Three Massachusetts court rules have been amended, effective May 1, 2010. Amended Mass. Rule of Appellate Procedure 20 requires attorneys to include their e-mail address, if any, on the front cover of briefs and appendices. Amended Mass. Rule of Civil procedure 11 requires attorneys and unrepresented parties to include their e-mail address, if any, on pleadings. And Amended Mass Rule of Civil Procedure 10 adds a provision to allow the text of a document to appear on both sides of a page.
Announcements on MLS
The Legal Services Corporation has issued an updated report entitled Documenting the Justice Gap in America: The Current Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-Income Americans. The report concludes that a major justice gap exists in the United States and that legal services program are forced to turn away more than half of those seeking legal helpon issues such as employment, domestic violence and foreclose due to insufficient resources.
The Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission has submitted its fourth annual report to the Supreme Judicial Court. The report briefly summarizes the activities of the Commission from July 2008 to June 2009.
The Shriver Center has initiated the Asset Coalition Toolkit for States (ACTS) website, http://community-wealth.org/content/asset-coalition-toolkit-states. The Shriver Center describes the website as follows: "A free national resource, ACTS provides tools for coalitions helping people build and protect their financial assets. ACTS was inaugurated at the Center for Social Development's "Innovating Asset Building in a Changing Economic Environment" conference of more than 200 state asset coalitions."
The Brennan Center for Justice has just released a report called Language Access in State Courts, http://www.brennancenter.org/publication/language-access-state-courts#su... The report reviews the legal obligations for Court Interpreter Programs, and includes detailed information about the extent to which the 35 states with the highest proportion of limited English speakers (including Massachusetts) comply with these requirements.
Google is rolling out a new search mechanism which will make it easier to find and compare public data. They have started with unemployment data. Now, if you go to the google search, and type in the following words -- unemployment rate -- followed by whatever state you want to see the information for, the first record that is returned should be a chart of the unemployment rate for that location. If you click on the chart, you will get an interactive record that allows you to compare the unemployment rate for your initial location with other locations in the US, including by county.