For Immediate Release - May 08, 2014

Hon. Amy L. Nechtem Appointed Chief Justice of the Juvenile Court by Trial Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey

BOSTON, MA -- Trial Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey today announced the appointment of Judge Amy L. Nechtem as Chief Justice of the Juvenile Court for a five-year term commencing July 31, 2014, in accordance with G.L. c.211B, §5.  

Judge Nechtem has served on the Juvenile Court since 2001, and in 2012 was selected President of the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ).  She will succeed Chief Justice Michael F. Edgerton whose term ends on July 30, when he reaches mandatory retirement.

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Judge Amy Nechtem to lead the Juvenile Court in promoting positive outcomes for children and families,” said Chief Justice Carey.  “Her judicial and leadership experience will advance juvenile justice and child welfare using the latest research, data analysis and evidence-based practices over the next five years.  Judge Nechtem is committed to addressing challenges facing our youth by promoting inter-agency collaboration, Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) and the expansion of specialty court sessions.  Her hard work and integrity will inspire her colleagues and ensure a climate of mutual respect and shared commitment to best practices.”

Judge Nechtem serves in the Essex County Juvenile Court and has served in a variety of leadership roles to develop educational and community outreach programs.  She is a member of the Trial Court’s Standing Committee on Alternate Dispute Resolution, Mentoring Program and Videoconferencing Committee. She was recently awarded an innovative grant for Essex County to provide alternate dispute resolutions and education to youth and families involved in harassment cases. She received the 2011 Massachusetts Judges Conference Judicial Excellence Award for the Juvenile Court Department.

As president of the 1,200-member National Association of Women Judges, she led the development and implementation of a strategic plan, presented three national conferences and oversaw 30 specialized committees working to advance fair and equal access to justice and national juvenile justice and child welfare initiatives.

Judge Nechtem said, “I am honored and privileged to have the opportunity to serve as the Chief Justice of the Juvenile Court and to work with our extraordinarily talented judges and staff who are devoted to promoting the best interests of our children and families involved in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. I am fortunate to be guided by a tradition of excellence as exhibited in the leadership of Chief Justice Michael F. Edgerton and Chief Justice Martha P. Grace.  I truly appreciate Chief Justice Paula Carey’s confidence in me and thank her for her outstanding leadership of our Trial Court.” Judge Nechtem served as a Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney for many years prosecuting child abuse and major felony cases. She is a graduate of Simmons College and Suffolk University Law School. A Chelsea native, she now resides with her family in Swampscott.  

The Juvenile Court Department is comprised of 11 Divisions with 41 authorized judicial positions across the Commonwealth.  The Massachusetts Trial Court includes seven court departments with 379 judges who deliver justice in 101 courthouses across the state.