For Immediate Release - January 04, 2013


BOSTON – Friday, January 4, 2013 – Governor Deval L. Patrick today announced two judicial nominations to the District Court: Mary Elizabeth Heffernan as a Circuit Justice and Michael J. McCarthy as an Associate Justice of the Southern Berkshire District Court. The Governor also resubmitted four pending judicial nominations to the new Governor’s Council sworn in yesterday: Geraldine S. Hines as an Associate Justice of the Appeals Court; and Angel Kelly Brown, Brian A. Davis, and Robert B. Gordon as Associate Justices of the Superior Court. The nominees are being resubmitted because the Governor Council’s term ended before they were considered.    

“I am honored to nominate Secretary Heffernan to a position on the District Court. I have great respect for her and know firsthand her strong commitment to public service. She will be an excellent judge,” said Governor Patrick. “I also am pleased to re-nominate Michael J. McCarthy to serve on the bench in Berkshire County. I thank both of these nominees for their commitment to the fair administration of justice and their willingness to serve the Commonwealth in these challenging new roles.”

Mary Elizabeth Heffernan has been an attorney in Massachusetts for over 20 years, with extensive criminal justice and governmental affairs experience. She currently serves as Secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security and formerly served as Undersecretary for Criminal Justice. Heffernan’s professional career began in 1981 with eight years of service on the staff of Massachusetts State Senator Patricia McGovern. After graduating from law school in 1989, she was selected for a clerkship with Massachusetts Appeals Court Justice Charlotte Anne Perretta. Heffernan then worked for two years at the Boston law firm of Palmer and Dodge, for three years as a prosecutor in the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and four years as Executive Director of the Massachusetts District Attorneys’ Association. She then spent seven years as an attorney in the healthcare field, including four years at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Heffernan is a graduate of Framingham State College (B.A., 1980). She holds graduate degrees in public administration (1985) and law (1989) from Suffolk University. Heffernan resides in West Roxbury.

Michael J. McCarthy has practiced law at the firm of George, DeGregorio, Massimiano & McCarthy in Pittsfield since 1989. He maintains a general practice with a concentration in civil litigation. Prior to joining the firm, he served as City Solicitor in Pittsfield for two years, as an Assistant District Attorney in Berkshire County for five years and as an Assistant District Attorney in Portland, Maine for one year. McCarthy is a graduate of Assumption College (B.A. cum laude, 1978) and University of Maine Law School (J.D., 1981). He resides in Pittsfield. McCarthy is slated to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable James B. McElroy. He was previously nominated to this position in August 2012. 

Judge Geraldine S. Hines has served as an Associate Justice of the Superior Court since 2001 and as the Regional Administrative Judge for Civil Business in Suffolk County since 2009. Prior to her appointment to the bench, she practiced law for 30 years in Boston, concentrating on criminal defense, civil rights litigation and social justice advocacy. She also taught trial advocacy at Northeastern University School of Law as an adjunct faculty member for 21 years. In 1989, she and retired Boston Municipal Court Judge Margaret Burnham formed the first law firm in New England of women of color. Prior to 1989, Hines maintained a community-based legal practice and also served as an attorney at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, the Roxbury Defenders Committee and Harvard University’s Center for Law and Education. Her extensive volunteer activity spans many decades and includes work for the American Civil Liberties Union and Lawyers Against Apartheid as well as civil and human rights activities in South Africa, Eritrea, Kuwait and Cuba. Hines is a graduate of Tougaloo College (B.A., 1968) and University of Wisconsin Law School (J.D., 1971). She resides in Roxbury. If confirmed, Hines will fill the vacancy on the Appeals Court created by the retirement of the Honorable James F. McHugh.

Judge Angel Kelley Brown serves as an Associate Justice of the Brockton District Court. Prior to joining the bench in 2009, she practiced law for 16 years. She spent four years as a legal services attorney at The Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn, New York and eight years as an assistant chief counsel and trial attorney for The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Judge Kelley Brown moved to Boston in 2005 and worked for two years as a clinical instructor at Harvard Law School and two years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Major Crimes Unit. Judge Kelley Brown is a graduate of Colgate University (B.A., 1989), Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., 1992) and Temple University (L.L.M. in Trial Advocacy, 2003). If confirmed, she will fill the vacancy on the Superior Court created by the retirement of the Honorable Barbara Dortch-Okara.

Brian A. Davis has spent his entire legal career in Boston at the firm of Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP, as an associate from 1985 to 1992 and as a partner since 1993. He specializes in litigation involving complex commercial disputes, torts, product liability defense, fraud and insurance litigation, and corporate governance matters, with significant experience in e-discovery.  Davis served as chair of the firm’s Litigation Department for four years and chair of the firm’s Major Commercial Litigation Practice Group for five years. Since 2009, he has been co-chair of the Litigation Department. Davis is an active volunteer as a member of the board of directors of The Home for Little Wanderers, as well as a long-time member of the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Committee on Professional Ethics. He is a graduate of Cornell University (B.A. cum laude, 1982) and Harvard Law School (J.D. cum laude, 1985). Davis is a resident of Walpole and an appointed member of the Walpole Personnel Board. He is slated to fill the seat on the Superior Court created by the retirement of the Honorable Thomas E. Connolly.

Robert B. Gordon began his career at Ropes & Gray, LLP in 1987 as an associate in the Litigation Group and the Labor and Employment Groups. He has been a partner since 1995, primarily representing employers in a wide variety of litigation matters. He also has an active practice advising business clients on non-competition and trade secret protection strategies and related disputes. Prior to joining the firm, Gordon served as a law clerk for the Honorable Bruce M. Selya at the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University (B.A. Phi Beta Kappa, 1983) and University of Michigan Law School (J.D. cum laude, 1986). Gordon resides in Wayland. If confirmed, he will fill the seat on the Superior Court created by the retirement of the Honorable John P. Connor, Jr.


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