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BOSTON — Middlesex County Superior Court in Massachusetts is moving to Woburn, Mass., from a Cambridge building beset by asbestos problems, while the state assesses its options for the building and remaining district court personnel. The superior court’s move to the suburbs is slated for Friday, March 14 with plans to open the court for business on Monday, March 17. The Trial Court has leased the 140,000 square-foot, seven-story building at the TradeCenter on Sylvan Road for five years. The building has 15 courtrooms, including some equipped for digital audio recording, 15 jury deliberation rooms and 22 holding cells. The courthouse also has room for Middlesex District Attorney’s Office staff and the Committee for Public Counsel Services. Cambridge District Court personnel remain at the building, which has been the subject of litigation concerning asbestos remediation at the building. Middlesex County officials, the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Lawyers and at least 200 court employees sued the court system. The case went from Middlesex Superior Court, to the full Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court then a single justice of the Supreme Court and to the Supreme Court’s special master proceedings. Sullivan v. Chief Justice for Administration and Management of the Trial Court, No. SJ-2007-M-002 (Mass.) The special master’s Feb. 9, 2007 stipulation, outlined how the asbestos would be managed while the court is occupied, said the plaintiffs’ attorney Chris Milne of the Milne Law Offices in Dover, Ma. “It’s far from over,” said Milne, who is representing the plaintiffs pro bono. Milne said he has a meeting scheduled with court personnel this month to discuss the status of plans for the building. Kevin Flanigan, a deputy director of the state’s Division of Capital Asset Management, said the court system is looking for lease space and is simultaneously “in the process of relocating people out of the building.” The state is also weighing the option of replacing, instead of renovating, the building, he said. “We’re looking at in terms of how can we make it a long-term building solution for the current occupants,” Flanigan said. “The analysis is that the scope and the costs are significantly higher to make that happen as a long term location than was previously thought.”

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