Hillman to receive Chief Justice Edward F. Hennessey Award at 2019 MBA Annual Dinner

Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019
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Hon. Timothy S. Hillman, U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Bar Association will honor Timothy S. Hillman, U.S. District Court judge for the District of Massachusetts, with the MBA Chief Justice Edward F. Hennessey Award at the 2019 MBA Annual Dinner on May 9. The Hennessey Award is presented to a federal or state court judge within Massachusetts who has upheld the highest traditions for public service, while demonstrating extraordinary leadership and dedication to improving the administration of justice.
A longtime veteran of the Massachusetts judiciary, Hillman has served as a U.S. District Court judge since 2013. He was nominated by President Barack Obama in 2012 and was confirmed by a Senate vote of 88-1. Before succeeding Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV as district judge for the U.S. District Court’s Worcester Division, Hillman had spent the previous 23 years on the state court bench and as a U.S. magistrate judge. Throughout his storied tenure in the judicial branch, he has been noted for his innate sense of fairness, continued willingness to learn, and courteous treatment of litigants and attorneys alike.
“Judge Hillman is a giant in our profession and a most deserving recipient of the MBA Chief Justice Edward F. Hennessey Award,” said MBA Chief Operating Officer and Chief Legal Counsel Martin W. Healy. “His constant display of compassion and his unwavering commitment to justice have endeared him to legal professionals and citizens at all corners of the commonwealth, and the MBA is proud to recognize his decades of distinguished service.”
Since 2016, Hillman has served on the MBA's Leadership Academy Steering Committee, acting as a program mentor and panelist, and even hosting a yearly session on public service. He is also an appointed member of the MBA's Law Review Board of Editors, which produces the longest continually published law review in the nation.
One of the many hallmarks of Hillman’s time on the bench has been his genuine interest in ensuring a positive return to society for offenders who have completed their sentences. He has helped institute several model programs hailed for their cost-effectiveness and their success in reducing recidivism and promoting public safety.
In 2006, Hillman partnered with the United States Probation Office to establish RESTART (Reentry Empowering Successful Todays and Responsible Tomorrows), a voluntary service that provides additional support and supervision for potential repeat offenders. To incentivize participation in the reentry program, RESTART offers graduates the promise of a one-year reduction in the length of their supervised release.
While a member of the state court system from 1991 to 2006, Hillman served as presiding justice of the Gardner and Worcester district courts, and then as an appointed justice on the Massachusetts Superior Court. By virtue of his ensuing six-year stint as a U.S. magistrate judge, Hillman had presided over almost 1,500 cases upon being seated on the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
Hillman began his legal career in 1975 as an assistant district attorney for the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office. After entering private practice, he simultaneously held the role of city solicitor in Fitchburg and Gardner, as well as town counsel for the communities of Lunenburg, Athol and Petersham.
Hillman has also taught courses on law and psychiatry at the Massachusetts School of Law, and on trial advocacy at Clark University.
In addition to Hillman's award, the Annual Dinner will include a keynote address by nationally renowned trial attorney, professor and DNA-evidence pioneer Barry C. Scheck; the presentation of a scholarship to a third-year law student; the presentation of the 2019 Access to Justice Awards; and more.

Consider attending this annual event as a sponsor. Click here for a sponsorship form. Opportunities include:

  • Champions of Justice ($10,000)
    Up to two tables for 10, full page ad in dinner program, firm name/logo projected at the dinner and featured on MBA website, additional prominent recognition at the dinner
  • Platinum Sponsor ($5,000)
    Table for 10, full page ad in dinner program, firm name/logo projected at the dinner and featured on MBA website
  • Gold Sponsor ($3,500)
    Table for 10, 1/2 page ad in dinner program, firm name/logo projected at the dinner and featured on MBA website
  • Silver Sponsor ($2,500)
    Table for 10, 1/4 page ad in dinner program, firm name/logo projected at the dinner
Visit or call (617) 338-0543 for additional information.

The MBA thanks its 2019 Annual Dinner sponsors, including: