of Appointment of Robert A. Mulligan as
Chief Justice for Administration and Management
am delighted, on behalf of the Justices, to announce the appointment
of Robert A. Mulligan as the next Chief Justice for Administration
and Management of the Trial Court, pursuant to G. L. 211B, §6. This
appointment is effective on October 1, 2003, when Chief Justice
Barbara A. Dortch-Okara completes her five-year term and resumes
her judicial duties as a Justice of the Superior Court. I am particularly
pleased to welcome Tina Mulligan, his wife, their son, Mark, --
who luckily appears to have a "field day" today-- former Chief Justice
Wilkins, and the many others who were able on very short notice
to join us for this happy, important event.
The Justices are enormously pleased that Chief Justice Mulligan
has agreed to assume the challenging position of Chief Justice for
Administration and Management during this pivotal era of management
reform in the judicial system of the Commonwealth. The Visiting
Committee on Management in the Courts, under the leadership of J.
Donald Monan, S.J., Chancellor of Boston College, released its comprehensive
report three months ago. Since that time, the Justices have solicited
reactions from people within and outside the courts. We have received
many thoughtful comments from our judges and staff, as well as from
members of the bar, representatives of the business community, leaders
of the legislative and executive branches, and numerous other groups
and individuals, who agree with us that court management reform
must be our highest priority in the coming years. We all look forward
to creating a system characterized by clear lines of authority.
We look forward to a day when funds and other resources are allocated
fairly among courts. We look forward to developing a management
culture of excellence that translates into clear accountability,
high performance, and comprehensive job standards in every court.
Mulligan, a proven leader who commands the great respect of all
with whom he has worked over the past two decades, is committed
to this mission. We look forward to working with him as he sets
forth -- in cooperation with all who work within our courts and
support our shared mission -- to make that vision a reality.
are we so pleased to make this appointment? We know that Robert
Mulligan has the energy, the talent, the vision, and, yes, even
the doggedness, to undertake the management changes to which the
Justices are committed. During his 20 years of service as a Justice
of the Superior Court, including five years as Chief Justice of
the Superior Court, Judge Mulligan has demonstrated impressive abilities
not only as a jurist but also as an innovative court manager. In
large ways and small, while he was Chief Justice of the Superior
Court, he challenged everyone to work at the highest level. He has
a profound understanding of the workings of the judicial branch,
not only from the point of view of judges but also from that of
the many other hardworking men and women who make our courts work
as well as they do in what are often difficult circumstances. He
is deeply respectful of the contributions of everyone who participates
in the work of the judiciary. While he was Chief Justice, he brought
about significant management changes, including the implementation
of time standards for civil cases in the Superior Court. This mammoth
undertaking ensures that justice is delivered in a timely, efficient
manner by setting strict deadlines for the litigation process. He
instituted mandatory racial and ethnic equality training for all
Superior Court judges and employees. He chaired the Massachusetts
Sentencing Commission, which developed widely used guidelines for
sentencing in criminal cases in the Superior, District, and Boston
Municipal Courts. In 2002, he received the Boston Bar Assn's Haskell
Cohn Award for Distinguished Judicial Service.
his bones, Judge Mulligan is committed to an independent judiciary
and the obligation of our branch to serve the people of this Commonwealth.
The rule of law is at the core of our successful constitutional
democracy. Judge Mulligan appreciates the role of an independent
judiciary and the importance of working with the Legislative and
Executive branches to improve the delivery of justice to the Commonwealth's
citizens. He is committed, as are the Justices, to creating a court
system that performs to high standards of civility, timeliness,
cost-efficiency, while continuing to deliver the substantive justice
that has made our judiciary a national model for so long.
will ask Judge Mulligan to say a few words next. But before I do
so, the Justices have asked me to emphasize how much we appreciate
the innumerable contributions made by Chief Justice Dortch-Okara
in a most demanding job during the past five years. Chief Justice
Dortch-Okara has worked unceasingly to lead the Trial Court during
difficult years of diminished resources and enormous fiscal challenges.
She has worked diligently with judges, court personnel, legislators,
and community representatives in an effort to address numerous administrative
issues and to provide better access to justice for all who come
to our courts. Chief Justice Dortch-Okara, a superb judge, deserves
our utmost gratitude and respect for her distinguished service in
the administration of justice."
of Hon. Robert A. Mulligan
want to express my appreciation to Chief Justice Marshall and the
Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court for their expression of confidence
in appointing me to this vitally important position in the Massachusetts
embark on this endeavor with profound respect and appreciation for
all those who work in the seven Departments of the Trial Court and
in the Administrative Office. I know, for I have seen it in my nearly
twenty-three years as a judge, that those who work in our courthouses
serve the public with professionalism, patience, and courtesy.
our endeavor to improve the delivery of justice we have the benefit
of a remarkable document prepared by the Visiting Committee chaired
by Father J. Donald Monan.
say the document is remarkable because it is both a clarion call
to action and a blueprint for improving the delivery of justice.
not all members of the Trial Court may agree with every detail of
this document, no one can question its fundamental findings.
Monan Committee found that court problems today are not due to a
lack of dedicated, talented employees. Nor did the committee find
problems with the quality of justice in the courts.
the committee found that dedicated court employees are constrained
from delivering the highest quality of service by an inefficient
management structure. My main goal is to serve my fellow court employees
by improving administrative structures and processes so that they
are able to deliver high quality justice in a more efficient manner.
want to ensure that justice is consistent and fair for all citizens
in all areas of the Commonwealth. I look forward to reviewing the
recommendations of the Committee on Racial and Ethnic Fairness,
which was established by Chief Justice Dortch-Okara, to help in
achieving this goal.
appreciate the many excellent employees of the Trial Court and I
will always remember that I came from the trenches. My role and
the role of the Administrative Office of the Trial Court is to help
and support those who work on the front lines as they serve the
public and all who come to our courthouses seeking justice.
I was Chief Justice of the Superior Court, I believe that I was
successful in creating an attitude of solidarity among the judges
and all who work for that court. I hope to create that same sense
of solidarity among all the employees of the Trial Court so that
we might work shoulder to shoulder to improve the delivery of justice
in all the courthouses of the Commonwealth.
We must not be dissuaded or deterred in our task by a lack of resources.
We will move forward, confident in our ability to effect real changes
in the management of our caseload. Indeed, the present fiscal constraints
provide an opportunity to address the issues more creatively, informed
by best practices from other sectors.
know that there is a reservoir of talent in our system, people who
are eager to begin this work. In order to succeed, to meet the challenge
of our noble calling, we must work together and learn from each
other. There is much that I can learn from all who work for the
Trial Court, most especially perhaps from those who deal with members
of the public each day at the counters of our courthouses throughout
pledge to work with Chief Justice Marshall and the justices of the
Supreme Judicial Court, the leadership and members of the legislature
and those who work in the executive branch.
reiterate, I have the greatest respect and admiration for those
who work in our system of justice and I look forward with enthusiasm
to work together with them.
thank you all for being here today and lending your support to me
as I begin this crucial endeavor.