Find information about Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), Appeals Court, and Trial Court commissions and committees and learn about what they do.
Massachusetts Court System Commissions and Committees
Table of Contents
Advisory Committee on Ethical Opinions for Clerks of the Courts
The Advisory Committee on Ethical Opinions for Clerks of the Courts provides advisory opinions to Clerks, Registers and their assistants, with respect to the rules of court that govern the ethical and professional conduct of clerks. For more detailed information about the Committee - including information on how to make a request for ethical advice - or to read the applicable court rules or the text of the advisory opinions issued by the Committee, click here.
Committee on Judicial Ethics
The Committee on Judicial Ethics provides advisory opinions and informal advice to judges, and to individuals nominated to be judges, with respect to the rules of court that govern the ethical and professional conduct of judges. Learn more about this committee.
Court Management Advisory Board
Following the recommendation of the Monan Committee, the Massachusetts Legislature in 2003 created the Court Management Advisory Board (the "CMAB") to advise and assist the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court and the Chief Justice for Administration and Management (the "CJAM") on matters pertaining to judicial administration and management and all matters of judicial reform. As mandated by statute, the CMAB is comprised of twelve members, appointed according to the categories of experience set forth in the enabling statute, G.L. 211B, §6A. Learn more.
Judicial Performance Evaluation Committee
The Committee consists of 19 members: primarily judges and chief justices, two law professors, and two members of the bar. The objective of the committee is to examine and revise the judicial performance evaluation system that has been in operation since 2001 pursuant to G.L. c. 211, sec. 26. Click here to learn more.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Judiciary-Media Committee was established in 1995 to help foster good working relationships and to improve better understanding between the judicial branch and the media, both print and electronic. The Committee helps to address and resolve problems, if possible, incurred by the media in gaining access to court proceedings and documents. It also assists judges and court personnel with questions and concerns involving the media. The Committee sponsors judiciary-media programs and conferences throughout the state in an effort to improve understanding and appreciation of the roles and functions of the judiciary and the media. Learn more.
Jury Management Advisory Committee
The Jury Management Advisory Committee is a standing committee of the Supreme Judicial Court and consists of six members, one of whom is appointed as chairman. The chairperson and committee members are appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court from the justices of any trial or appellate court of the Commonwealth. The committee assists and counsels the Chief Justice and the Supreme Judicial Court in supervising the Office of Jury Commissioner, and assists and counsels the Office of Jury Commissioner in implementing the statutory responsibilities specified in Massachusetts General Law Chapter 234A. Learn more.
Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission
The Commission was created by the Court on February 28, 2005 in response to a proposal developed by the Massachusetts State Planning Board for Civil Legal Services. The Supreme Judicial Court reconstituted the Commission in February 2010. Twenty-four people serve on the Commission. View the Commission's website to learn more.
Massachusetts Sentencing Commission
The Sentencing Commission promotes truth in sentencing by formulating uniform sentencing policies, developing systematic sentencing guidelines, and integrating intermediate sanctions within the sentencing guidelines. Learn more
Standing Advisory Committee on Professionalism
The SJC Standing Advisory Committee on Professionalism is charged with overseeing the implementation of new SJC Rule 3:16 on Practicing with Professionalism, which requires a mandatory course on professionalism for new lawyers admitted to the Massachusetts bar. The rule is effective on September 1, 2013. The Committee's duties and responsibilities include: designating approved course providers; making recommendations to the Court regarding the fees to be charged for the course and any circumstances under which the fees may be waived; evaluating the course providers; reporting to the Court on at least an annual basis on the implementation of the course and an assessment of whether the program is accomplishing its intended goals and outcomes; and overseeing the administration of all aspects of SJC Rule 3:16. Click here to learn more.
Standing Advisory Committee on Rules of Civil Procedure
Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure
The Committee reviews issues and proposals concerning the Massachusetts Rules of Criminal Procedure. It is currently revising all of the rules and commentary which were originally adopted in 1979, and reports to Supreme Judicial Court Rules Committee. Learn more.
Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct
The Committee reviews issues and proposals concerning the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct. (Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:07), and reports to the Supreme Judicial Court Rules Committee. Learn more.
Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services
Established in August 1999, the Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services works to promote volunteer legal work in Massachusetts to help people of limited means who are in need of legal representation. The Committee administers both the Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards Program and the newly instituted Pro Bono Honor Roll. Learn more.
Supreme Judicial Court Committee to Study the Code of Judicial Conduct
The Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court established this committee to review the current Massachusetts Code of Judicial Conduct in light of the American Bar Association's 2007 Model Code of Judicial Conduct. The committee consists of members of the judiciary, the bar, and academia. Click here to learn more.
Supreme Judicial Court Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Appellate Procedure
Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee on Lawyer Well-Being
Established in January of 2020, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee on Lawyer Well-Being is charged with planning and overseeing efforts to enhance the well-being of lawyers, judges, and law students in the Commonwealth. Its goals include implementing the recommendations in the final Report of the original SJC Steering Committee on Lawyer Well-Being, which was submitted to the SJC in July 2019. View the Committee's website to learn more.
Trial Court Public Access to Court Records Committee
Chief Justice Paula Carey appointed the Trial Court Public Access to Court Records Committee to develop and propose uniform Trial Court rules governing the public's access to view or copy court case records, including paper and electronic case records, in a courthouse and on the Internet, consistent with current Massachusetts laws, court rules, and appellate court decisions. Learn more.