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Title: First Assistant Register Of Probate
Pay Grade: Statutory
Starting Pay: $145,734
Departmental Mission Statement: To deliver timely justice to the public by providing equal access to a fair, equitable and efficient forum to resolve family and probate legal matters and to and assist and protect all individuals, families, and children in an impartial and respectful manner.
Probate and Family Court Organization Profile
Notes: This position is designated as management position and is covered by the Trial Court Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual.
Position Summary: This position involves a high level of professional legal work of moderate to complex difficulty and supervisory responsibilities. The employees in this position are appointed by and work at the direction of the Register of Probate and assist the Register in performing legal and administrative duties as set forth in state statutes and court rules. Employees in this position are appointed for a term of three years by the Register of Probate of the Division, with the approval of the Chief Justice of the Probate and Family Court Department, pursuant to G.L. Chapter 217, Section 23.
Duties: (Note: First Assistant Registers may perform any or all of the duties listed below, including the duties of an Assistant Register, and may perform other duties not articulated in this job description as determined by the Register.)
Reviews case papers being filed with the Court and ensures that cases will be processed in an expeditious manner;
Conducts and/or participates in meetings with Registry staff and other court personnel regarding new legal requirements and court procedures;
Drafts guidelines, checklists, protocols and memoranda to staff regarding technical issues, changes in law and court rules and addresses common problems in order to ensure uniformity within the division and department;
Develops Registry procedures and policies, as directed;
Supervises Registry staff at the direction of the Register;
Provides legal expertise to Registry staff in technical areas of the law such as divorce, paternity, guardianships, trust termination, partition actions, and probate and equity matters including significant experience with familiarity with the MUPC and MUTC;
Assists both attorneys and self-represented litigants to access the court and by providing legal and procedural information;
Works in conjunction with other Court staff to assist indigent and financially disadvantaged individuals to access the Court system;
Works with the Lawyer for the Day Program and assists in the recruitment of volunteer lawyers;
Assists Local Dispute Resolution Coordinator with referrals to approved ADR providers;
Assists in the implementation and use of Departmental Case Management and Time Standards orders and procedures;
Assists in the implementation and use of the MassCourts case management system;
Assists in preparation of annual statistics;
Authenticates papers and performs such other duties as are not performed by the Register;
Participates and assists in the implementation of Supreme Judicial Court Rule 1:07 regarding lists for all fee generating appointments;
Participates in regular meetings with Judicial Case Managers and other judicial staff;
Reviews legal sufficiency of subpoenas and transmits copies of records when properly requested by other courts and parties;
Oversees and tracks appeals, assembles the record and communicates with Appeals Court when necessary;
Perform duties of a MUPC Magistrate;
Ensures the proper issuance of writs of capias, writs of ne exeat regno, mittimuses, habeus corpus, discharges from jail, executions, attachments and summonses to trustee;
Attends meetings and trainings at the request of the Office of Chief Justice and by arrangement with the Register in order to assist in the development of uniform court policies and procedures among divisions; and
Performs related work as directed by the Register.
Job Competencies: DESIRABLE KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
Thorough knowledge of relevant state statutes, court rules and case law which prescribe the powers and duties of the court and an ability to interpret and apply them to the cases before the court; Thorough knowledge of court procedures, legal documents, laws and legal factors pertaining to the court; Thorough knowledge of the organization, functions, jurisdiction and authority of the court; Ability to evaluate the accuracy of court records and to analyze complex court files; Ability to plan and supervise the work of subordinates when appropriate; Ability to maintain effective working relationships with Registry staff, judges, court officials, attorneys, court employees and the general public; Demonstrated ability to supervise employees.
Minimum Requirements: These are the minimum requirements necessary to apply for a position of First Assistant Register;
For Internal Trial Court Applicants:
A Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university; and knowledge, skills and abilities acquired through Eight (8) or more years of professional legal experience working within the Probate and Family Court (Register's Office, Probation Department, Judicial Unit).
For External Applicants: A Law Degree from an accredited law school and admission to the practice of law in Massachusetts, or a graduate degree from an accredited college or university in a relevant field (such as criminal justice, public administration, or business administration); And Four (4) or more years of experience involving matters before the Probate and Family Court.
Preferred Qualifications: Law degree and admission to the practice of law in Massachusetts
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Employment with the Trial Court is contingent upon passage of a criminal record check.