Superior Court greets new chief justice

Issue November 2004

The Hon. Barbara J. Rouse this month became the new chief justice of the Superior Court having been appointed to the position by Chief Justice for Administration and Management Robert A. Mulligan.

Rouse, whose five-year term began Nov. 1, replaces the Hon. Suzanne V. DelVecchio, who held the position since 1999.

Photo by Krista Zanin
The Hon. Barbara J. Rouse begins her term as chief justice of the Superior Court on Nov. 1.
"Judge Barbara Rouse has demonstrated that she has the vision, commitment to excellence, work ethic and intelligence to provide superb leadership for the Superior Court," Mulligan said. "I am confident that she will administer the Superior Court in an inclusive and collegial way and that she will be accessible to the bar and all stakeholders in our justice system." He added, "Her 19 years on the Superior Court have been marked by her unwavering commitment to the expeditious delivery of quality justice. I have asked her to address, as her first order of business, the 600 defendants who have been held in jail for more than one year awaiting trial in the Superior Court, 126 of whom have been held for more than two years."

Mulligan also commended DelVecchio's service as chief justice, particularly her implementation of the Business Litigation Session, which Rouse will continue to maintain and support.

Rouse has been an associate justice of the Superior Court since 1985. During her tenure, she has been a regional administrative justice in Suffolk County for Civil Business and has been instrumental in the development and implementation of civil time standards. She has chaired the Superior Courts' Committees on Time Standards and on Law Clerks and has served as a member of several committees, including Rules, Education and Judicial Enhancement.

Prior to her appointment to the bench, Rouse was a partner at Csaplar & Bok in Boston, where she started as an associate in 1978. She was an assistant attorney general for the commonwealth from 1975-78 and was assistant attorney general for Ohio from 1973-75.

In 2002, Rouse received a Judicial Excellence Award from the Massachusetts Judges' Conference. She also is a recipient of an Achievement Award from the Women's Bar Association. Since 1992, Rouse has taught a Trial Advocacy course for Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education and has been a member of the Board of Editors of the Boston Bar Journal for the past two years. She is a frequent speaker at numerous legal educational programs and bar associations and has published several legal articles and manuals.