Administered Oath February 1, 2011
Fernande R.V. Duffly, Associate Justice, was born in Indonesia on December 10, 1949. She received her B.A. from the University of Connecticut in 1973, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1978. Justice Duffly began her legal career in 1978 as an attorney in the litigation department of the Boston law firm then known as Warner and Stackpole.
Justice Duffly served on the Probate and Family Court from 1992-2000; the Massachusetts Appeals Court from 2000 to 2011; and was appointed as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court on February 1, 2011, by Governor Deval Patrick.
As an attorney, she provided pro bono legal services to indigent clients through the Volunteer Lawyers Project. She has served on the Boston Bar Association's committees on pro se litigation and attorney volunteerism; the Probate and Family Court's committee on pro se access to the courts; the ABA subcommittee on representation of children; and the Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Committee on substance abuse.
She is a member and past President of the National Association of Women Judges. A member of the American Bar Association, she is NAWJ's delegate to the House of Delegates and has been appointed as a Commissioner serving on the ABA's Commission on the Status of Women in the Profession.
Justice Duffly has written articles and taught seminars on various topics, including appellate decision-making, family law, trusts, parental rights. A frequent speaker, she often speaks on topics related to ensuring access to justice and increasing diversity in the courts. Justice Duffly has received the Distinguished Service Award from the Probate Judge's Association; the Distinguished Jurist Award from the Massachusetts Association of Women Lawyers; and the Trailblazer Award from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. She has also been recognized as a Diversity Hero by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and was named a 2008 Woman of Justice, an award co-sponsored by Lawyers Weekly, the Women's Bar Association and Massachusetts Association of Women Lawyers. In 2011, the ABA Business Law Section through its subcommittee Women Business Advocates presented Justice Duffly with its annual award honoring a Women Judge who has contributed to the advancement of Women in the legal profession.