Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013
News from the courts
Hon. Paul LoConto appointed Chief Justice of the District Court; SJC seeks nominations for new chief justice of the trial court;Probate and Family Court announces release of a procedural advisory and updated trust forms
Hon. Paul LoConto appointed Chief
Justice of the District Court
Chief Justice of the Trial Court Robert A. Mulligan
has announced the appointment of Hon. Paul F. LoConto as interim
chief justice of the district court, in accordance with G.L.
c.211B, §7. LoConto will succeed Chief Justice Lynda M. Connolly,
who will retire on March 1, 2013. Mulligan, who will reach the
mandatory retirement age in July of this year, recently stated that
his successor will appoint the Chief Justice of the District Court
to the full five-year term.
LoConto has been a regional administrative judge of the district
court department since 1999. He also has served as first justice of
the Worcester District Court since 2004. Prior to that, he was
first justice of the Fitchburg District Court for five years and
first justice of the East Brookfield District Court for 10 years.
He also served as presiding justice of the Appellate Division of
the District Court in the western region from 1989 to 2011. He was
first appointed to the District Court Department in 1985.
Previously, he served as clerk magistrate of the East Brookfield
District Court for 10 years, following his career as an attorney in
In addition, LoConto recently served as chair of the Commission on
Judicial Conduct from 2010 to 2012, and as a member since 2006. He
also served on the Supreme Judicial Court's Committee on Judicial
Performance Evaluation and on the District Court's Committee on
Caseflow Management. Loconto has been an adjunct instructor at
several colleges and served in the Massachusetts National Guard
from 1969 to 1975. He received a B.S. from Boston College, a J.D.
from Suffolk University Law School, and an LL.M. from Boston
University Law School.
The District Court Department is comprised of 62 Divisions with
158 authorized judicial positions across the commonwealth. The
Massachusetts Trial Court includes seven court departments with 379
judges who deliver justice in 100 courthouses across the state.
SJC seeks nominations for new chief
justice of the trial court
The Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court have announced they
are soliciting nominations of trial court judges for the position
of chief justice of the trial court. Chief Justice Robert A.
Mulligan currently holds the position. He was appointed chief
justice of the trial court in 2012 pursuant to court management
legislation that replaced his former position of chief justice for
administration and management with the two new positions of chief
justice of the trial court and court administrator. Mulligan
reaches mandatory retirement in July 2013, creating a
As the trial court's judicial leader, the chief justice has a
critical role in the oversight of the delivery of justice in a 21st
Century environment of information technology advancements,
evolving case law, demographic changes and increased numbers of
self-represented litigants. Working with court administrator Harry
Spence, who was appointed last year by the Supreme Judicial Court,
the new chief justice of the trial court will develop policies and
programs to support and maintain the highest standards of judicial
excellence in the trial court. The chief justice of the trial court
reports to the chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court.
"This is a unique leadership opportunity for a superbly skilled
judge who can embrace innovative judicial management and various
high level responsibilities amid daily challenges," said SJC Chief
Justice Roderick L. Ireland. "The position will have strong appeal
to a judge with vision, creativity, and energy to enable further
improvements in court administration in collaboration with the
court administrator and other court leaders. It is clearly designed
for a talented individual who is not only an excellent communicator
with numerous constituencies, including the public we serve, but
one who wants to make valuable contributions in the administration
The chief justice will be appointed by the justices from among the
judges of the trial court for a five year renewable term. Judges
are encouraged to nominate themselves. Others may also nominate a
judge for consideration. All nominations and submissions must be
received by the Supreme Judicial Court by March 1, 2013.
Click here for more information.
Probate and Family Court announces
release of a procedural advisory and updated trust forms
Chief Justice Paula M. Carey of the Probate and Family Court has
announced the release of a procedural advisory on trust matters, as
well as new and revised trust forms. The procedural advisory
highlights procedural and form changes as a result of the adoption
of the Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code ("MUTC"). The MUTC was
enacted as part of Chapter 140 of the Acts of 2012. Chapter 140
amended various sections of G. L. c. 190B, the Massachusetts
Uniform Probate Code ("MUPC") and incorporated the MUTC as Chapter
203E of the General Laws.
The pocedural advisory and trust forms
were developed over the last several months by the MUPC Procedures
Committee and the MUPC Forms Committee. Both committees are
comprised of Probate and Family Court judges, court staff and
members of the bar. See the procedural advisory here.
The following new trust forms have
- MPC 275 -- Statement of Confirmation of a Testamentary
- MPC 351 -- General Trust Petition for Appointment of Guardian
- MPC 777 -- Decree and Order on General Trust Petition
Appointing Guardian ad Litem
- MPC 266 -- Petition for Resignation/Removal/Appointment of a
- MPC 782 -- Decree and Order on Petition for
Resignation/Removal/Appointment of a Successor Trustee
- MPC 267 -- Petition to Terminate a Trust
- MPC 783 -- Decree and Order to Terminate a Trust
The following trust forms have been
- MPC 201 -- General Trust Petition
- MPC 857 -- Petition for Allowance of Account
- MPC 791 -- Decree and Order of Allowance of Account
- MPC 295 -- Petition to Modify Bond
- MPC 776 -- Decree and Order to Modify Bond
The following trust forms have been
deleted and replaced by form MPC 275 -- Statement of Confirmation
of Testamentary Trustee:
- MPC 275 -- Petition for Appointment of Testamentary
- MPC 781 -- Decree and Order on Petition for Appointment of
trust forms can be located here.