News from the courts/agencies

Thursday, May. 18, 2017
Notice of Vacancies on the Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Committee on the Rules of Civil and Appellate Procedure; Supreme Judicial Court announces new general counsel to the Board of Bar Overseers; Judicial Nominating Commission vacancies open for applications
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On Friday, April 7, Trial Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey will host the opening ceremony of the Franklin County Justice Center. In addition to Chief Justice Carey, speakers will include Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg, Trial Court Administrator Harry Spence, Commissioner of the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance Carol Gladstone, Representative Stephen Kulik of the 1st Franklin District, Representative Paul Mark of the 2nd Berkshire District, Representative Susannah Whipps of the 2nd Franklin District, Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan, Franklin County Bar Association Chair John Stobierski, and Greenfield District Court First Justice William F. Mazanec. Franklin County Register of Probate John F. Merrigan will deliver welcoming remarks.
The renovation of the Franklin County Justice Center began in 2014. The new courthouse incorporates the historic 1932 façade of the original building with a 104,000 square foot, three-story addition. The Justice Center's six courtrooms include updated technological capabilities to allow for hearings to be conducted by video conference and newly installed recording equipment for court proceedings. The courthouse will also offer WiFi for visitors. The expanded building houses five court departments: Juvenile, Superior, District, Housing, and Probate and Family Courts, as well as the Law Library, Court Service Center, and Registry of Deeds.
Franklin County Justice Center
43 Hope Street, Greenfield, MA 01301
Friday, April 7, 2017
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Notice of vacancies on the Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil and Appellate Procedure

The Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court are soliciting nominations of lawyers for appointment to the court's Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil and Appellate Procedure. There will be vacancies on the committee due to the expiration of the terms of current members. This Committee advises the Court on all issues and proposals relating to the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure and the Massachusetts Rules of Appellate Procedure. The Committee reports to the Supreme Judicial Court Rules Committee.

For these positions, the Justices are interested in nominations or applications of experienced civil trial and appellate practitioners with diverse backgrounds. Committee members will be appointed to a three year term with the possibility of reappointment to a second, consecutive term.

Members are expected to attend all meetings, the scheduling of which varies with the Committee's work. Members also may be assigned to subcommittees that meet more frequently than the full Committee. Outside of meetings, members may do research and drafting.

One page resumes with cover letters should be submitted by by June 9 by mail at Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, One Pemberton Square, Boston, MA, 02108. If you have questions about the application process or the position, please contact Mona or Christine Burak.


Supreme Judicial Court announces new General Counsel to the Board of Bar Overseers

The Supreme Judicial Court recently announced that the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers has named Joseph Berman, Esq., as its general counsel, effective May 8, 2017. He fills the position following the retirement of Michael Fredrickson, Esq., who served as general counsel since 1989.

"We're pleased that the Board has filled this important position," said Supreme Judicial Court Justice Frank Gaziano, the court's liaison to the Board. "Attorney Berman's significant experience and deep knowledge of professional ethics will provide valuable guidance to the Board as it adjudicates disciplinary matters."

A well-regarded trial and appellate lawyer, Berman began his career as a law clerk to the Hon. Richard P. Matsch of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. He was an associate at a white collar criminal defense and commercial litigation boutique law firm in Denver. In 1993, he joined the Boston law firm of Posternak, Blankstein & Lund where his practice focused on the defense of lawyers and other professionals in malpractice and ethics cases. In 1998, Attorney Berman formed a new law firm, Berman & Dowell, where he continued his work in professional liability defense and expanded the practice to include real estate, employment, and insurance litigation. In 2007, he joined Looney & Grossman as a partner, where he continued his practice until 2015 when he devoted his energies full time to Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Berman has received honors for his legal work. Since 2010, he has been named a Massachusetts "Super Lawyer" and was elected one of the 100 Best Lawyers in New England in 2013. He has received the President's Award from the Boston Bar Association for his pro bono litigation, and was also honored by the New England Region of the Anti-Defamation League with the David A. Rose Civil Rights Award and the Krupp Young Leadership Award.

He is a frequent lecturer and writer in the areas of litigation and trial practice. He has taught classes at the Boston Bar Association and Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education. He is the author of numerous articles and serves on the Supreme Judicial Court Advisory Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct as well as the Massachusetts Trial Court's Committee on Attorney Berman is an active member of his community. He is a member of the national and regional boards of the Anti-Defamation League. He is also a director of the Associates of the Boston Public Library. He sits on the Conservation Commission in his hometown of Weston. He is a member of the American, Massachusetts, and Boston Bar Associations. He is also a member of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL), a national organization of lawyers who focus on legal ethics.

Attorney Berman graduated from Dartmouth College cum laude in 1986 and received his law degree, also cum laude, from the University of Michigan in 1990. He and his wife, Sharon, live in Weston and have two children.

The Board of Bar Overseers was established by the Supreme Judicial Court in 1974 as an independent administrative body to investigate and evaluate complaints against lawyers. The Board acts as an administrative tribunal to consider disciplinary charges brought by Bar Counsel. The activities of the board are governed by Supreme Judicial Court Rule 4:01 and the Rules of the Board of Bar Overseers. Although it is an official body subject to the supervision of the Supreme Judicial Court, no public funds are spent to support it. The board's revenues come solely from the annual registration fees paid by lawyers.

Board of Bar Overseers members:
Donna Jalbert Patalano, Chair
Vincent J. Pisegna, Vice Chair
Andrew Ferrara
Erin K. Higgins
Thomas A. Kenefick, III
Francis P. Keough
David B. Krieger, M.D.
John J. Morrissey
Regina Roman
David A. Rountree
Kevin P. Scanlon
Michael G. Tracy


Judicial Nominating Commission announces vacancies open for applications

The following vacancies are open for applications. Please follow these instructions for all judge, clerk-magistrate and recorder of the Land Court applications.

District Court Clerk Magistrate - Deadline: June 19

Laurie N. Dornig
Orange District Court
(January 11, 2017)

Maryann Pozzessere
Westborough District Court
(January 13, 2017)

Juvenile Court Clerk Magistrate - Deadline: June 19

Bristol County Juvenile Court
Ronald C. Arruda
(December 26, 2014)

Probate and Family Court - Deadline: June 26

Middlesex Division
The Honorable Jeffrey A. Abber
(March 29, 2017)