Appeals Court

New: First en banc rehearing under court's pilot program

In April 2023, the Appeals Court held its first-ever en banc rehearing, pursuant to the court's pilot program that, beginning in late 2022, temporarily replaced its protocol under Sciaba Constr. Corp. v. Boston, 35 Mass. App. Ct. 181, 181 n.2 (1993).  The en banc rehearing was livestreamed to the court's YouTube channel and can be viewed here.  (The case is 2022-P-0300, Ferreira v. Charland.)

Under the pilot, draft published and rescript opinions are circulated to the justices for review, after which any justice may call for a vote by the justices on whether to grant en banc review. En banc review is granted only upon a majority vote of the justices on the basis that (1) the draft panel decision would conflict with a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, the Supreme Judicial Court, or the Appeals Court and en banc review is necessary to maintain the uniformity of the court's decisions; or (2) the proceeding involves one or more questions of "exceptional importance."

If a majority of the justices vote in favor of en banc review, the parties are notified of the en banc rehearing date, the amount of time allotted for argument, and whether they are to submit supplemental briefs. The court may also solicit amicus briefs.

No party may request en banc review; such requests are not accepted.

En banc oral argument is conducted by remote videoconference platform (Zoom) and streamed for public access on the Appeals Court’s YouTube channel.

Policy on Motions for Remote Oral Argument in Panel Cases

Effective September 9, 2022, the Appeals Court has adopted a Policy Regarding Motions for Remote Oral Argument in Panel Cases.  Please click the preceding link to view or download the policy.

Virtual Appellate Clerk

Since January 2022, the Appeals Court Clerk’s Office has provided a virtual help center where court personnel are available to answer questions, help court users virtually, and provide information about available resources. Court users can receive “face-to-face” help from court staff without being physically present at the courthouse. Guidance is limited to Appeals Court matters and is conducted by videoconference on Zoom.  Appeals Court personnel are available to answer general and procedural questions, but they do not provide legal advice.

The “Virtual Appellate Clerk” is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Interested persons may click on this Zoom link to join the waiting room from which court personnel will admit users in the order they enter the waiting room. You may also contact the Appeals Court Clerk’s Office by telephone at (617) 921-4443, Mondays through Fridays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding legal holidays. 

Learn more about the Virtual Appellate Clerk 

Contact us


John Adams Courthouse, One Pemberton Square, Room 1200, Boston, MA 02108


Clerk's Office (617) 921-4443
Judges' Lobby (617) 725-8085
Human Resources Department (617) 994-4155
Oral Argument Postponement or Cancellation Updates Line (617) 725-8114

About the Appeals Court

The Appeals Court is the Commonwealth's intermediate appellate court. The Appeals Court is a court of general appellate jurisdiction, which means that the justices review decisions that the trial judges from the several Departments of the Trial Court have already made in many different kinds of cases. The Appeals Court also has jurisdiction over appeals from final decisions of three State agencies: the Appellate Tax Board, the Industrial Accident Board and the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board. The Appeals Court consists of a chief justice and twenty-four associate justices.

Learn more about the Appeals Court 

Notice to Self-Represented Filers and Visitors to the Court

The Clerk’s Office is open to the public for telephonic, electronic, and in-person business.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Clerk’s Office continues to endeavor to conduct business virtually to the extent possible.  Before making an in-person visit to the Clerk's Office, please call the office at (617) 921-4443 to learn how you can be assisted virtually. The Clerk's Office staff will make every effort to provide assistance (including accepting filings and fulfilling records requests) in a manner that eliminates the need for persons to visit the John Adams Courthouse.  All visitors to the John Adams Courthouse must comply with any orders of the Supreme Judicial Court regarding health and safety protocols regarding public access to state courthouses and court facilities.

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