On Friday February 20, 2016, a group of BBA Members, including law students and practitioners, toured the Middlesex Probate and Family Court. Many hanks to Tara DiCristofaro, Register of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court and her staff at the Middlesex Probate and Family Court for welcoming us for the tour.
Knowing that one’s first few times in court can be disorienting, the BBA hosts these tours to help demystify the first visit. Toni-Ann Natola, Deputy Assistant Register of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court served as our guide and certainly demystified a lot about the ways the Middlesex Probate & Family Court is unique in terms of scheduling and filing. She also gave the group a good look at the layout of the building at 208 Cambridge Street.
Those in attendance were even escorted to the elusive Courtroom 5, only accessed through a maze-like jaunt through the first floor through several twists and turns. Upon arrival at Courtroom 5, the group was lucky enough to sit in for the tail-end of a pre-trial conference before Judge McSweeney. After dismissing the litigants, the judge spoke to the group about his own career as a family law attorney prior to joining the bench.
BBA LRS Intern, Nicole Roth, a student at Northeastern University, had this to say about the experience, “He reinforced the importance of always being polite to judges and clerks, and to never become too emotionally attached to a case. He explained what it feels like to be a family attorney in a way that was so accurate I could almost picture myself practicing law. He then invited each of us to sit in his chair and try on his robe, which everyone found exciting. The tour helped the practicing attorneys learn where to go and how to behave in this court, and inspired the law students to look forward to their futures.”