Court and Community News

Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023
Trial Court Chief Justice Jeffrey A. Locke to retire; Lyons appointed chief justice of the Boston Municipal Court; CPCS seeks students for 2024 summer internships


Trial Court Chief Justice Jeffrey A.
Locke to retire

Massachusetts Trial Court Chief Justice Jeffrey A. Locke will retire from the court today, Thursday, Dec. 21, upon reaching the mandatory retirement age. The Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) justices appointed him chief justice of the Trial Court in January 2022. 

In November, the justices of the SJC appointed Hon. Heidi Brieger to succeed Locke as chief justice of the Trial Court, effective Dec. 22.

“Chief Justice Locke retires after a remarkable career in public service, including 22 years as a judge,” said SJC Chief Justice Kimberly S. Budd. “Since his appointment as Trial Court Chief Justice, he has played a critical role in helping the Trial Court get back to normal and reducing the trial backlog following the COVID-19 pandemic. We are enormously grateful for his leadership during the last two years.”

Locke was appointed to the Superior Court bench in 2001 by Gov. Jane Swift. He served as chair of the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission from 2018 to 2022. He was the regional administrative justice for criminal cases in Suffolk County from 2012 to 2015, and for all cases in Plymouth County from 2007 to 2011. He served on several court committees, including the SJC Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Superior Court Committee on Sentencing Best Practices, and the Trial Court Fiscal Task Force.

Prior to Locke’s appointment to the bench, he served as commissioner of the Department of Social Services from April 1999 to October 2001, initially in an interim capacity. He was district attorney in Norfolk County from 1997 to 1999, following eight years as an assistant U.S. attorney, where he was the deputy chief of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force from 1994 to 1997. Prior to that, he worked in the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, including three years as chief of the Public Protection Bureau.

Locke has taught Trial Practice at Boston College Law School since 2018, and previously taught at Northeastern School of Law. He received his law degree from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.


Lyons appointed chief justice of the
Boston Municipal Court

Trial Court Chief Justice Jeffrey A. Locke this week announced the appointment of Judge Tracy-Lee Lyons as chief justice of the Boston Municipal Court (BMC) for a five-year term effective Jan. 1, 2024, in accordance with G.L. c.211B, §5. She will succeed Chief Justice Roberto Ronquillo Jr., whose 10-year tenure as chief justice ends on Dec. 31. 

Lyons was appointed to the BMC by Gov. Mitt Romney in 2006. She has served as the BMC Central Division’s presiding judge for the Mental Health Court session since 2010, and its presiding justice for the Boston Outpatient Assisted Treatment Program. She has served on the BMC Education Committee since 2006 and has chaired that committee since 2014. Lyons has also been a member of several other court committees, including the Civil Rules Committee, the Domestic Violence Committee, and the Supreme Judicial Court Judiciary-Media Committee.

Prior to her appointment to the bench, Lyons served in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office from 1993 to 2003. She was chief of the Sexual Assault Unit there and previously served in the Child Abuse Unit. From 1990 to 1993, she worked as an assistant district attorney in the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office as lead prosecutor in the Stoughton District Court and was also a special prosecutor in the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office. She received her law degree from New England Law | Boston and a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University. 


CPCS seeks students for 2024 summer internships

The Committee for Public Counsel Services is currently seeking students for its 2024 summer internships, with openings in the following divisions:

Additional openings will soon be posted in the Mental Health Litigation and Racial Equity divisions.

Students are encouraged to apply to as many divisions as are of interest to them. Click on the links above for more information and to apply.