offered by

Honorable Mary Elizabeth Heffernan

First Justice

Judge Heffernan is a District Court Judge in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, appointed in February 2013. She is currently First Justice in the Newton District Court and presides in the Quincy Drug Court. Judge Heffernan is a member of the District Court Committee on Domestic Violence Prevention and the Massachusetts Trial Court Bail Committee.  

Prior to her appointment to the District Court, Judge Heffernan was Secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS).  Appointed by Governor Deval L. Patrick in January 2010, she was selected as Secretary after serving as the Undersecretary of Criminal Justice. As Secretary, her responsibilities ranged from policy development and budgetary oversight of secretariat agencies, independent programs and several boards  to developing and improving strategies on crime prevention, to homeland security preparedness- all in order to ensure the safety of residents and visitors in the Commonwealth.

Judge Heffernan has more than 25 years of criminal justice and governmental affairs experience. She served as the Associate General Counsel and Director of Intergovernmental and Regulatory Affairs at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. She was also employed as the Corporate Director of Government Relations for Care Group Health Care Systems, the Executive Director for the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, an Assistant District Attorney for Middlesex County, and in a wide array of other public and private sector legal and governmental positions.

Judge Heffernan is a graduate of Framingham State University, Suffolk University School of Management and Suffolk University Law School. She lives in West Roxbury with her two children.

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.