Access to justice means ensuring adequate funding for both civil legal services for the poor and for the courts, so that those who need to turn to the justice system to protect their rights or resolve their disputes will find the sufficient staff and resources to assist them.
The BBA believes that the primary concern of a criminal justice system should be promoting public safety and ensuring fair treatment for all citizens. In pursuit of this goal, the BBA
has a long history of advocating for policies which are consistent, fiscally responsible and guarantee that the administration of justice in Massachusetts is impartial.
Civil Rights & Civil Liberties
The Massachusetts Constitution — the nation's first and oldest — stands as a beacon for fair and equal treatment under the law for every citizen. It is fitting, then, that the BBA
has a long record of voicing opposition to and mobilizing resources against threats to civil rights and civil liberties. Our work in this area spans affirmative action, the right to vote, and same-sex marriage. It also includes the right to privacy, freedom of speech, the balance between liberty and security.
The BBA is attentive to legislative matters regarding the care, protection, and support of children, as well as other family-related legal issues. Our vibrant Family Law Section frequently concerns itself with procedural and administrative matters relating to the Probate and Family Court and maintains a continuing dialogue with its judges.
inspires the vigorous pursuit of ideas, critical analysis and civic engagement in order to advance the practice of law as a business and a profession and has always worked to integrate opportunities for dynamic change and to exercise judgment and creativity in offering solutions for problems.
BBA Endorses Spousal Elective Share Bill
On Tuesday, February 19th 2013, the BBA Council approved
of the Ad Hoc Elective Share Committee to support An
Act relative to the elective share of surviving spouses. This action followed a
presentation by Deborah Manus, Co-Managing Partner of Nutter McClennen &
Fish and of the BBA’s two designees on The Ad Hoc Elective Share Committee, and
Suma Nair, an associate at Goulston & Storrs and co-chair of the BBA Trusts
and Estates Section. The legislation was filed by Senator Cynthia Creem and
updates the spousal elective share statute, M.G.L. c. 191, §15. The
current statute has been described as antiquated and inequitable. The
proposed legislation is similar to the Uniform Probate Code, as amended in the
2008. This legislation will ease estate administration and provide
predictability of results.
The Ad Hoc Elective Share Committee is made up of representatives from the
Boston Bar Association, Massachusetts Bar Association and Women’s Bar
Association. Colin Korzec of U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth
Management was the other BBA representative to the Ad Hoc Committee. The
Ad Hoc Committee has worked since 2004 on this legislation. They were able
to study and analyze several versions of the spousal elective share statute that
had previously been filed in the Massachusetts Legislature as well as similar
statutes filed in other states.
Want to see more of what we do? View the BBA's Public Policy Archive here
As a well-known innovator and opinion leader, the BBA is at the forefront of promoting justice and improving access to the legal system in Massachusetts. The Business Litigation Session of the Superior Court, the Uniform Probate Code, and our successful argument asserting the First Amendment rights of private parties, including bar associations, found in the R.E.B.A. v. N.R.E.I.S amicus brief are just three of the positive changes we have helped make a reality.