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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
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In Massachusetts, how would the judge and opposing counsel

Customer Question

In Massachusetts, how would the judge and opposing counsel refer to/address the prosecutor in court?
And how would the prosecutor refer to himself? e.g.
Would he say,'The Commonwealth has no further questions," or "Prosecution has no further questions, or simply, "I have no further questions?"
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

It's common for counsel in Massachusetts court to refer to each other as "my brother" or "my sister." So, a defense attorney could refer to the prosecutor as "my brother" or "my brother the prosecutor," but the judge would not do that. A pro se party would also not do that. It's OK to refer to the prosecutor by name or "the district attorney" or "the prosecutor." Any of those is fine and to a large extent it depends on what the person speaking is comfortable with.

A prosecutor often refers to himself as "the Commonwealth" when raising legal arguments or making requests, like "the Commonwealth is asking for 30 days of imprisonment". But they can also refer to themselves as "we" when meaning "the state" or "I". For example, "the Commonwealth calls Mr. Smith to the stand." But many prosecutors refer to themselves as "I," and again, that's fine. When questioning a witness, it's just as common to hear "no further questions" as to hear "I have no further questions."

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