News from the Courts

Issue January 2013

Chief Justice Connolly to retire from bench in March

Chief Justice Lynda M. Connolly of the District Court Department has announced she will be retiring from the judiciary next March. She has accepted an appointment at Simmons College, where she will be overseeing the pre-law advising program.

"It has been my privilege and pleasure every day of the last 15 years to serve as a Justice of the District Court and every day of the last eight-and-a-half years to serve as chief justice," Connolly said. "One of my passions is higher education, and I look forward to joining in Simmons's mission, particularly its important work educating young women for professional careers."

Connolly has enjoyed a distinguished career in the judiciary. She was appointed as an associate justice of the Marlborough District Court in 1997 by Gov. William F. Weld. She subsequently served as acting first justice of the Charlestown District Court, now a division of the Boston Municipal Court. In 2003, she was appointed as the first justice of the Dedham District Court. A year later, Chief Justice Robert A. Mulligan appointed her as the chief justice of the District Court Department and reappointed her in 2009 for a second five-year term, which expires in 2014. Throughout her tenure, she has served on many court committees, including as chair of the Trial Court's Budget Advisory Committee, co-chair of the Trial Court Fiscal Task Force and the Trial Court Relocation Committee and recently as a member of the Supreme Judicial Court Search Committee for the Court Administrator. In 2008, the Massachusetts Bar Association and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly awarded Connolly The Daniel F. Toomey Excellence in the Judiciary Award.

"Chief Justice Connolly has done a superb job leading the Trial Court's largest department," Mulligan said. "She is highly respected as a judge and has led the District Court with competence, steadiness and vision. I know that I speak for the departmental chiefs and all who work in the District Court and the entire Trial Court in saying that we will miss her greatly and wish her the very best in her next endeavor."

In addition to her judicial duties, Connolly has served as an adjunct professor since 1981 at numerous universities, including New England School of Law, Suffolk University Law School, Boston College, Bentley College and as a guest lecturer at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Connolly is a graduate of Boston College Law School and the College of William and Mary.

Associate Court Administrator appointed

Court Administrator Harry Spence appointed Christopher Fox to serve as his Associate Court Administrator. Fox began his position on Monday, Nov. 19 and will focus on process improvement, the use of data to enhance court operations and other key court improvement initiatives. The department directors in the Office of Court Management will continue to report to Harry Spence.

Notice of proposed amendments to local rules

Notice of Proposed Amendments to Local Rule 22.1(e) and Rule 27.0(c)
The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit hereby provides notice that it proposes the minor amendments to Local Rule 22.1(e) and Rule 27.0(c) necessitated by past rule changes. The second sentence of Local Rule 22.1(e) is corrected to cross-reference Local Rule 22.1(a), rather than former Local Rule 22.2(a). The requirement in Local Rule 27.0(c) that motions for summary disposition be accompanied by "four copies of a memorandum or brief" is stricken. Fed. R. App. P. 27(a)(2)(C) currently requires that legal arguments be made in the body of a motion, rather than in a separate brief or memorandum, and, with the advent of electronic case filing, this court no longer requires paper copies of motions.

Notice of Proposed Amendments to Local Rule 33.0(a) and (f)
The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit hereby provides notice thatit proposes amendments to subsections (a) and (f) of the Civil Appeals Management Plan, incorporated into the First Circuit local rules as Local Rule 33.0(a) and (f). Additions are noted in italic print; deletions are noted in strikeout print.

The changes are being proposed to bring the local rule into conformity with current practice. Currently, settlement counsel sends notice to litigants about CAMP rather than the Clerk of the Court of Appeals. Further, Social Security appeals and petitions for review from orders of the Board of Immigration Appeals are not currently included as part of the program.

The proposed amendment would not preclude a judge or panel from referring such a case to settlement counsel.

The Court of Appeals invites public comment on both sets of proposed amendments. Comments should be received by Jan. 11, 2013 and addressed to:

Office of the Clerk
U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
United States Courthouse
1 Courthouse Way, Suite 2500
Boston, MA 02210

Other Articles in this Issue: