Judge Michael F. Edgerton Named Chief Justice
of the Juvenile Court by
Chief Justice for Administration & Management Robert A. Mulligan
Chief Justice for Administration & Management Robert A. Mulligan today announced the appointment of Judge Michael F. Edgerton as the new Chief Justice of the Juvenile Court for a five-year term, in accordance with G.L. c211B, §5. Judge Edgerton succeeds Chief Justice Martha P. Grace, who will retire on February 28, 2009, after 22 years of exemplary service to the Trial Court. Chief Justice Grace served with distinction as Chief Justice of the Juvenile Court since 1998.
Chief Justice Mulligan said, “I am very pleased to announce the selection of Judge Michael Edgerton to succeed Chief Justice Martha Grace as the next Chief Justice of the Juvenile Court Department. Judge Edgerton brings keen intellect and superior administrative and leadership skills that render him very well qualified to lead the Juvenile Court. Judge Edgerton is highly respected for his exceptional combination of legal acumen, professionalism and compassion.”
“His management skills and problem solving ability will be critical as the state’s fiscal crisis challenges the ability of the courts to accomplish core functions. He also will contribute significantly to the management improvement and access to justice efforts underway in the Massachusetts Trial Court through his commitment to justice for young people and families across the state.”
Chief Justice Mulligan said that he was presented with excellent candidates for the position of Chief Justice. He also commended Chief Justice Grace as an energetic and effective leader who brought tremendous insight and sensitivity to the challenging issues faced by the Juvenile Court. He said that the Trial Court Chief Justices would miss her warmth and wise counsel.
Judge Edgerton has been a Juvenile Court judge since his appointment to the bench in 1996. He currently sits in Essex County and serves as a member of the Supreme Judicial Court Advisory Committees on the Rules of Criminal Procedure and on Ethical Opinions for Clerks of Courts. He was also a member of the Supreme Judicial Court Advisory Committee on Massachusetts Evidence Law. He is a member of the Juvenile Court Rules Committee and Education Committee. He initiated and annually chairs the Law Day celebration in the Lynn Juvenile Court which is attended by a wide range of state and community leaders.
Judge Edgerton said, “I am humbled by this appointment given the many talented judges that serve in the Juvenile Court. I appreciate the confidence that Chief Justice Mulligan has shown in my abilities and I look forward to building on the many accomplishments of Chief Justice Grace and addressing the many challenges that are facing the Juvenile Court.”
A resident of Danvers where he lives with his wife Ann, Judge Edgerton graduated from Suffolk University Law School with a J.D. and a Masters of Law. He served as the General Counsel to the Trial Court from 1982 until his appointment to the bench in 1996. He serves on the adjunct faculty of the Massachusetts School of Law where he teaches Trial Advocacy. He is the recipient of the Massachusetts Judges Conference Juvenile Court Judicial Excellence Award in 2007.
The Juvenile Court Department is comprised of 11 Divisions with 40 judges across the Commonwealth. The Massachusetts Trial Court includes seven court departments with 378 judges who deliver justice daily in 106 courthouses across the state.