New Leadership in Superior Court's Business Litigation Session
To Begin in January
Pilot Project To Streamline Discovery Extended
Leadership of the Superior Court's successful Business Litigation Session (BLS) will change January 1, 2011, Chief Justice Barbara J. Rouse announced today. The Business Litigation Session provides a statewide forum for resolution of commercial disputes.
Judge Judith Fabricant will be the new Administrative Justice of the BLS. She will replace Judge Margaret R. Hinkle, whose retirement from the bench becomes final after two years as BLS Administrative Justice. Judge Fabricant has served in the BLS2, a second session, for six months each year since 2007. Judge Fabricant and Judge Peter M. Lauriat will alternate six months each in the BLS1 session, beginning on January 1, 2011.
Chief Justice Rouse also announced that Judge Stephen E. Neel, who since 2008 has annually served for six months in BLS2, is retiring from the bench at the end of January 2011. Judge Janet R. Sanders and Judge Christine M. Roach will alternate six months each in BLS2.
"Although we will miss the work ethic and case-management skills of Judge Hinkle and Judge Neel, we look forward to the revamped judicial team continuing the quality of excellence that has been a hallmark of the BLS since its establishment 10 years ago," said Chief Justice Rouse.
Chief Justice Rouse also announced today that the BLS Pilot Project to streamline discovery, begun last January, will be extended for at least another calendar year. The voluntary Pilot Project is devoted to streamlining business disputes through procedures that reduce the burden and cost of litigation.
Initial reports from the bar about the BLS Pilot Project are favorable. Robert J. Kaler, a partner at the Boston office of McCarter and English, states: "The lion's share of the credit for the settlement" of a complex business case filed in the BLS earlier this year "goes to the Pilot Project, in which the Court worked with the parties to focus on and resolve some of the linchpin issues in the case early on, and then closely monitored the parties' progress in subsequent proceedings, remaining responsive to both parties' concerns as the case progressed."
Following her graduation from Yale Law School, Judge Fabricant served as law clerk for Judge Levin H. Campbell of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and then worked at the Boston Law firm of Hill & Barlow. She then served as Assistant Attorney General in the government bureau of the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office where she was chief of the government bureau, chief of the administrative law division, and managing attorney in the government bureau. Judge Fabricant was appointed a member of the Superior Court in 1996 and has served as the Regional Administrative Justice for Norfolk County.
Before Judge Lauriat's judicial appointment, he practiced commercial law in Boston for 17 years. Judge Lauriat is a former partner of the Boston law firms of Herrick & Smith and Peabody & Brown, now known as Nixon Peabody LLP. Judge Lauriat is an author, editor and contributor to several publications, including Massachusetts Expert Witnesses, the Massachusetts Jury Trial Benchbook - Second Edition, Jury Trial Innovations in Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Practice Series Volume 49; Discovery. After graduation from the University of Chicago Law School, Judge Lauriat clerked for Judge Frank J. Murray of the U.S. District Court.
Judge Sanders is the current Regional Administrative Justice for Norfolk County. She is also a former associate of the Boston law firm of Hill & Barlow. Following her graduation from Harvard Law School, Judge Sanders served as law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel.
Judge Roach, also a Harvard Law School graduate, was a founding partner of the law firm of Roach & Carpenter, P.C. and a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in Boston. She served as law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge David Nelson.