Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants will succeed
retiring Supreme Judicial Court Associate Justice Geraldine Hines
as co-chair of the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission, the
court announced this week. Chief Justice Gants had previously
co-chaired the Commission from 2010 to 2015.
"We look forward to welcoming back Chief Justice Gants as
co-chair of the Commission," said Commission co-chair Susan M.
Finegan, of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. "He
has been a national leader on access to justice issues for many
years, and we are honored to have him serve in this role
The Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission was established
by order of the Supreme Judicial Court to provide leadership,
vision and coordination in the search for equal justice for all
persons in the Commonwealth. The Commission's membership includes
representatives from the court system, legal aid organizations, bar
associations, social service agencies, the private bar, law
schools, businesses, and clients, working together to promote equal
access to justice.
Supreme Judicial Court Justice Hines is stepping down this
summer after having served on the bench for 16 years, first on the
Superior Court and then on the Appeals Court before she was
appointed to the Supreme Judicial Court in 2014 by Governor Deval
Patrick. Before becoming a judge, Justice Hines practiced as
an attorney for three decades, during which she litigated many
civil rights cases.
Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Gants said of Justice Hines
that she "has devoted her entire life to speaking truth to power on
behalf of people who have not been heard, and we have been very
fortunate to benefit from her wisdom, experience, and leadership at
the helm of the Access to Justice Commission."
Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Gants will assume Justice
Hines' duties as Commission Co-Chair later this month.
After an 11-year tenure on the Superior Court, Chief Justice
Gants was appointed to the Supreme Judicial Court as an Associate
Justice in 2009 and was sworn in as Chief Justice by Governor
Patrick in 2014.