- Massachusetts Commission on Judicial Conduct
Media Contact for New Chair and Vice Chair for Commission on Judicial Conduct
Howard Neff, Executive Director
Boston, MA — The Massachusetts Commission on Judicial Conduct announced today that it has elected new officers. The new Chair is The Honorable Katherine A. Field, the First Justice of the Bristol County Probate and Family Court. Judge Field had previously served as the Commission’s Vice Chair since December of 2020. The Commission’s new Vice Chair is Attorney Patricia Saint James, a Member of the Boston law firm of Tarlow, Breed, Hart, and Rogers. Many thanks are extended to the outgoing Chair, Attorney Edward P. Ryan, Jr., for his dedication, hard work, and contributions to the work of the Commission.
Judge Field was appointed to the Commission in 2018. Judge Field was appointed as the First Justice of the Bristol County Probate and Family Court in 2015. Judge Field has served as a judge in that court since her appointment as a judge in 2010.
Prior to her appointment as a judge, Judge Field was an attorney and shareholder at Gay, Gay & Field, P.C., where she worked for twenty-five years in the areas of divorce, paternity, adoption, and guardianship. Judge Field also served as a member of the Judicial Nominating Commission from 2003 to 2005. Judge Field is a graduate of Boston College Law School and has served as a panelist for MCLE and the Massachusetts Bar Association. She has also been active in the local, county, and state bar associations, including serving as the President (2001-2002), Vice President (2000-2001), Treasurer (1999-2000), and Secretary (1989-1991) of the Bristol County Bar Association.
Attorney Saint James was appointed to the Commission in 2018. Ms. Saint James is a Member of the Boston law firm of Tarlow, Breed, Hart, and Rogers, where she concentrates her practice in all aspects of Domestic Relations law.
Ms. Saint James is a past President of the Massachusetts Family and Probate American Inn of Court. She is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory (its highest rating for legal ability and professional ethics), has been named a Massachusetts Super Lawyer since 2006 by Boston Magazine, was named one of the best lawyers in Massachusetts by the Boston Globe, one of the top women lawyers in the northeast by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, and a Best Lawyer for Family Law Mediation by U.S. News.
Ms. Saint James is a past Chair of the Family Law Section of the Boston Bar Association. In that capacity, she worked with the Bar and Judiciary to initiate the Lawyer for the Day Program in the Commonwealth’s Probate and Family Courts. She served as a Board Member and Vice-President of the Arts and Business Council/Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, and a past Member of the Boston Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Steering Committee.
In furtherance of her public service, Ms. Saint James is a co-founder of the Let’s Give It Up Foundation, whose mission is to give people struggling with substance use disorders the tools and courage to express their voice by turning their struggles and pain into art and inspiration for others. Participants work with expert musicians, artists, writers, producers, and partner organizations, in a creative and supportive community. Partner organizations include the Massachusetts Drug Courts, the Massachusetts Organization for Recovery (MOAR), and Behavioral Health Innovators.
Ms. Saint James obtained her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was an Arthur Littleton Legal Writing Instructor. She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree from Central Connecticut State University and summa cum laude with a Master’s Degree from the University of Connecticut.
The Commission on Judicial Conduct is established and governed by Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 211C. In accordance with the mandate of that statute, the Commission’s mission is to enforce standards of judicial conduct for Massachusetts state judges in a manner that, while respecting judicial independence, promotes public confidence in the judiciary and preserves the integrity of the judicial process. The Commission serves as the forum for complaints alleging misconduct by judges both on and off the bench, and for allegations of mental or physical disability affecting a judge’s performance. The Commission is made up of three judges appointed by the Supreme Judicial Court, three attorneys appointed by the Chief Justice of the Trial Court, and three lay people appointed by the Governor. Members serve non-renewable terms of six years.
Please visit the Commission’s website for more information: www.mass.gov/cjc.