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Press Release Jury Management Advisory Committee Issues Recommendations for Jury Trials During Pandemic

For immediate release:
8/04/2020
  • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
  • Executive Office of the Trial Court
  • Superior Court
  • District Court
  • Boston Municipal Court
  • Juvenile Court
  • Office of Jury Commissioner

Media Contact for Jury Management Advisory Committee Issues Recommendations for Jury Trials During Pandemic

Jennifer Donahue and Erika Gully-Santiago

BOSTON, MAThe Jury Management Advisory Committee of the Supreme Judicial Court has issued recommendations on the resumption of jury trials in Massachusetts state courts, which have been postponed since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The justices of the SJC asked the Committee to provide guidance on how to recommence jury trials in Massachusetts courts, and this report responds to that mandate.

The Committee consulted with public health officials, bar associations, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and others in developing their report, which seeks to balance the need to resume jury trials with the need to protect the health and safety of jurors, litigants, lawyers, court personnel and the public. 

The Committee's comprehensive report includes recommendations for a phased resumption of jury trials, and outlines recommended practices for each phase.

The Justices are grateful to the committee members for the substantial work they performed to produce a thorough and thoughtful report in a short period of time,” said Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants.

Before acting on the report, the SJC is inviting public comment on the proposed recommendations. See Notice Soliciting Comments.

Members of the Jury Management Advisory Committee:

Chief Justice Judith Fabricant, Chair, Superior Court

Hon. Sarah W. Ellis, District Court

Hon. Serge Georges, Boston Municipal Court

Hon. William F. Mazanec, District Court

Hon. David Ricciardone, Superior Court

Hon. Gloria Y. Tan, Juvenile Court

Hon. Mark C. Gildea, Member-Elect, Superior Court

Pamela J. Wood, Jury Commissioner

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Media Contact for Jury Management Advisory Committee Issues Recommendations for Jury Trials During Pandemic

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court 

The Supreme Judicial Court is the Commonwealth's highest appellate court.

Executive Office of the Trial Court 

The Executive Office of the Trial Court facilitates communication and enables joint leadership of the Trial Court by the Chief Justice of the Trial Court and the Court Administrator.

Superior Court 

The Superior Court Department is a statewide court that handles both criminal and civil actions.

District Court 

The District Court Department hears a wide range of criminal, civil, housing, juvenile, mental health, and other types of cases.

Boston Municipal Court 

The Boston Municipal Court Department serves the City of Boston, and handles both criminal and civil matters.

Juvenile Court 

The Juvenile Court Department oversees civil and criminal matters statewide involving children including youthful offender, care and protection, and delinquency cases.

Office of Jury Commissioner 

The OJC provides randomly selected pools of jurors, representative of the communities from which they are drawn, to each of the state's Trial Jury and Grand Jury courts.
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