Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008
MBA Past President Mark D Mason interviewed for Springfield District Court
Mason served as MBA president during the 2006-07 association year
Courtesy of State House News Service
With Springfield District Court the busiest court in the state – 1,400 criminal complaints a month and an equal number of civil complaints – and Springfield itself being a “drug and gang hub,” judges there have to be patient and thick-skinned, a Springfield District Court judge said Wednesday. “It’s a balance of head and heart as a judge,” Associate Justice Nancy Dusek-Gomez told the Governor’s Council, which is vetting Gov. Deval Patrick’s nominee for a post at the court. “That’s why I took time off today to come here. Because Mark Mason has a combination of head and heart.”
Mason, a Springfield attorney, received similar praise from fellow lawyers, and the president of the Massachusetts Bar Association, Edward McIntyre, who said Mason was “destined for the bench” because of his preparedness and temperament. Dusek-Gomez added, “We desperately need judges in western Mass.”
A graduate of Columbia University and the Boston University School of Law, Mason is a violinist and has practiced at Cooley and Shrair since 1994. He has also worked as an adjunct professor at Cambridge College, a part-time legal textbook writer in Duxbury, and a junior advertising account executive in New York. He is a former president of the Massachusetts Bar Association and has been involved in gay and lesbian issues within the association, serving as chair of same-gender marriage task force in 2003.
“To serve as a justice is truly to embody justice itself,” he told the independently-elected Governor’s Council, pledging to “deliver justice with sound judgment.” He would also seek to increase judges’ participation in civics education in Springfield schools, he said.
Councilor Marilyn Devaney pressed Mason on “protection of society,” saying he didn’t fully answer a question on the topic in his judicial questionnaire. Mason said there is a delicate balance between needing to protect society and a criminal defendant’s rehabilitation needs. “Every case has to be determined on its own merits,” he said. There was no opposition to Mason’s nomination.