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Press Release  Supreme Judicial Court Appoints Hon. Heidi E. Brieger as Chief Justice of the Trial Court

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  • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Media Contact   for Supreme Judicial Court Appoints Hon. Heidi E. Brieger as Chief Justice of the Trial Court

Jennifer Donahue and Erika Gully-Santiago

BOSTON, MAThe Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court today announced the appointment of the Honorable Heidi E. Brieger as the new Chief Justice of the Trial Court pursuant to G.L. 211B, § 6, effective December 22, 2023.

Judge Brieger was appointed Chief Justice of the Superior Court in June 2021. She succeeds Trial Court Chief Justice Jeffrey A. Locke, who will reach the mandatory retirement age in December after serving in the position since January 2022.

“The Justices are delighted to announce the appointment of Superior Court Chief Justice Heidi Brieger, who has led the Superior Court with skill, wisdom and dedication,” said Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Kimberly S. Budd. “Chief Justice Brieger understands and cares deeply about the court system. Her thoughtful, collaborative leadership style makes her ideally suited to work with the Court Administrator, Tom Ambrosino, to lead the Trial Court.”

“We are deeply grateful to Chief Justice Locke for his dedicated service as Chief Justice of the Trial Court,” said Chief Justice Budd. “Chief Justice Locke has demonstrated great leadership in focusing attention and resources on access to justice and fairness. His focus on reducing the backlog that was a result the COVID-19 pandemic has been remarkable, and we are grateful for his leadership.”

“I am deeply honored by the confidence placed in me by the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court,” said Superior Court Chief Justice Brieger. “This is an important time in the delivery of justice for residents throughout the Commonwealth, and I look forward to continuing in the tradition of excellence of the Massachusetts judicial system since its founding. I look forward to working closely with Trial Court Administrator Ambrosino as we embrace the opportunities and challenges ahead.”

Chief Justice Brieger was appointed by Governor Deval L. Patrick to the Superior Court in 2012. Prior to becoming Chief Justice of the Superior Court, she served as the Regional Administrative Justice for Civil Business in Suffolk County and chaired the Superior Court Education Committee. She served as the Chief of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s Office beginning in 2006, following her service as a prosecutor in that office since 1992. She was a law clerk to the Honorable Andrew A. Caffrey, Chief United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts. Judge Brieger is a graduate of Smith College and Boston College Law School.

The Chief Justice of the Trial Court is the policy and judicial head of the Trial Court, which includes the Boston Municipal, District, Housing, Juvenile, Land, Probate and Family, and Superior Courts, the Office of the Commissioner of Probation, and the Office of Jury Commissioner. The Chief Justice of the Trial Court has authority over all matters of judicial policy and appoints the departmental chief justices, oversees case flow management and the establishment of programs and procedures to continuously improve access to justice by all segments of the Commonwealth's population. The Chief Justice partners with the Court Administrator to oversee the administration of the Trial Court, with its 385 judges, more than 6,000 staff, and 94 courthouses.


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