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This week, the Massachusetts Trial Court released new Standing Order 1-16: Authority of the Judge with Respect to Communication with Specialty Court Teams which allows “A judge presiding over a specialty court … to initiate, permit or otherwise consider ex parte communications about defendants, juveniles or probationers with members of the specialty court team at a staffing or by written documents provided to all members of the specialty court team.”

“The purpose of this authority is to allow judges in their role in presiding over specialty court sessions, and only in that capacity, to assume a more interactive role with parties, treatment providers, probation officers, social workers and others, than Rule 2.9 of the Code of Judicial Conduct would otherwise permit.”

The standing order is effective as of January 7, 2016.

 

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