Bringing together practitioners on all sides of issues in arbitration, courts and state and federal agencies

From Issue Spot: A Glimpse Into the Judiciary Committee’s Agenda

As we mentioned in last week’s blog post, almost all of the BBA’s bills end up in the Judiciary Committee.  That’s because the Judiciary Committee historically considers all bills relating to crimes, sentencing, the judiciary, judicial salaries, parole, and other corrections issues.  The Judiciary Committee also gets a handful of proposals to change the Constitution each session. 

 This session, there are three new House appointees to the Judiciary Committee:  Representative Bruce Ayers, freshman Representative Claire Cronin, and Representative Jeffrey Roy.  The new senators on the Judiciary Committee include the Chairwoman Katherine Clark and Senator Will Brownsberger.  Of the seventeen members of the Judiciary Committee, nine are lawyers.  Other members of the committee include a small business owner, a community activist and a funeral director. 

With 771 bills already assigned to the Judiciary Committee there will probably be between fourteen and sixteen public hearings during the two-year session that started in January.  To put this number in perspective, the committee with the next largest number of bills currently before it, the Joint Committee on Public Service, currently has 390 bills.  The Joint Committee on Public Health currently has 349.  

One of the first public hearings the Judiciary Committee will schedule will pertain to matters relating to amending the Constitution.  The joint rules of the House and Senate mandate specific time frames for amending the constitution. Any such amendment filed by April 24, 2013 must receive the Judiciary Committee’s recommendation that same day…

Pending in the Judiciary Committee this session. . .

Public accommodations protections for transgender individuals – Building upon the success of last year’s transgender equality law there is a proposal before the Judiciary Committee that would grant transgender individuals access to sex segregated public facilities based on their own gender-identity. .

Changes to the wiretap statute .Both Judiciary Committee Chairs have co-sponsored the bill, but that does not mean this proposal won’t be without controversy or complication.  Changing the wiretap statute has long been a priority of the Attorney General’s Office and other law enforcement officials.  Those in support of the bill refer to it as an “update.”  Those that don’t necessarily endorse the bill see it as a “broad expansion.”  The list of crimes that will ultimately be included in the wiretap statute will constitute the crux of the debate. 

Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act- This uniform law has been adopted in all 49 states and its purpose is to provide a remedy for conflicts that occur under the current Massachusetts child custody jurisdiction law.  Under the UCCJEA, once a state has exercised jurisdiction over custody, that state has exclusive jurisdiction over potential changes in the judgment or order — providing a parent, the child, or someone acting as a parent remains in the original state.

Not pending in the Judiciary Committee this session. . .

Gun control bills – While the House referred a gun control bill to the Judiciary Committee, the Senate referred the same bill to the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security.  In the end, the House concurred with the Senate. So it looks like the bills dealing with changes to our gun laws will not be handled by the Judiciary Committee. 

 - Kathleen Joyce
Director of Government Relations
Boston Bar Association

To view the original post, please click here

Labor & Employment Law Committees

  • Employment Law Committee
  • Labor & Employment Communications Committee
    This committee publishes information relevant to the labor & employment bar. If you are interested in an editorial position or publishing an article, please contact us.

    Contact Information

    Robert Alan Fisher

    Foley Hoag LLP

    (617) 832-1000

    Brian J MacDonough

    Shilepsky Hartley Robb Casey Michon, LLP

    (617) 4472809

    Vanessa K. Hackett

    Littler Mendelson, PC

    (617) 780-7427

  • Labor & Employment Education Committee
    Help develop relevant and innovative educational sessions led by a diverse group of talented speakers who cover labor and employment law issues.

    Contact Information

    Carolina Avellaneda

    Fisher College

    (617) 2368859

    James S. Weliky

    Messing, Rudavsky & Weliky, PC

    (617) 742-0004

    Elizabeth A. Rodgers

    Rodgers, Powers & Schwartz LLP

    (617) 742-7010

    William E. Hannum

    Schwartz Hannum PC

    (978) 623-0900

  • Labor & Employment Public Policy Committee
    The BBA is very active in legislative and regulatory changes. Labor & employment attorneys are often asked to lend their expertise.

    Contact Information

    Rachel Reingold Mandel

    Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

    (617) 994-5700

    Katherine J. Michon

    Shilepsky Hartley Robb Casey Michon, LLP

    (617) 723-8000

  • Labor & Employment Public Service Committee
    This committee focuses on practice are specific pro bono trainings and brown bag programming.

    Contact Information

    Nicole Corvini

    Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

    (617) 994-5700

  • Labor Law Committee
    This committee is composed of lawyers for management, unions and individuals. It focuses on traditional labor issues in the private and public sector, and is responsible for monitoring legal developments in the area of labor law and presenting educational programs in this area.

    Contact Information

    Justin F. Keith

    Greenberg Traurig, LLP

    (617) 310-6230

    Ingrid Nava

    SEIU Local 615

    (617) 878-7445

  • Non-Compete & Trade Secrets
    The Non-Compete &Trade Secrets Committee works to ensure that attorneys are kept apprised of developments in this constantly evolving area of business and employment law, whether in the form of judicial precedent, legislative mandate or business practice.

    Contact Information

    Jennifer Catlin Davis

    Kotin, Crabtree & Strong, LLP

    (617) 227-7031

    Christopher J. Perry

    Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, PC

    (781) 622-5930

  • Steering Committee
    The leadership committee of the Section organizes programs and discusses policy. To inquire about opportunities, please contact the Section Co-Chairs.
  • Wage & Hour Committee
    This committee keeps the community up to date on wage and hour developments and trends.

    Contact Information

    Julie McCarthy

    Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research

    (617) 871-4142

    Jocelyn Jones

    Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General