At Boston on April 5, 1994, the Supreme Judicial Court announced the retirement of Thomas B. Merritt as Reporter of Decisions of the Supreme Judicial Court and Appeals Court.

Present: Chief Justice Liacos and Justices Wilkins, Abrams, Nolan, Lynch, O'Connor, and Greaney.

On behalf of the Court, I announce that Mr. Thomas B. Merritt will retire as Reporter of Decisions of the Supreme Judicial Court and the Appeals Court as of April 6, 1994.

Mr. Merritt has rendered distinguished service to both the Supreme Judicial Court and the Appeals Court since July 2, 1973. He was appointed Reporter of Decisions on January 1, 1974. He has accurately compiled and recorded this Commonwealth's jurisprudence over a period that has spanned the terms of three Chief Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court and three Chief Justices of the Appeals Court. In his more than twenty years as Reporter, Mr. Merritt has published fifty-seven volumes of Massachusetts Reports and thirty-five volumes of Massachusetts Appeals Court Reports. Of the fifteen Reporters of Decisions since 1804, none has published more volumes of appellate reports and only two have served for a longer period of time. Mr. Merritt previously served this Court as a law clerk to Justice Arthur E. Whittemore during the 1966-1967 term.

Mr. Merritt's enduring innovations and improvements to the publication process include publication of headnotes on the day of a decision's release, institution of advance sheets with permanent pagination, establishment of the most timely set of advance sheets of any appellate court in the United States, and a substantial reduction in the time required for the publication of bound volumes. Mr. Merritt is a founder and charter member of the Association of Reporters of Judicial Decisions and served as President of the Association from 1983 to 1984.

Those who have had the good fortunate to work closely with Mr. Merritt have deeply appreciated the great breadth of his legal and technical knowledge, his meticulous attention to detail, and his unswervingly professional dedication to the work of the appellate courts. We wish him many years of health and happiness.

These remarks are to be published in the official reports of the Court.