The State Organization Index provides an alphabetical listing of government organizations, including commissions, departments, and bureaus.
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The membership of the CJC consists of three judges appointed by the Supreme Judicial Court, three lawyers appointed by the Chief Justice of the Trial Court, and three lay (non-attorney) members appointed by the Governor.
John J. Carroll, Jr., Esquire was appointed to the Commission in 2012 and served as Vice Chair of the Commission from November of 2014 to October of 2016. He was elected Chair of the Commission in October of 2016. Mr. Carroll is a partner at Meehan, Boyle, Black and Bogdanow. He is a graduate of Boston College (1968) and Boston University Law School (1974). Between college and law school, Mr. Carroll served on active duty as a Naval officer. From 1976-1977, he worked for South Dakota Legal Services, providing legal assistance to the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Sioux Reservations. He has been a member of the Massachusetts Bar since 1974, and became a member of the South Dakota Bar in 1976, while living there. In the late 1970's, Mr. Carroll spent two more years in Legal Services (Merrimack Valley Legal Services) and then two years as an in-house counsel for an insurance company.
In 1980, he joined Parker, Coulter, Daley and White, an insurance defense firm. In 1985, he left to join the firm then known as Meehan, Boyle and Cohen. He has been there ever since. While practicing law and raising a family consumed much of his time, Mr. Carroll continued to be active in associations which provide legal representation to those most in need. Over the years, he has handled pro bono cases for the Boston Bar Association's Volunteer Lawyers Project and has volunteered for the Catholic Lawyer's Guild at the St. Francis House. He has been on the Board of Directors of Greater Boston Legal Services since 1996. He has been actively involved in the Massachusetts Bar Association since that time. Mr. Carroll has served on the Judicial Administrative Council (Chair, 1997-1998), Individual Rights and Responsibility Council (Chair, 1989-1999), and the Massachusetts Bar Association Superior Court Case Flow Management Task Force (Chair, 2001-2002).
In addition, Mr. Carroll has been involved in the Massachusetts Bar Association Bench Bar Committee (Chair, 2003) and the Massachusetts Bar Association House of Delegates from 2003-2008. From 2001-2007, Mr. Carroll served as a Hearings Officer at the Board of Bar Overseers and from 2002-2008 served on the Board of Governors of the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys. In 2008, Mr. Carroll received the Massachusetts Bar Foundation's President's Award. In 2010, he became the MBA’s representative on the Equal Justice Coalition and served as Chair of the EJC from 2013 to 2016. In 2016, Mr. Carroll was accepted into the Access to Justice Senior Fellows program, and as part of that program, has authored a series of articles titled, "Voices of MLAC (Mass Legal Assistance Crop)," about the fourteen legal service programs funded (in whole or part) by the Mass Legal Assistance Corp. Mr. Carroll has been named a "Super Lawyer" for several consecutive years by Boston Magazine and is a member of the Pine Street Inn "President's Circle." In 2016, Mr. Carroll was inducted into the Arlington Catholic High School Hall of Fame. In the Fall of 2017, Mr. Carroll received the "Catalyst for Change" award from the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute.
The Honorable Robert N. Tochka was appointed to the Commission in 2014. He was elected Vice Chair of the Commission in October of 2016. Judge Tochka was appointed an Associate Justice of the District Court Department in 2002. He served in that capacity until 2004, when he was appointed as an Associate Justice of the Boston Municipal Court Department. In 2014, Judge Tochka was appointed to his current position as an Associate Justice of the Superior Court Department.
Judge Tochka worked as an Assistant District Attorney for the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office from 1984 to 2002. During his service with the Suffolk County District Attorney, Judge Tochka worked in the Appellate Division, the District Court, and the Superior Court. In 1996, he was appointed the Chief of the Anti-Gang Task Force for the Suffolk County District Attorney and served in that capacity until his appointment to the bench in 2002. In 2013, Judge Tochka received the Judicial Excellence Award from the Massachusetts Judges Conference. Judge Tochka is a graduate of Boston College and St. Louis University Law School.
