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Bar News - January 20, 2016

Morning Mail: Court Security Policy Makes No Sense

Editor’s note: The court has changed the security policy. Please see related article.

I wish to comment on attorney Krasner’s letter concerning the “New Court Security Policy,” appearing in the Dec. 16, 2015 issue of Bar News. If this new policy is driven by a concern for workplace safety, it makes no sense.

Various classes of workers consider the courthouse their workplace: lawyers, judges, clerks, maintenance personnel, etc.

If workplace safety is the true concern, then the reasonable, measured response is to ask all lawyers, judges, clerks, maintenance personnel, etc., to surrender any weapons before they enter their workplace. Not just lawyers, and certainly not by their practice areas or employers.

And, unless peer-reviewed studies demonstrate that one class of this workforce is more untrustworthy than another class, assume that all these classes of workers will comply. Therefore, it serves no useful purpose to search lawyers, or certain subsets of lawyers, entering their workplace, with the purpose of verifying that they are not attempting to smuggle in concealed weapons, in some nefarious scheme to harm other workers.

No useful purpose, and a policy with sociological and psychological consequences, intended or not.

By the way, I was in Fitchburg District Court earlier this month. I showed my MA BBO card and my New Hampshire driver’s license. I was passed right through the metal detector with a, “Good morning, counsellor!”

Joseph Caulfield
Lyndeborough, NH

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