MBA honors retiring SJC Justice Francis X. Spina

Thursday, Jun. 16, 2016
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Members of the legal community celebrated the career of Supreme Judicial Court Justice Francis X. Spina on June 15. Spina is set to retire from the bench in August. Photos by Mike Vigneux.

The Massachusetts Bar Association hosted a reception honoring retiring Supreme Judicial Court Justice Francis X. Spina at Western New England University School of Law on June 15.

Members of the bench and bar from across the commonwealth gathered to honor Spina, a western Massachusetts native and resident of Pittsfield.

Appointed to the SJC in 1999 by Governor Paul Cellucci, Justice Spina will retire from the bench in August. A former secretary of the Massachusetts Bar Association, Spina has served as a judge since 1993, when he was appointed to the Superior Court.

MBA President Robert W. Harnais welcomed the crowd and offered his thanks to Justice Spina for his dedication and service to the bar throughout his career.

"His seat is going to be filled, but he will not be replaced," acknowledged Harnais.

Other speakers included SJC Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants and Superior Court Justice Daniel A. Ford.

"What you see are the opinions. What you don't see are the thousands of other little things that have made him such a blessing to our court," said Gants.

The event culminated with heartfelt remarks from Justice Spina, who reflected on his legal career and thanked several colleagues and friends who helped him succeed.

"My career as a lawyer and as a judge is fast coming to a close," said Spina. "It is with bittersweet breath that I say that I have been blessed with so many opportunities that allowed me to practice law in as challenging and meaningful ways as can be imagined."