Court reforms, the honoring of a distinguished career, and the jump start of a new one were the themes of the evening and the LBA's Annual Fall Dinner held on October 29. Over 100 lawyers and guests attended the event at the Andover Country Club to reconnect and to celebrate all facets of the legal profession, from law students to the Chief Justice of the top court in the Commonwealth.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice, the Hon. Ralph Gants, addressed the assembly to provide his view on civil and criminal court reforms in the Commonwealth, by taking a fresh look at what the law is and trying to determine whether it make sense.
He noted that in the civil justice system, the cost of discovery and litigation is too hard for people. The civil courts need to provide greater choices to litigants and make the cost of litigation and discovery appropriate to the amount at issue. The goal is for more cases to be brought to give everyone an opportunity to be heard.
Chief Justice Gants also advocated for reducing incarceration and recidivism by understanding the risks and needs of defendants. By crafting sentences appropriate for each defendant, and focusing on probation, the Court can improve the criminal justice system by matching justice with mercy.
The LBA also took time to honor one of its longest-serving members and to support one of its newest. Judge Charles W. Trombly was awarded the 50-Year Service Award for his distinguished service to the community and the bar as a lawyer and judge for 50 years. Accepting the award, he provided the gathering with his unique perspective on the practice of law and thanked the LBA for recognizing him. The LBA also honored two law students from the Lawrence, Andover, North Andover, and Methuen area with the Sergeant Battershill Fund Scholarship and the LBA Education Trust Scholarship.