The Flaschner Judicial Institute Board of Trustees adopted the following Mission Statement and Academic Philosophy in the early 1990s:

The mission of the Franklin N. Flaschner Judicial Institute, Inc. is to assist both new and experienced judges throughout their judicial careers in their overall professional development, broadly defined. The overriding objective is to promote the highest possible standards of judicial professionalism for the benefit of the public and the administration of justice.

Toward this end and in consideration of judges’ diverse duties and responsibilities, the Flaschner Institute annually provides a balanced academic agenda with traditional and innovative educational offerings in the following areas:

• Substantive/Procedural Law
• Skills Training
• Sensitivity Awareness
• Judicial Ethics
• Judicial Orientation
• Community Relations

Click on any of the links below to learn more about the areas in which the Flaschner Judicial Institute regularly produces educational programming for Massachusetts judges:

Sensitivity Awareness
Acknowledging the importance of continuous training in the area of diversity, Flaschner offers programs that work to sensitize judges to such issues including, but not limited to, racial, ethnic, and gender bias. Some of the programs in this category that have been offered include:

  • Do Differences Matter? Becoming Culturally Competent
  • Mind Bugs: The Science of Ordinary Prejudice
  • Immigrants in the Courtroom: A Practical Guide for Judges
  • Racial Profiling
  • Exploring Racial and Ethnic Issues
Recent Developments Series

With ongoing developments in the law, the “Recent Development Series” offers presentations on these changes by experts to our state’s judiciary. Some of the programs offered in the past have covered the following areas:

  • Employment Law Litigation
  • Tort and Insurance Law
  • Family Law
  • Real Estate Law
  • Massachusetts Commercial Law
Programs on Judicial Ethics
Recognizing the constant developments taking place in the arena of judicial ethics, Flaschner offers programs that assist increasing the understanding and knowledge of codes and canons that are in place for Massachusetts judges. Some examples of programs offered include:

  • Reaching Out or Overreaching: Judicial Ethics and the Self-Represented Litigants
  • When Judges Speak Up: Ethics, the Public, and the Media
  • Judicial Ethics: Living a Life of Impartiality
  • Exploring Complex Social, Moral, and Ethical Issues
Flaschner Publications Series
Programs are regularly held in conjunction with the release of a new Flaschner publication, or reprint. Some of the recent programs held in this category have included the following titles:

Skills Trainings
Skills trainings are offered throughout the year on a wide range of topics, which in recent years have included:

  • Computer Skills
  • Legal Research
  • Judicial Opinion Writing
  • Listening Skills
  • Mindfulness
  • Non-Verbal Communication
Programs for Superior Court Judges
Programs specifically designed for Superior Court judges are regularly sponsored by Flaschner. These programs afford both new and experienced judges with an opportunity to discuss timely subjects in a roundtable format. Some recent offerings include:

  • ADR, Settlement, and Plea Bargaining
  • Contempt
  • Courtroom Security
  • Employment Litigation
  • Damage Assessment and Settlement Approval
  • Judicial Involvement in Civil Settlement and Criminal Plea Discussions
  • Judges and the Media
  • Jury Management Issues
  • Mental Health Issues in Criminal Cases
  • Prisoner Pro Se Litigation
  • Sentencing Workshop for Superior Court Judges
  • Summary Judgment in the Superior Court
  • Zoning, Affordable Housing, and Subdivision Cases
Hon. Haskell C. Freedman Two-Day Educational Retreat for Probate and Family Court Judges
A two-day educational retreat is offered for Massachusetts Probate & Family Court judges where they hear and discuss significant presentations specific to their caseload. The Freedman Retreat provides judges with a rare and valuable opportunity to spend time discussing recent developments and sharing best practices with one another.
FJI Author Series
The Flaschner Institute periodically invites authors to discuss their work with judges and/or a small group of judges and attorneys (in collaboration with the Social Law Library.) Recent authors have included:

Jerome S. Berg
Eli Bortman
Ulrich Boser
Benjamin L. Carp
Kenneth C. Edelin, M.D.
Michael Frederickson
Jack L. Goldsmith
Doris Kearns Goodwin
Hon. Julian Houston
Paul Kendrick
Stephen Kendrick
Eve LaPlante
Dick Lehr
Anthony Lewis
Brian MacQuarrie
Pauline Maier
Kevin Merida
Steven Pinker
Stephen Puleo
Cristina Rathbone
Leonard L. Richards
Frederick Schauer
Stephanie Schorow
Ilyon Woo
Gordon S. Wood
Mitchell Zuckoff

Literature and the Law Series
These programs take great literary works to stimulate discussions on the complex social, moral and ethical issues that all professional face in the public and private settings. Participants receive the readings in advance and are encouraged to discuss the literary works as they relate to their experiences, so as to illuminate and explore their work and relationships in broader perspectives. Previously selected authors have included: James Baldwin, Pearl Buck, Ralph Ellison, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Faulkner, Romnus Linney, Herman Melville, Toni Morrison, Flannery O’Connor, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Leo Tolstoy.
Bench/Bar Programming
Recognizing the importance of constructive dialogue between members of the judiciary and the legal community at large, Flaschner does its best to offer forums, seminars, and reading discussions for both attorneys and judges. These programs work to trigger discussions between all levels of the legal profession on current and relevant topics. Some of the prior topics covered have included:

  • Affording Justice: Preserving and Expanding Legal Representation for Individual Citizens
  • Assisted Reproductive Technology Cases
  • Best Practices in Guardianship Cases
  • Confronting Crawford: Understanding Its Meaning and Impact
  • Finding and Interpreting the Science in Forensic Evidence: Impact of the NAS Report on the Justice System
  • Mastering the Science in Operating Under the Influence (OUI) Cases
  • Reconnecting Self-Represented Litigants with the Private Bar
  • View from the Bar (and Rejoinder from the Bench)
  • Wrongful Convictions
Tours for Judges
Periodically, the Flaschner Institute offers judges the educational opportunity to tour various sites across the Commonwealth, including:

  • State Police Crime Labs
  • MCI – Cedar Junction
  • MCI – Framingham
  • MCI – Norfolk
  • Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center
  • Bridgewater State Hospital
  • Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center
  • Massachusetts Treatment Center
  • Old Colony Correctional Center
  • Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME)
  • AG’s Office Computer Forensics Lab