News from the Courts

Issue July 2014

Governor nominates Hines to the SJC
Gov. Deval L. Patrick has announced the nomination of Justice Geraldine S. Hines to serve as an associate justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC). Hines, a highly respected Appeals Court associate justice, is slated to fill the vacancy created by the upcoming retirement of Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland.

Hines was appointed by Gov. Patrick as an Appeals Court associate justice in 2013, after serving as a Superior Court associate justice since 2001. Prior to her appointment to the bench, Hines practiced law in Boston, concentrating on criminal defense, civil rights litigation and social justice advocacy. She has taught trial advocacy at Northeastern University School of Law as an adjunct faculty member for more than 20 years. In 1989, she and retired Boston Municipal Court Judge Margaret Burnham formed the first law firm in New England of women of color.

"We commend the governor on his historic appointment of Judge Hines, who, in addition to being the first African-American woman to sit on the Supreme Judicial Court, brings a stellar reputation as one of the intellectual giants in our judiciary," said Massachusetts Bar Association Chief Legal Counsel and Chief Operating Officer Martin W. Healy. "In selecting strong women judges for four of his five appointments to the SJC, Governor Patrick has left an indelible mark on our highest court, which more closely reflects the diversity of the citizens of the commonwealth."

Mastroianni, Sorokin and Talwani sworn in as U.S. District Court judges
Hon. Mark Mastroianni, Hon. Leo Sorokin and Hon. Indira Talwani recently took the oath of office to serve on the bench for the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Assistant Federal Public Defender Page Kelley has been selected to fill the magistrate judge position vacated by the elevation of Sorokin.

Mastroianni is a graduate of Western New England School of Law and American International College. He was the Hampden County District Attorney for three years prior to joining the bench.

Sorokin is a graduate of Columbia Law School and Yale College. He served as a U.S. magistrate judge from 2005 until his appointment as a district judge. Sorokin served as a law clerk to Judge Rya W. Zobel from 1991 to 1992.

Talwani is a graduate of Harvard-Radcliffe College and received her J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California. She was a partner in the Boston law firm of Segal Roitman LLP.

SJC invites comment on proposed amendments to Rule 45
The Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure invites comments on proposed amendments to Rule 45 of the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure. The proposed amendments can be found at

The committee recently reviewed Rule 45 governing subpoenas in light of changes to Rule 45 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, effective December 1, 2013, and the 2014 changes to Rule 45 of the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure resulting from the amendments concerning electronically stored information. The committee proposes that Rule 45 be further amended to provide for a documents-only subpoena that may be directed to a non-party, a practice that has existed under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure since 1991. The proposed amendment would eliminate the need to notice the deposition of a non-party keeper of records for the sole purpose of document production. Other proposed changes would bring Rule 45 up to date and make the rule consistent with current subpoena practice.

The committee solicits and welcomes comments from the bar prior to presenting its recommendation to the Rules Committee of the SJC. Comments should be directed to Christine Burak, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, One Pemberton Square, Boston 02108 on or before July 18, 2014. Comments will be made available to the public.