Kathleen M. O'Donnell, Esquire was appointed to the Commission in 2014. Ms. O'Donnell has her own law practice, O'Donnell Law Firm, where she concentrates her practice in all aspects of personal injury litigation. Ms. O'Donnell is a past President of the Massachusetts Bar Association (2004-2005), the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys (1995-1996), and the Greater Lowell Bar Association (1990-1991). Ms. O'Donnell also served as Vice President of Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. from 2002-2003 and has served on its Board of Directors continuously since 1998. She was listed by the Massachusetts Lawyer's Weekly in 1995 as one of the top ten lawyers in Massachusetts and in 1997 as one of the twenty-five most influential lawyers in Massachusetts between 1972 and 1997.
In 2000, the National Law Journal named Ms. O'Donnell one of the twelve most influential lawyers in Massachusetts. In 1996 and 1997 the American Association of Justice (an organization with 60,000 members) awarded her the prestigious Weidemann Wysocki Citation of Excellence for her commitment to the civil justice system. She has been listed by Boston Magazine as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer since 2004 in the category of Best of Boston Personal Injury. Ms. O'Donnell was the first woman elected as a member of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates and she has been listed consistently in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Law, Who's Who of American Women, and Who's Who in the East. Ms. O'Donnell's peers have given her the highest rating established by Martindale Hubbell's Legal Directory. This rating is only given to lawyers and law firms which are considered to have a very high to pre-eminent legal ability and who are thought to embrace very high professional standards. Ms. O'Donnell is a frequent presenter or lecturer on personal injury litigation and automobile insurance policy and law. Ms. O'Donnell graduated magna cum laude from Wheaton College and cum laude from Suffolk University Law School.
The Honorable Julie J. Bernard was appointed to the Commission in 2014. First appointed to the bench in 2002, she currently serves as the First Justice of the Brockton District Court. Judge Bernard is a member of the District Court Committee on Continuing Education, member of the District Court Working Group on Alternative Dispute Resolution, member of the Trial Court Task Force on Diversity and Cultural Competence, and a Judicial Mentor.
She previously served as a member of the District Court Appellate Division. Prior to her appointment to the bench, Judge Bernard was a Senior Counsel for Keyspan Energy Inc., and served as a Litigation Counsel for Verizon, Inc. Judge Bernard was also an Associate at Segal and Feinberg, Assistant General Counsel for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, and Staff Attorney for the Committee for Public Counsel Services. Judge Bernard is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Boston College Law School.
The Honorable John D. Casey was appointed to the Commission in 2014. Judge Casey is the First Justice of the Norfolk County Probate and Family Court where he has sat since September 2008. Prior to his reassignment to Norfolk, he sat full-time in Essex County beginning January of 2007. In December of 2006, he was appointed to the position of associate justice of the Essex County Probate and Family court.
Prior to his appointment as a judge, Judge Casey was a partner in the Attleboro law firm of Casey and Thompson, PC for over twenty years, specializing in family law and criminal defense. He is a former Massachusetts Bar Association seminar panelist and has been active in the local, county, and state bar associations. Judge Casey has been a panelist on many CLE Programs. He resides with his wife Susan and is the Father of two adult daughters.
Quinton B. Dale was appointed to the Commission in 2012. He is currently the Chief of Investigations for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. He previously served as Director of the Investigation Division for the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office from 2002 to 2012. Prior to that, he was Deputy Director of the Investigation Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office and an Investigator for the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office. In 1999, he received the Edward Quinn Award of Excellence from the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office.
Mr. Dale also previously served as a Corrections Counselor for the Massachusetts Department of Corrections. Mr. Dale is a former professional basketball player. He has served as a head High School basketball coach since 1992 and was named the Boston Globe Division III Coach of the Year in 1996. Mr. Dale is a graduate of Northeastern University, where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. He is also a graduate of Clinton Community College, where he received an Associate Degree in Arts and Sciences.
