Report of the Appeals Court: FY2009
Appeals Court - Fiscal Year 2009 Highlights
Increased Appellate Caseload
The Appeals Court's caseload for Fiscal Year 2009 was 2,321 cases, an increase of 11.4% over Fiscal Year 2008; the increase occurred in both civil and criminal filings. While there are likely a number of factors which contributed to the increase, certainly the declining economic picture was a key factor. In difficult economics, more cases (criminal and civil) tend to be filed at the trial level, and a portion of them will eventually reach the appellate courts. The number of decisions issued during Fiscal Year 2009 was 1,583, an all-time record, and was 19% greater than in Fiscal Year 2008.
Sessions in Other Locations
The court conducted fourteen sessions at locations other than the John Adams Courthouse in Boston. Sittings were held at five of the Commonwealth's law schools -- Western New England (two sessions), Southern New England, Boston University, Northeastern and Massachusetts School of Law -- enabling law students to observe appellate proceedings firsthand. After the sessions the justices met with the students, explaining the court's operating procedures and answering questions about the appellate process. In addition, three-judge panels sat at Trial Court facilities in Barnstable, Fall River, Plymouth, Dedham, Worcester, Salem, Northampton and New Bedford. Groups of local high school students were able to attend these sessions and also to meet with the justices afterwards.
New Web Site
The Appeals Court's new web site - www.mass.gov/courts/appealscourt - was officially launched in June 2009 after months of planning. It contains general information about the court, contact information, biographies of the justices as well as information for law clerkship applicants, attorneys and self-represented litigants.