The Massachusetts Bar Association and Massachusetts Lawyers
Weekly honored retired Supreme Judicial Court Associate
Justice Judith A. Cowin with the Daniel F. Toomey Judicial
Excellence Award and the State House News Service editorial team
with the Excellence in Legal Journalism Award at the annual
Excellence in the Law celebration at the Hynes Convention Center in
Boston June 2.
"She set the standard for judicial excellence and leaves a lasting
legacy that jurists throughout the commonwealth can look to for
inspiration," MBA President Denise Squillante said of Cowin, who
retired from the SJC in April following nearly 12 years of service
to the state's highest court. "Prior to her service on the state's
highest court, Justice Cowin sent eight years as an associate
justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court. There she served
alongside Judge Toomey, so she has a true sense of the man to whom
this award pays tribute."
Receiving an award named for her colleague and friend, Daniel
Toomey, makes the honor even more of a treasure, Cowin said. "Dan's
career and mine were parallel for 20 or more years," she
Cowin said she was grateful for and humbled by the honor. "It
really means a lot to me to have such prestigious organizations
bestow an award on me," she said.
Squillante praised State House News Service as "highly reputable."
The independent, privately owned wire service has enjoyed, like the
MBA, a rich 100-year history. SHNS began with one scribe
documenting House and Senate sessions, and has grown into a
"It is trusted by its subscribers as the primary source of
information on legislative issues," Squillante said of SHNS.
"The ideals of a good journalist are the same as a good jurist,"
SHNS General Manager Craig Sandler said. "It is really meaningful
to the team for you to recognize these ideals: fairness, truth,
thoughtfulness and a level head."
The evening also included the distribution of a wide variety of
honors, including Diversity Heroes, Up and Coming Lawyers and the