Superior Court set to mark milestone with educational events in 2009

Issue December/January 2008 By Tricia M. Oliver

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Superior Court, a statewide celebration is planned for 2009 that will focus on educational outreach to school children and adults to raise awareness of the judiciary and the court’s role in society.

On Dec. 10,  a press conference was held at the Fall River Superior Court to announce the number of events planned for Bristol County.

According to Chief Justice of the Superior Court Barbara J. Rouse, the court looks forward to Massachusetts citizens joining in celebrating the “150 years of the Superior Court applying the rule of law that has helped shape the history of the commonwealth.”

Joining Rouse to lead the well-attended press conference were Bristol County District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter; Superior Court Associate Justice Robert J. Kane; Superior Court Justice Frances A. McIntyre; and Bristol County Superior Court Clerk of Courts Marc J. Santos. In addition to area press, local attorneys, judges, students and other members of the community filled courtroom one on the second floor of the courthouse.

To carry out the celebratory plans, Bristol County has convened a committee made up of attorneys, judges, public officials, historians and other citizens. Kane chairs the committee and the MBA is represented by Treasurer Denise Squillante.
Kane explained that the committee’s efforts aim to bring about a better appreciation of the evolving, progressive history of the court. He mentioned that the community collaboration experienced since planning began in the summer illustrates the “deep public spirit that exists in Bristol County.”

Two events mentioned at the Dec. 10 press conference include a re-enactment of the Lizzie Borden trial and a symposium on the last public hanging in Bristol County, which occurred in 1894. More details on these and other anniversary events will be released by the court in January.

Established in 1859, the Massachusetts Superior Court has 82 authorized judges sitting in the 14 counties of the state.

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