Administered Oath February 1, 2001
Robert J. Cordy was appointed an Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on February 1, 2001. He was born in Manchester, Connecticut, on May 18, 1949. He received his A.B. degree cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1971, and his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1974. Justice Cordy began his legal career in 1974 as a criminal defense attorney working for the Massachusetts Public Defenders Office. From 1978 to 1979, he worked for the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, where he was a Deputy Commissioner and Special Assistant Attorney General responsible for overseeing the investigation and prosecution of tax crimes. From 1979 to 1982, he was Associate General Counsel in Charge of enforcement at the State Ethics Commission, a newly created independent State agency responsible for enforcing the Massachusetts anticorruption and financial disclosure laws. Justice Cordy served as a Federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney's Office in Massachusetts from 1982 to 1987. While in that Office, he became Chief of the Public Corruption Unit, overseeing the investigation and prosecution of crimes and corruption in City and State government. He was a partner in the law firm of Burns & Levinson in Boston from 1987 to 1991, specializing in white collar criminal defense and complex civil litigation. From 1991 to 1993, he served as Chief Legal Counsel to Massachusetts Governor William F. Weld, working on issues of criminal justice reform, ethics in government, and the appointment of judges. Just prior to his appointment to the Supreme Judicial Court in 2001, Justice Cordy was Managing Partner in the Boston office of the international law firm of McDermott, Will & Emery, which he joined in 1993. In addition to his other positions, he was a lecturer at Harvard Law School from 1987 to 1996, and since 2004 has been a member of the adjunct faculty of the New England Law School in Boston, where he teaches advanced criminal procedure. He is married and has four children.
Justice Cordy is the Chair of the Supreme Judicial Court Rules Committee, Co-Chair of the Court's Judiciary-Media Committee, and serves on the Committee overseeing Capital Planning for the Judicial system. He has worked with judges from Mexico, Russia, China, Kosovo, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and other countries on issues relating to Judicial Ethics, rule of law principles, and the American Judicial system. Since 2011, he has served as a member of the Standards Review Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. In 2013, he was invited to join the Judicial Advisory Board of the American Society of International Law, chaired by United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
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