Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010
From left to right: Daniel P. Sullivan, Esq., general counsel/director, Administrative Office of the Trial Court; Fall River Mayor William A. Flanagan; Chief Justice for Administration and Management Robert A. Mulligan; MBA President Denise Squillante and Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court Phillip Rapoza.
News from the courts: Fall River celebrates “magnificent structure”
The ceremonial opening of the new Fall River Justice Center took
place Sept. 30 and was well attended by state officials and
dignitaries from the Fall River area. Community members, judges,
attorneys, court staff and others from Bristol County and beyond
took part in the afternoon celebration.
"Fall River has a rich history of culture and Congress," said
Chief Justice for Administration and Management Robert A. Mulligan,
who served as the master of ceremonies and described the new
justice center as a "magnificent structure."
The program's featured speakers included Gov. Deval Patrick,
Supreme Judicial Court Associate Justice Robert J. Cordy, Sen. Joan
M. Menard, Rep. Patricia Haddad, MBA President Denise Squillante,
Fall River Mayor William A. Flanagan, Bristol County Superior Court
Clerk Magistrate Marc J. Santos and commissioner of the state's
Division of Capital Asset Management, David Perini.
Patrick thanked Perini for his "marvelous job of leading
quietly" the planning and construction project. He stressed the
courthouse's role in rebuilding a sense of community, describing
the special event as an opportunity not "just to celebrate an
extraordinary building," but to appreciate the "spirit of what it
After breaking ground in October 2007, the Fall River Justice
Center opened its doors three months ago. The new structure is
situated in the heart of downtown Fall River, overlooking historic
Battleship Cove. "Today we reinforce the Massachusetts Trial
Court's commitment to its urban centers," said Mulligan.
Cordy spoke of the new structure as belonging to the people. He
also emphasized the importance of preserving and maintaining the
new building now that it has been erected - an obligation that
"falls on us as guardians of justice."
The Bristol County Superior Court and the Fall River District
Court began operations in the new five-story building in July. The
spacious new courthouse features nine courtrooms, modern
information technology and digital recording capability,
handicapped accessibility, and secure detention areas, a jury pool
and the District Attorney's Office. The courthouse also houses a
The Justice Center is the first courthouse constructed by the
commonwealth to incorporate LEED (Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design) certification standards into all phases of
the project - site development, design, material utilization,
practices and equipment.
"Now that the dust is settled and offices are occupied, it is
only fitting that we celebrate its opening," said Menard, who
represents the First Bristol and Plymouth District and lives in
Squillante, a Fall River native, spoke reminiscently of the area
in which the courthouse was constructed. "As a child, I walked
along South Main Street, as many of you did, to the shops, the
library down the street and to get lime rickey sodas," she
"This court will play a vital role to the rejuvenation of this
center of the community," added Squillante, whose practice is a
less than a five-minute drive from the new courthouse.
The formal speaking program was preceded by the posting of the
colors by the Trial Court Honor Guard, the Pledge of Allegiance and
an invocation by Bishop George W. Coleman of the Diocese of Fall
River. The ceremony came to a close with a benediction offered by
Cantor Richard Wolberg of Temple Beth El and a rendition of "God
Bless America" by vocalist Tony Funches.