Lawyers Journal

Lively receptions mark dedication of John Adams Courthouse

Dozens of attorneys and judges gathered with local, state and national dignitaries on Thursday, March 31 for the dedication of the recently renovated and restored John Adams Courthouse in Pemberton Square.

Two receptions highlighted the day's festivities. In the afternoon, the Supreme Judicial Court and the Appeals Court commemorated the occasion with a ceremony that included featured speaker David McCullough, author of John Adams and other historical works.

Later, the Massachusetts Bar Association hosted a reception for lawyers and judges featuring U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who remarked on the importance of court architecture and its role in shaping the court's relationship with the community.

"Isn't this a jewel?" Breyer said of the courthouse. "It's absolutely a treasure."

Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall thanked the MBA for hosting the reception, saying it enabled lawyers and judges who were unable to attend the day-time festivities to commemorate the courthouse dedication.

MBA President Kathleen M. O'Donnell remarked on the importance of naming the building in honor of John Adams for his leadership in shaping fundamental rights and his courage as an attorney when he agreed to defend two British soldiers. She also highlighted the appropriateness of having a majestic building for the court system.

"It was important that we restore this old building," O'Donnell said. "It is a welcome diversion from the glass and steel that casts a shadow from so many buildings in this city."

Throughout the day and evening, members of the legal community were able to tour the building.


Photos by David Gordon
SJC Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall introduces keynote speaker Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer during the MBA's reception.
Senator Ted Kennedy hails the judiciary during the afternoon event.
Breyer discusses the importance of architecture in conveying the significance of a courthouse in a community.
With dignitaries surrounding her, including Kennedy and Mayor Tom Menino, Marshall welcomes the legal community to the state's revitalized courthouse.
Breyer visits with MBA President Kathleen M. O'Donnell and Marshall.
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