For Immediate Release - January 15, 2014

GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES THREE TRIAL COURT NOMINATIONS

BOSTON – Wednesday, January 15, 2014 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced three judicial nominations: Laurence D. Pierce as an Associate Justice of the Superior Court; Matthew J. Shea as an Associate Justice of the Holyoke District Court; and Thomas H. Estes as an Associate Justice of the Northampton District Court.

“I am honored to nominate Judge Pierce, an experienced jurist and trial attorney, to serve on the Superior Court. I also am pleased to nominate two very well qualified litigators to serve on the District Court bench in Western Massachusetts,” said Governor Patrick. “I commend each of them for their commitment to the fair administration of justice and thank them for their willingness to serve the Commonwealth in these crucial roles.”

Laurence D. Pierce is a Regional Administrative Judge of the District Court and an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division of the District Court, Northern District. Prior to his appointment as an Associate Justice of the Cambridge District Court in 2009, Judge Pierce practiced law for 25 years, including five years as an Assistant District Attorney in Middlesex County and 20 years as a litigation attorney at Choate Hall & Stewart. He is a graduate of Harvard College (B.A. cum laude, 1976) and Antioch School of Law (J.D., 1981). Judge Pierce is a resident of Cambridge. If confirmed, he will fill the vacancy on the Superior Court to be created by the upcoming retirement of The Honorable Paul E. Troy.       

Thomas H. Estes has been the attorney-in-charge of the Public Defender Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (“CPCS”) in the Northampton District Court since 2006. From 2002 to 2006, he worked as a CPCS attorney in District and Superior Courts in Hampshire County. Estes began his legal career as a public defender in Virginia from 1998 to 2002. He is a graduate of University of Virginia (B.A., 1990) and William & Mary School of Law (J.D., 1996). He resides in Northampton. Estes is slated to fill the vacancy on the Northampton District Court created by the appointment of The Honorable Richard J. Carey to the Superior Court. 

Matthew J. Shea is an Assistant District Attorney in Hampden County, where he has served as a Superior Court supervisor since 2011. He started his legal career in that office, working as a prosecutor in District and Superior Courts from 1993 to 1999. From 1999 to 2011, Shea served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Springfield office, prosecuting criminal cases and also handling some civil administrative appeals. Shea is a graduate of Boston College (B.A., 1990) and Catholic University of America Law School (J.D., 1993). He resides in Longmeadow. If confirmed, Shea will fill the vacancy on the Holyoke District Court created by the retirement of The Honorable Robert F. Kumor.

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