Jacqueline A. O'Neill was appointed to the Commission in 2014. She is currently employed as the Harvard University Marshal. Ms. O'Neill previously served as the chief of staff for Harvard's President and Provost; and prior to that, as Harvard's associate vice president for state and community relations. Ms. O'Neill has served on the National Board of Common Cause, the Massachusetts Board of Regents, and the Higher Education Coordinating Council. She has been a trustee at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and currently serves on their Women's Health Leadership Council and the President's Advisory Committee.
She has also been chair of the fiduciary board of the American Repertory Theatre, a trustee of Shady Hill School and Beaver Country Day School, and chair of the board of McBride House, a residence for individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS. Ms. O'Neill graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government where she received a Master's Degree in Public Administration.
Felicia P. Wiltz, Ph.D., was appointed to the Commission in 2014. She is an associate professor at Suffolk University and has served as the Chairperson of Suffolk University's Sociology Department since 2006. She previously worked as a Cooperative Education Coordinator and Lecturer at Northeastern University. Dr. Wiltz is a frequent presenter or lecturer on workplace diversity and has authored or co-authored scholarly works on that subject. She is also a frequent presenter on the topics of breast cancer and the experiences of black women survivors of breast cancer.
Dr. Wiltz served as a member of the trustee board of the Bethel A.M.E. Church in Boston, from 2009 to 2012; as a member of the board of directors of Daybreak Pregnancy Resource, Inc., from 2007 to 2010; and as a member of the advisory board for the Black Women Breast Cancer Survivors Project, from 2005 to 2010. Dr. Wiltz received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Savannah State University; a Master of Education Degree in Counseling from Northeastern University; and in 2002, she earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from Northeastern University.
Edward P. Ryan, Jr., Esquire was appointed to the Commission in 2016. He is the Managing Partner at O’Connor and Ryan, P.C. in Leominster, Massachusetts. Mr. Ryan has significant federal and state court trial experience in a diverse array of matters, including criminal, civil, personal injury, civil rights, and divorce and estate matters. He has also served, by court appointment, as a discovery master and guardian ad litem, monitoring litigation for the court and reviewing accounts in estate matters.
Mr. Ryan is a past President of the Massachusetts Bar Association (2000-2001). Mr. Ryan has also served as President of the Worcester County Bar Association, the Northern Worcester County Bar Association, and the Bar Advocates of Worcester County, Inc. He is a member of the American Association for Justice, the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys, the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, and the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.
Mr. Ryan served as an Assistant District Attorney/Student Prosecutor in the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office from 1973 to 1977. In private practice since 1977, Mr. Ryan has been involved in a number of high-profile cases, including his successful defense of a homeless person against manslaughter charges stemming from the tragic Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse fire. As labor counsel to the cities of Fitchburg and Gardner, Mr. Ryan has negotiated labor contracts on behalf of those municipalities and has handled a wide variety of labor disputes as an advocate and hearing officer. More recently, he has served as counsel to various unions. Mr. Ryan has represented both employees and corporate employers in various private sector labor matters. Mr. Ryan has also appeared as a legal analyst and commentator for various media outlets, including NECN, WBZ, and the Fox News Channel.
Mr. Ryan has received the American Jurisprudence Awards for Criminal Law, Administrative Law, Trusts, and Constitutional Law; the Massachusetts Bar Association Gold Medal Award (2007); and in 2014, was named Lawyer of the Year by the Frank J. Murray Inn of Court. He was also named Lawyer of the Year by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly in 2000, and Martindale-Hubbell, the nation’s premier attorney directory, has given Mr. Ryan a rating of AV, which is its highest rating for lawyers.
Mr. Ryan is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the U.S. Supreme Court, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. He is on the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel list of attorneys approved for appointment in murder cases, and is also on the Federal Criminal Justice Act panel of attorneys qualified to accept appointment in federal criminal cases in Massachusetts. He received his undergraduate degree from Wheeling Jesuit College in 1972 and graduated magna cum laude from Suffolk University Law School in 1976.