Press Release

Press Release Supreme Judicial Court Selects Jonathan S. Williams as Massachusetts Trial Court Administrator

For immediate release:
3/23/2017
  • Supreme Judicial Court
  • Massachusetts Court System

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Jennifer Donahue and Erika Gully-Santiago

BOSTON, MA — The Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court today announced that they have selected Jonathan S. Williams as the next Court Administrator of the Trial Court. Mr. Williams succeeds Harry Spence, who will retire on April 17, after serving a five-year term as the first Court Administrator.

"The Justices are pleased to welcome Jon Williams, who will bring to his new position an extensive record of accomplishments in public sector management and a depth of experience in court administration," said Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants. "We are confident that Jon will be able to continue and build upon the progress made in the last five years under his predecessor Harry Spence. Harry has brought the Trial Court through a time of great growth and change, and we thank him for his exceptional service."

Jon Williams most recently has served as Senior Deputy Director in the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, where he supervised operations for the Judicial Branch, including technology, finance and general services. He was appointed by North Carolina Chief Justice Mark Martin to serve as the Chief Reporter to the Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice, a 65 member multidisciplinary group tasked to make broad recommendations for court reform in North Carolina. As Chief Reporter, Williams helped secure funding and structured the overall work of the Commission from its inception to its delivery of the final report in March 2017. 

Before working for the court system, Williams was Assistant Secretary for the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Chairman of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission. Prior to that, he spent ten years working for the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, after spending eight years as an attorney in private practice.

The Massachusetts Trial Court Administrator is the administrative head of the Trial Court, charged with providing effective, timely and innovative support to judges, clerks, probation officers and staff.  Working together with the Chief Justice of the Trial Court, the Court Administrator is responsible for shaping administrative functions that support the Trial Court’s delivery of justice to the people of Massachusetts. Duties include budget preparation and oversight, labor relations, information technology, capital projects, security and personnel policy.

"The Trial Court is in the midst of an exciting period of renewal,” said Williams, “I look forward to joining Chief Justice Paula Carey in these ambitious efforts and supporting a culture of continuous improvement in all we do."

"With the hard work and dedication of those who work in the Trial Court, we have made great strides in streamlining our operations and modernizing our systems," said Trial Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey. "I am confident that Jon Williams and I will work together to continue to expand capabilities and efficiencies through technology, improving operations and enhancing the delivery of justice."

The position of Court Administrator for the Massachusetts Trial Court was created by court management legislation enacted in 2011. The Massachusetts Trial Court includes seven court departments with 379 judges and about 6,300 employees who deliver justice in 101 courthouses across the state.

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Supreme Judicial Court 

The SJC is the Commonwealth's highest appellate court.

Massachusetts Court System 

The Massachusetts court system consists of the Supreme Judicial Court, the Appeals Court, the Executive Office of the Trial Court, the 7 Trial Court departments, the Massachusetts Probation Service, and the Office of Jury Commissioner.

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