into contact with while balancing that with continuing to provide the high quality level of legal representation you have come to expect from Berid & Schutzbank. Your safety is our top priority as we continue to navigate this global crisis together. The New Hampshire Courts have
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Court Operations Under the Exigent Circumstances Created by COVID-19

This just in from the Probate and Family Court. We are all in the process of trying to sort out how this effects open cases. Berid & Schutzbank clients: Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns about how this impacts your case. I will contact those of you with upcoming court dates early in the week. Please take care during this trying time and be assured that Berid & Schutzbank is here to help you resolve your family law or Probate Court matter through the Court process as quickly and efficiently under these new temporary rules. Probate
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Pets and Divorce: Custody or Property?

Do you think worrying about what happens to a dog or cat, when there is a divorce, is silly? Probably not if you are a pet lover. When a couple decides to divorce, the question of who gets the pets is very common. Pet lovers do not buy an animal, they adopt a family member. However, while the law focuses on the best interests of human children, pets are legally defined as personal property. Therefore, Courts tend to work under this strict interpretation. Under the law, asking for custody or visitation rights for pets is along the lines of asking for those rights
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Notice: Massachusetts Mandatory Parent Education Programs Update

In order to promote awareness of, and track and enforce attendance at, mandatory Parent Education programs, the Probate and Family Court is implement new requirements, time-frames and forms. To that end, Standing Order 4-08 is repealed effective May 1, 2016, and will be replaced with Standing Order 2-16, effective May 1, 2016. Changes reflected in Standing Order 2-16 include: new required documentation of registration to encourage prompt enrollment; clarification concerning the basis for waiving the mandatory attendance requirement, and highlighted alternative to such waiver when appropriate; and updated information concerning the delivery of parent education services via DVD or online
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Eric Schutzbank Designated as a Founding Member of the New Hampshire Chapter of the AACFL

The American Academy For Certified Financial Litigators (AACFL) welcomes Attorney Eric Schutzbank as a Founding Member of the New Hampshire Chapter of the AACFL. Attorney Schutzbank is in the process of completing his CFL certification. The CFL™ is a designation awarded to select practitioners who have received this high level training and passed the CFL™ examination. The CFL designation ensures customized training in the financial aspects of litigation including accounting, taxation, investments, valuation, forensics and compensation. While other certifications are no absolute assurance of quality or integrity, the CFL™ requires completing the training program and receiving a passing grade on
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