For Immediate Release - June 14, 2017

Governor Baker Nominates Attorneys Randle, Goodwin to Courts in Western Massachusetts

BOSTON—Today, Governor Charlie Baker nominated Ellen M. Randle of East Longmeadow to serve as an Associate Justice of the Probate and Family Court, Hampden County Division, and Karen L. Goodwin of Amherst to serve as an Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court. Randle has 32 years of legal experience and concentrates her practice in family law, probate disputes, and civil litigation; Goodwin's 31 years at the bar have focused on trial work in both the private and public sectors.

“Attorney Randle and Assistant U.S. Attorney Goodwin have, over the last three decades and throughout their impressive careers, demonstrated a strong commitment to serving Massachusetts’ families and their communities,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “I am confident Attorney Randle’s and Assistant U.S. Attorney Goodwin's experience will serve their respective courts well.”

“I am pleased with the nominations of two well-respected and skilled women attorneys from Western Massachusetts,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “If confirmed by the Governor’s Council, their respective courts and communities will benefit greatly from Attorney Randle’s and Assistant U.S. Attorney Goodwin's judgment and wisdom.”

The Probate and Family Court Department has jurisdiction over family-related and probate matters such as divorce, paternity, child support, custody, parenting time, adoption, termination of parental rights, abuse prevention and wills, estates, trusts, guardianships, conservatorships, and changes of name.

For more information on the Probate & Family Court, visit:

The Superior Court is a statewide court of general jurisdiction - handling both criminal and civil actions.  The court’s 82 justices sit in 20 courthouses in all 14 counties of the Commonwealth.  The Superior Court has original jurisdiction in civil actions over $25,000, and in matters where equitable relief is sought.  It also has original jurisdiction in actions including labor disputes where injunctive relief is sought, has exclusive authority to convene medical malpractice tribunals, has appellate jurisdiction over certain administrative proceedings, and may hold sittings for naturalization in any city or town.  The court has exclusive original jurisdiction of first degree murder cases and original jurisdiction of all other crimes.

For more information about the Massachusetts Superior Court, visit

Judicial nominations are subject to the advice and consent of the Governor’s Council. Applicants for judicial openings are reviewed by the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) and recommended to the governor. Governor Baker established the JNC in February, 2015 pursuant to Executive Order 558, a non-partisan, non-political Commission composed of volunteers from a cross-section of the Commonwealth's diverse population to screen judicial applications. Twenty-one members were later appointed to the JNC in April, 2015.

About Ellen M. Randle

Ellen Randle currently serves as a partner at Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas, LLP. Randle began working for the firm in 1984 as an associate before becoming a partner in 1991, focused on handling divorces, adoptions, and other proceedings in the Probate & Family Court. Additionally, she has worked on appellate matters and served as an appointed Discovery Master in several cases. Attorney Randle started her career in 1983 as a Law Clerk to Chief Judge Andrew A. Caffrey of the United States District Court, District of Massachusetts, in Boston. Randle graduated cum laude from Boston College Law School in 1983 and magna cum laude from Tufts University in 1980, studying political science and history. She currently lives with her family in East Longmeadow.

About Karen L. Goodwin

Karen Goodwin has served as an Assistant United States Attorney at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Springfield since 1991, handling both civil and criminal litigation.  She started her legal career in 1984 as a litigation associate at Day, Berry and Howard in Hartford, CT, after working for six years as a newspaper reporter in Arkansas and Connecticut. She is active in the Springfield Schools Volunteers program, providing academic support to public school students.  Goodwin graduated magna cum laude from the University Of Connecticut School Of Law in 1984 and from Oberlin College in 1976, earning a Bachelor of Arts in English and history. She has lived in Springfield and Longmeadow and now resides in Amherst.