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Level funding urged for state’s courts

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Lawmakers are hearing warnings from lawyers and judges that budget constraints on the state’s judiciary are imperiling the delivery of justice and compromising security in Massachusetts courts. The Boston Bar Association and the Massachusetts Bar Association hosted a Court Advocacy Day at the State House Monday to lobby for level funding for the state’s courts. The groups are asking for a $25 million boost in spending over what Governor Deval Patrick has recommended for the fiscal year starting July 1. The chief administrative justice of the trial court, Robert Mulligan, said a nearly four-year hiring freeze has reduced court staffing by 17 percent, making it nearly impossible to keep up with caseload. Mulligan added, however, that closing courthouses is “not on the table right now.’’

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