For Immediate Release - October 30, 2013


BOSTON – Wednesday, October 30, 2013 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced two judicial nominations: Joseph S. Berman as an Associate Justice of the Superior Court and Thomas S. Kaplanes as an Associate Justice of the Boston Municipal Court, West Roxbury Division.

“I am very pleased to nominate these two highly qualified attorneys to the Superior Court and Boston Municipal Court,” said Governor Patrick. “They have demonstrated excellent litigation skills and knowledge of the workings of our trial courts. I thank them for their commitment to the fair administration of justice and their willingness to serve the Commonwealth as members of the judiciary.”

Joseph S. Berman has 23 years of legal experience, including both civil and criminal litigation. He has been a partner at Looney & Grossman in Boston since 2007, with a focus on commercial litigation and other civil matters. He began his legal career as a law clerk for a U.S. District Court judge in Denver, and then worked as an associate at a Denver firm for two years. From 1993 to 1998, he was a litigation associate at the Boston firm of Posternak, Blankstein & Lund. Berman served as a founding partner of Berman & Dowell in Boston from 1998 to 2007, where he practiced in the areas of criminal defense and general commercial litigation. Throughout his career, Berman has handled significant pro bono matters, including representation of a Guantanamo detainee. He is a New England board member and national commissioner of the Anti-Defamation League. Berman is a graduate of Dartmouth College (B.A. cum laude, 1986) and University of Michigan Law School (J.D. cum laude, 1990). Berman resides in Weston. If confirmed, he will fill the vacancy on the Superior Court created by the retirement of the Honorable Robert A. Mulligan.

Thomas S. Kaplanes has had extensive criminal litigation experience, as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney. He also has experience in a wide variety of civil litigation matters. From 2000 to 2006, Kaplanes was an Assistant District Attorney in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, prosecuting cases in both the Boston Municipal Court and Superior Court and serving on the Superior Court Gang Unit. He then worked as an associate for one year at the Boston firm of Boyle, Morrissey & Campo as a civil litigator handling insurance defense. In 2007, he opened his sole practice in Boston, with a focus on criminal defense, representing both private and bar advocate clients. He also handles civil matters as a sole practitioner. Kaplanes has been an instructor and lecturer at Harvard Law School’s Trial Advocacy Workshop and an active volunteer for Year-Up, Special Olympics, Dorchester Boys and Girls Club and other community non-profits. He is a graduate of Providence College (B.A., 1990) and Suffolk University Law School (J.D., 1999). Kaplanes resides in Watertown. If confirmed, he will fill the vacancy on the Boston Municipal Court, West Roxbury Division, created by the retirement of the Honorable Robert P. Ziemian. 

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