Report of the Appeals Court: FY2010
Appeals Court - Fiscal Year 2010 Highlights
The Appeals Court caseload for Fiscal year 2010 declined a statistically insignificant 4.6% from the near record totals of Fiscal Year 2009. Civil filings, particularly appeals from the Probate and Family Court, increased, while criminal filings, particularly appeals from the District Court Department, declined.. The 1,582 decisions issued during Fiscal Year 2010 was virtually the same as the 1,583 decisions issued in the record high Fiscal Year 2009.
Sessions in Other Locations
The court conducted nine sessions at locations other than the John Adams Courthouse in Boston. Sittings were held at four of the Commonwealth's law schools - Western New England (two sessions), New England School of Law, Boston University and Massachusetts School of Law - enabling law students to observe appellate proceedings. 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 and Brockton along with sessions at Bristol and Berkshire Community Colleges. Groups of local high school and college students were able to attend these sessions and meet with the justices.
The court began a period of marked transformation during this year. Associate Justice Charlotte Perretta, sitting since 1978 and the first female justice appointed to this court, retired in November and was not replaced during this session. The longtime Clerk, Ashley Brown Ahearn, retired and was replaced by Joseph Stanton. A number of other key personnel retired or left the court and were not replaced due to budget constraints. Technological change also began to take hold as a limited e-filing program was initiated, e-notice expanded and the court began to prepare for the implementation of a new software system, Forecourt Paragon, developed by Relational Semantics, Inc.