Court and Community News

Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021
Kelley sworn in as U.S. District judge for the District of Massachusetts; U.S. Bankruptcy Court to present annual pro bono awards; CM/ECF unavailable while U.S. Bankruptcy Court upgrades to NextGen; USDC issues order on Due Process Protections Act


Kelley sworn in as U.S. District judge for the District of Massachusetts

On Sept. 15, 2021, Hon. Angel Kelley was sworn in as a U.S. District judge for the District of Massachusetts. Kelley will sit in Boston.

Kelley is a graduate of Colgate University and received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and an L.L.M. from Temple University School of Law. Prior to joining the federal bench, Kelley was a Massachusetts state court judge for 12 years, starting in the District Court and then serving in the Superior Court. Before entering the judiciary, she served in the Boston office of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Major Crimes Unit. Kelley began her legal career in New York with the Legal Aid Society and then moved on to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, where she served as senior trial counsel and assistant chief of the New York Litigation Division of the Port Authority Law Department.

In addition to her extensive and diverse legal experience, she has taught locally, nationally and internationally. She was a clinical instructor at Harvard University Law School in the Legal Aid Bureau. She is a part of the adjunct faculty at Boston University School of Law and Suffolk University Law School. She has taught in programs at Emory University School of Law, Columbia University, New York University, the Port Authority police academy, the New York Civil Rights Coalition, the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and Lawyers Without Borders.

Commenting on Kelley's confirmation to the federal bench, Massachusetts Bar Association President Thomas M. Bond said: “Judge Kelley is an exceptional judge who will bring the same dedication to public service and commitments to equity and equal justice under the law that she has demonstrated throughout her distinguished career. We’re grateful for Judge Kelley’s unique perspective and leadership as a member of the MBA’s Lawyer Well-Being Committee, and wish her continued success as a member of the federal judiciary.”

In the words of Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey, “Judge Kelley has demonstrated a deep commitment to advancing equal justice under law and has been a leader in educating her colleagues on how they can bring about a more equitable legal system. We are proud to have recommended her nomination to President Biden, and are very pleased the Senate has voted to confirm her. We have no doubt that she will have a long and distinguished career on the federal bench.”

A formal investiture ceremony will be scheduled at a later date.


U.S. Bankruptcy Court to present
annual pro bono awards

On Wednesday, Oct. 27, at 4:30 p.m., the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts will hold its Eighth Annual Pro Bono Awards Ceremony. The court invites individuals to submit nominations for the District of Massachusetts Pro Bono Award or certifications for the Pro Bono Honor Roll by Sept. 30.

The Pro Bono Award recognizes an individual or entity that has made a substantial commitment to pro bono service worthy of public recognition throughout the district. A description of the award, criteria, and nomination requirements, along with the nomination form, is available here. After considering the nominations, if a recipient is selected, the court will honor the recipient at the ceremony.

The court will also acknowledge attorneys and law students who are eligible for the Pro Bono Honor Roll for providing pro bono services from Sept. 1, 2020, to Sept. 1, 2021. To be acknowledged, attorneys must certify that they have met the specific criteria established by the court’s Pro Bono Legal Services Advisory Committee. Law students who have met the criteria may submit a certification, along with the acknowledgement of the attorney supervisor. Participation is entirely voluntary. Certifications should be sent to by Sept. 30.

In addition to being acknowledged at the event, individuals will receive a certificate of acknowledgement and appreciation for their commitment to pro bono legal work and will be listed on the Pro Bono Honor Roll on the Bankruptcy Court’s website.


CM/ECF unavailable while U.S. Bankruptcy Court upgrades to NextGen

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts is reminding attorneys that the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing System (CM/ECF) will be unavailable beginning at noon on Thursday, Sept. 16, until approximately 8 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 20, in order to upgrade to the Next Generation of CM/ECF (NextGen).

While CM/ECF is unavailable, fax filings will not be accepted. Any filings that are required to be filed during such time period may be filed over-the-counter in each divisional office or by email at For any filings requiring the payment of a fee that are filed via email, the court will issue a notice of fees due.

Effective Monday, Sept. 20, to log in to CM/ECF accounts to file documents, attorneys and all other ECF account holders must log in to CM/ECF through a Central Sign-On (PACER). At that time, all ECF account holders will need to link their PACER account to their local ECF account. Updates on what to do on or after Sept. 20 can be found here.

Attorneys with questions should contact the court at 617-748-5300 (Boston), 508-770-8900 (Worcester) or 413-785-6900 (Springfield).


USDC issues order on Due Process Protections Act

The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts has issued General Order 21-12: Plan for Implementing the Due Process Protections Act, effective Aug. 14, 2021. 

Click here to read the order.