Proposed state budget cuts would have a far-reaching impact on the Massachusetts judicial system, with court closures and staff layoffs causing delays in everything from adoption procedures to business litigation, according to panelists brought together for an April 26 "Budget Cuts and the Administration of Justice" discussion presented by the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service.

The Rappaport Center also sponsored a discussion of "Uncharted Waters– Translating Transportation Reform into Action" on the same day.

“Justice is not a public policy choice,” said Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Margaret Marshall during the "Administration of Justice" roundtable. “The residents of Massachusetts could no more make do with a functionally disabled judiciary than they could make do with a functionally disabled governor’s office or a functionally disabled Legislature.”

Joining Marshall on the panel were:

  • Robert Mulligan, chief justice of the Administrative Office of the Trial Court
  • Paul T. Dacier, general counsel and vice-president of EMC Corporation
  • William Leahy, chief counsel for the Committee for Public Counsel Services
  • John Regan, president of the Boston Bar Association and partner at WilmerHale
  • Robert H. Smith, Suffolk University Law School professor and former dean, moderator

Panelists for "Uncharted Waters– Translating Transportation Reform into Action" were:

  • Jeffrey B. Mullan, Secretary and CEO, Massachusetts Department of Transportation
  • State Sen. Steven A. Baddour, chair, Joint Committee on Transportation
  • Patrick J. Moynihan, partner, The McCormack Firm, LLC
  • Stephanie Pollack, associate director of research, Dukakis Institute at Northeastern University
  • Stephen J. Silveira, vice president, ML Strategies, LLC
  • Alasdair S. Roberts, Rappaport Professor of Law and Public Policy, Suffolk University Law School moderator