For Immediate Release - May 08, 2013

GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES PROBATE AND FAMILY COURT AND WORCESTER DISTRICT COURT NOMINATIONS

BOSTON –  Wednesday, May 8, 2013 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced the judicial nominations of five experienced attorneys, one to the District Court and four to the Probate and Family Court: Stephen R. Anderson as an Associate Justice of the Worcester District Court; Kevin R. Connelly as an Associate Justice of the Probate and Family Court, Suffolk County Division; Brian J. Dunn as an Associate Justice of the Probate and Family Court, Dukes County Division; Susan L. Jacobs as an Associate Justice of the Probate and Family Court, Norfolk County Division; and Peter Smola as an Associate Justice of the Probate and Family Court, Bristol County Division.

“I am honored to nominate these well qualified attorneys to serve on the District Court and the Probate and Family Court,” said Governor Patrick. “They will bring to the bench extraordinary legal expertise, excellent judicial temperament and demonstrated commitment to the fair administration of justice. I thank them for their willingness to serve the Commonwealth as members of the judiciary.”

Stephen Anderson is a civil litigator with over 30 years of experience. Anderson has been a senior trial attorney for Safety Insurance Company in the Law Office of James H. Breen in Worcester since 2003. From 1994 to 2003, he served as staff counsel to Hanover Insurance Company. From 1978 to 1994, Anderson practiced law at the Worcester firm of Milton, Laurence and Dixon. He is a past president of the Worcester County Bar Association and of the Holy Cross General Alumni Association.  Anderson is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross (B.A., 1975) and Suffolk University Law School (J.D., 1978). He resides in Worcester. If confirmed, Anderson will fill the Worcester District Court vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable Dennis J. Brennan.

Kevin Connelly has practiced probate and family law in Boston for 19 years. He has been counsel to the Boston firm of Sally & Fitch since 2004. From 1993 to 2004, Connelly was an associate and partner at White, Inker & Aronson. He has been named a “Super Lawyer” by Boston Magazine for the past six years. Connelly is a graduate of Boston College (B.A., 1989) and New England School of Law (J.D., 1993). He resides in Kingston. Connelly is slated to fill the vacancy on the Probate and Family Court created by the retirement of the Honorable John M. Smoot.

Brian Dunn has been a sole practitioner in Boston since 1992, with a practice focusing on family, probate, juvenile and child welfare matters. He serves as the Suffolk County Regional Coordinator of the Children and Family Program of CPCS, providing advice and technical assistance to approximately 100 attorneys in Suffolk County. Dunn frequently serves as a guardian for children and for adults with disabilities. He is a graduate of Salem State College (B.S. cum laude, 1988) and Suffolk University Law School (J.D. cum laude, 1992). Dunn resides in Reading. If confirmed, he will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable John P. Cronin, who served most recently in Essex County.   

Susan Jacobs has practiced law at the Attleboro firm of Volterra, Goldberg & Jacobs since 1989, with a general litigation practice focused for the last 10 years on domestic relations. Jacobs was one of the leaders in starting a successful conciliation program in the Bristol County Probate and Family Court. She received the 2012 Pro Bono Publico award from the Bristol County Bar Association and South Coastal Counties Legal Services, Inc. Jacobs is a graduate of University of Massachusetts, Amherst (B.A., 1985) and Boston University Law School (J.D., 1989). She grew up in Brockton and currently resides in North Easton. If confirmed, Jacobs will fill the vacancy on the Probate and Family Court created by the retirement of the Honorable Christina L. Harms.  

Peter Smola has maintained a litigation practice in New Bedford since 1978. From 1978 to 1988, he practiced with his father, handling domestic relations and criminal matters, representing both private and indigent clients through the New Bedford Legal Aid Society. From 1988 to 2002, Smola practiced with a small firm concentrating on domestic relations and probate matters as well as workers’ compensation cases. Since 2003, he has been a sole practitioner, focusing on civil litigation in Probate and Family Court and District Court. Smola is a recent past president of the New Bedford Bar Association and a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals for the Town of Dartmouth. He is a graduate of Clark University (B.A., 1972) and New England School of Law (J.D., 1978). Smola resides in South Dartmouth. He is slated to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable Prudence M. McGregor.

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