New Chair and Vice Chair for Commission on Judicial Conduct
BOSTON, MA (October 31, 2016) – The Massachusetts Commission on Judicial Conduct announced today that it has elected new officers. The new Chair is Attorney John J. Carroll, Jr., a partner at the law firm of Meehan, Boyle, Black and Bogdanow. The Commission’s new Vice Chair is Superior Court Judge Robert N. Tochka. Many thanks are extended to the outgoing Chair, Attorney Susan M. Finegan, whose six-year term with the Commission ends today.
Mr. Carroll was appointed to the Commission in 2012 and served as Vice Chair of the Commission from November of 2014 to October of 2016. He was elected Chair of the Commission in October of 2016. Mr. Carroll is a partner at Meehan, Boyle, Black and Bogdanow. He is a graduate of Boston College (1968) and Boston University Law School (1974). Between college and law school, Mr. Carroll served on active duty as a Naval officer. From 1976-1977, he worked for South Dakota Legal Services, providing legal assistance to the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Sioux Reservations. He has been a member of the Massachusetts Bar since 1974, and became a member of the South Dakota Bar in 1976, while living there. In the late 1970's, Mr. Carroll spent two more years in Legal Services (Merrimack Valley Legal Services) and then two years as an in-house counsel for an insurance company.
In 1980, he joined Parker, Coulter, Daley and White, an insurance defense firm. In 1985, he left to join the firm then known as Meehan, Boyle and Cohen. He has been there ever since. While practicing law and raising a family consumed much of his time, Mr. Carroll continued to be active in associations which provide legal representation to those most in need. Over the years, he has handled pro bono cases for the Boston Bar Association's Volunteer Lawyers Project and has volunteered for the Catholic Lawyer's Guild at the St. Francis House. He has been on the Board of Directors of Greater Boston Legal Services since 1996. He has been actively involved in the Massachusetts Bar Association since that time. Mr. Carroll has served on the Judicial Administrative Council (Chair, 1997-1998), Individual Rights and Responsibility Council (Chair, 1989-1999), and the Massachusetts Bar Association Superior Court Case Flow Management Task Force (Chair, 2001-2002).
In addition, Mr. Carroll has been involved in the Massachusetts Bar Association Bench Bar Committee (Chair, 2003) and the Massachusetts Bar Association House of Delegates from 2003-2008. From 2001-2007, Mr. Carroll served as a Hearings Officer at the Board of Bar Overseers and from 2002-2008 served on the Board of Governors of the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys. In 2008, Mr. Carroll received the Massachusetts Bar Foundation's President's Award. In 2010, he became the MBA’s representative on the Equal Justice Coalition and served as Chair of the EJC from 2013 to 2016. In 2016, Mr. Carroll was accepted into the Access to Justice Senior Fellows program, and as part of that program, writes articles to promote and increase the visibility of the various programs that comprise the EJC. Mr. Carroll has been named a "Super Lawyer" for several consecutive years by Boston Magazine and is a member of the Pine Street Inn "President's Circle." In 2016, Mr. Carroll was inducted into the Arlington Catholic High School Hall of Fame.
The Honorable Robert N. Tochka was appointed to the Commission in 2014. He was elected Vice Chair of the Commission in October of 2016. Judge Tochka was appointed an Associate Justice of the District Court Department in 2002. He served in that capacity until 2004, when he was appointed as an Associate Justice of the Boston Municipal Court Department. In 2014, Judge Tochka was appointed to his current position as an Associate Justice of the Superior Court Department.
Judge Tochka worked as an Assistant District Attorney for the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office from 1984 to 2002. During his service with the Suffolk County District Attorney, Judge Tochka worked in the Appellate Division, the District Court, and the Superior Court. In 1996, he was appointed the Chief of the Anti-Gang Task Force for the Suffolk County District Attorney and served in that capacity until his appointment to the bench in 2002. In 2013, Judge Tochka received the Judicial Excellence Award from the Massachusetts Judges Conference. Judge Tochka is a graduate of Boston College and St. Louis University Law School.
The Commission on Judicial Conduct is established and governed by Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 211C. In accord with the mandate of that statute, the Commission’s mission is to enforce standards of judicial conduct for Massachusetts state judges in a manner that, while respecting judicial independence, promotes public confidence in the judiciary and preserves the integrity of the judicial process. The Commission serves as the forum for complaints alleging misconduct by judges both on and off the bench, and for allegations of mental or physical disability affecting a judge’s performance. The Commission is made up of three judges appointed by the Supreme Judicial Court, three attorneys appointed by the Chief Justice of the Trial Court, and three lay people appointed by the Governor. Members serve non-renewable terms of six years.
Please visit the Commission’s website for more information: www.mass.gov/cjc.