Attending Appeals Court Sittings

As part of the Appeals Court's continuing outreach program, the Court hears oral arguments in several locations outside of Suffolk County and beyond the walls of the John Adams Courthouse in Boston, where the court ordinarily sits. 

As in Boston, the sessions are open to the public with seating allotted on a first-come, first-served basis. Unless otherwise noted, sittings begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. A three judge panel generally hears six cases during each session and arguments take approximately thirty minutes per case.

Teachers and high school students are invited to observe all or part of an Appeals Court sitting and may contact Tina LaFranchi, at or 617-626-7914, to arrange for group seating and an informal educational discussion with the panel members and/or a volunteer attorney. Learn more

Student Tours
Teachers, students, and visitors of all ages are invited to visit the historic John Adams Courthouse, headquarters of the Massachusetts judicial branch. Conveniently located on Pemberton Square between the Massachusetts State House and Government Center, the John Adams Courthouse houses the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the Massachusetts Appeals Court, and the Social Law Library, the nation's oldest law library. The John Adams Courthouse is generally open for visitors on normal business days, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Court sessions are open to the public. To learn more about student tours, click here, or send an email to

Parent Education

Since 1994, Massachusetts has required mandatory parent education to help parents understand and handle the challenges of the disruption of the family unit with the breakup of marriage and to assist them in addressing and minimizing the stresses children may experience. Learn more

Judicial Institute

The mission of the Judicial Institute is to provide coordinated educational services, skills training, and professional development for judicial and non-judicial personnel of the Massachusetts Trial Court. 

Established by statute in 1988, the Judicial Institute continues to meet its mission by developing educational and professional development programs for judges and other Trial Court employees and by building networks with the larger academic community. Learn more