None of us could have imagined a world in which we are unable to meet “in real life” or enter a Courthouse. For Attorneys, the rules from the SJC (Supreme Judicial Court) in Boston and the Probate and Family Court both locally and administratively, change often. We are continually receiving lengthy Executive Orders meant to clarify what is and isn’t an emergency, whether and when Hearings will be scheduled, and how best to communicate with the Courts.
Worcester County is fortunate to have an excellent Courthouse team serving the Probate and Family Court public but none of it is easy and all of it is stressful for lawyers – mediators – and Pro se Litigants [those without attorneys representing themselves] struggling to deal with the compelling and often emotionally charged issues that need to be brought before the Judges of the Probate and Family Court.
Court matters previously scheduled for March, April and May are being assigned to new dates beginning in June. Many of those cases will be heard via ZOOM. The Judges and Court staff are working diligently during this Covid Crisis to serve the public. Lawyers, mediators and community organizations are adapting to a new normal as meetings are conducted via Face-Time, Zoom, Skype and telephone. Mass Council on Family Mediation is hosting frequent meetings for members to assist in this transition and to facilitate support as mediators learn a whole new way to practice and to serve their clients with respect and compassion.