- Governor Maura Healey and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll
Media Contact for Governor Healey Nominates Appeals Court Associate Justice Gabrielle R. Wolohojian to Supreme Judicial Court
Karissa Hand, Press Secretary
Boston — Governor Maura T. Healey today nominated Massachusetts Appeals Court Associate Justice Gabrielle R. Wolohojian to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court. This is Governor Healey’s second nomination to the state’s highest court.
“There is no one more qualified or better prepared to serve on the Supreme Judicial Court than Justice Wolohojian. She will bring over three decades of broad trial and appellate experience, including sixteen years on the Appeals Court,” said Governor Healey. “Justice Wolohojian has served on the Appeals Court with distinction and her work is widely respected by members of the bench and bar. She has an exceptional understanding of the law and a strong commitment to the administration of justice. I thank the Supreme Judicial Nominating Commission for their work throughout this process and I am grateful to the Governor’s Council for their careful consideration of her nomination.”
“Justice Wolohojian cares deeply about improving the work of our courts and ensuring that the judiciary serves the public as best it can,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “From chairing the Supreme Judicial Court’s Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Appellate Procedure, to overseeing the training and mentoring of all new judges on the Appeals Court, Justice Wolohojian has shown an unwavering dedication to improving the functioning of our courts. Governor Healey and I look forward to the Governor’s Council’s consideration of Justice Wolohojian, who, if confirmed, will be a critically important addition to the Supreme Judicial Court.”
“Justice Wolohojian is uniquely qualified to join the Supreme Judicial Court at a time when it enjoys and is committed to maintaining its reputation as one of the most respected state supreme courts in the country,” said retired Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Geraldine S. Hines. “This is a difficult job that demands intellectual vigor, respect for the rule of law, an unwavering commitment to equal justice under the law, and an impeccable work ethic. From our time together on the Appeals Court and from my conversations with colleagues who have continued to serve on the court, I can say that Justice Wolohojian is richly blessed with these qualifications, as exemplified in her record of achievement as a lawyer and jurist. She has also mastered the under-appreciated but important skill so critical to appellate judging: the ability to accept and coax consensus from the inevitable debates that arise when seven justices with diverse background, life experiences and judicial philosophies are called upon to decide the difficult and complex issues of law presented to the court.”
The Supreme Judicial Court is Massachusetts's highest appellate court, consisting of the Chief Justice and six Associate Justices. The seven Justices hear appeals on a broad range of criminal and civil cases from September through May and issue written opinions that are posted online.
Justice Wolohojian is nominated to fill the seat vacated by Justice David A. Lowy, who retired from the Supreme Judicial Court in February 2024.
Gabrielle Wolohojian was appointed to the Appeals Court in February 2008. Since her appointment, she has sat on over 2,700 appeals and authored over 900 decisions. She serves as the Chair of the Supreme Judicial Court’s Advisory Committees on the Rules of Appellate Procedure, and the Chair of the Appeals Court’s Committees on Judicial Mentoring and Training, Education, Policies and Practices, and En Banc Rehearings. Justice Wolohojian is a regular speaker on appellate practice.
Born in New York, and the granddaughter of Armenian immigrants, Justice Wolohojian received a B.A., magna cum laude, from Rutgers University in 1982; a Ph.D. in English language and literature from the University of Oxford in 1987; and a J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1989, where she was an editor of the Columbia Law Review. After graduation from law school, she served as a law clerk, first to Judge Rya Zobel of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, then to Judge Bailey Aldrich of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
In 1991, Justice Wolohojian joined the Boston law firm of Hale and Dorr (now known as WilmerHale), where she became a partner in the firm's litigation department. Her practice focused on complex commercial litigation in State and Federal courts, including product liability cases, consumer class actions, false advertising claims, and other business and consumer transactions. In 1994, Justice Wolohojian left the firm to serve as an associate independent counsel on the Whitewater investigation, returning to her practice sixteen months later.
An accomplished violinist, Justice Wolohojian regularly plays and performs with orchestras, including playing with the Boston Civic Symphony Orchestra since 1989. She previously served as President of the Board of Directors of the Boston Civic Symphony Orchestra. Since 2005, Justice Wolohojian has served as an Overseer of From the Top, a nationally-distributed radio program focusing on young children playing classical music.