Patrick nominates Ireland as SJC chief justice

Issue November 2010

On Nov. 4, Gov. Deval L. Patrick nominated Roderick L. Ireland, an associate justice on the Supreme Judicial Court since 1997, to become chief justice. If approved by the Governor's Council, he will be the SJC's first African-American chief justice.

SJC Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall announced her retirement in July.

Nominated to the SJC in 1997, Ireland is the only African-American to serve on the Court. He previously served on the Boston Juvenile Court and Massachusetts Appeals Court.

"Associate Justice Roderick Ireland's exemplary intellect, poise and commitment to the rule of law make him a remarkable nomination to succeed the Hon. Margaret Marshall as the leader of the state's judiciary," MBA President Denise Squillante said. "The bar, bench and most importantly, the citizens of the commonwealth, will be well served should Gov. Patrick's nomination be confirmed."

Ireland, 65, has served as presiding judge of the MBA's annual Mock Trial Championship and been a longtime advocate of the Worcester and Boston Judicial Youth Corps program. In 2008, he received the Great Friend of Justice Award from the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, the philanthropic partner of the MBA.

"In addition to his valued collaboration on access to justice initiatives, the Massachusetts Bar Association has long enjoyed Justice Ireland's partnership in its community programs aimed to educate youth and inspire the next
generation of legal professionals," Squillante said.