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Susan S. Beck

Associate Justice memorial

76 Mass. App. Ct. 1139 (2010)

A special sitting of the Appeals Court was held at Boston on April 9, 2010, at which a Memorial to the late Justice Susan S. Beck was presented.

Chief Justice Rapoza; Justices Lenk, Duffly, Cypher, Grasso, Kantrowitz, Berry, McHugh, Kafker, Cohen, Mills, Green, Trainor, Graham, Katzmann, Vuono, Grainger, Meade, Sikora, Rubin, Fecteau, Wolohojian, Milkey, and Hanlon; Supreme Judicial Court Justices Cowin, Cordy, and Botsford; and recalled Justices Smith, Dreben, and Brown. Martha Coakley, Attorney General, addressed the court as follows:

Martha Coakley, Attorney General, addressed the court as follows:

May it please the court: As the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it is my honor to present, on behalf of the bar of this Commonwealth, a memorial and tribute to the late Susan Beck. Justice Beck served this court with distinction as an Associate Justice from 1997 until she retired in 2006. Slowed by illness, she left the bench — a job to which she was deeply committed — to spend more time with her family.

She was born Susan Schwarz on April 15, 1942, in New York City. She was the eldest of three daughters of David and Jeanne (Lasser) Schwarz. Her two younger sisters are Jane and Judy.

Justice Beck grew up in Larchmont and Mamaroneck in Westchester County, and attended public schools. In 1960, she entered Wellesley College, from which she graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1964. By that time, she was married, having met James Beck while in college. They were married on August 26, 1962.

She spent much of the next eleven years at home, raising their two daughters, Deborah and Emily. She also became involved in political campaigns, and discovered that she enjoyed it. She was a town meeting member in Lexington, where she and her family lived for many years.

In 1974, she worked on Paul Tsongas’s successful campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives, and was hired to work in his local office in 1975. That same year she decided to go to law school, and entered Harvard Law School. Juggling child-raising responsibilities with course work and with being a research assistant for Professor Derrick Bell, she received her juris doctor, cum laude, in 1978.

Justice Beck’s entire legal career was in public service. After a brief stint with Greater Boston Legal Services, she joined the Ward Commission as associate counsel, investigating corruption in the award of state and city building projects.

From 1981 to 1983, she worked as a staff attorney at the United States First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. She spent the next four years as an assistant district attorney in Middlesex County, where we worked together.

In 1987, she became an assistant Attorney General in the Public Integrity Division, investigating and prosecuting public corruption cases. In 1990, she was named director of investigations for the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

In 1991, she was appointed general counsel of the Executive Office of Administration and Finance, a position she held for the next six years. That position was a challenging one, with many responsibilities. She became an expert in such diverse areas as capital planning, debt financing, procurement, human resources, and affirmative action. He died on March 28, 2007 in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire; he is survived by his daughter Sally and his wife Abigail.

In 1997, Governor Paul Cellucci appointed Justice Beck to the Appeals Court. She joined the court on November 25, 1997. For the next nine years, she worked tirelessly as an Associate Justice, sometimes even sleeping overnight on the couch in her office.

If one word could describe her approach to judging, it would be ‘‘thorough.’’ Preparing for oral argument, she read not only the briefs and the records of the cases she would be hearing, but also all the cases cited in the briefs. She meticulously reviewed her colleagues’ draft decisions.

During her time on the Appeals Court she wrote 410 decisions — 82 full opinions, 18 rescript opinions, and 310 unpublished decisions. In those opinions, Justice Beck applied the law clearly and concisely, but with a keen understanding of her responsibilities both to the public and to a larger sense of justice. One example: Justice Beck wrote the opinion in Commissioner of Probation v. Adams, 65 Mass. App. Ct. 725 (2006). Technically, the question at issue in the case was ‘‘whether a District Court judge has the inherent power to expunge a civil abuse protection order, issued pursuant to G. L. c. 209A, from the Statewide domestic violence registry when the order was obtained through fraud on the court.’’ 65 Mass. App. Ct. at 725. But what was really at stake was erasing a continuing wrong inflicted on a victim of domestic violence.

Adams — a pseudonym — had been physically and emotionally abused by her boyfriend, Jones. She sought and obtained a protective order under Chapter 209A. In retaliation, Jones sought his own protective order. To obtain it, he made a series of ‘‘false’’ and ‘‘perjurious’’ statements about Adams that were later found to be ‘‘part of [his] larger pattern of harassment’’ of her. 729. For example, Jones claimed that Adams’s family had links to organized crime and that she was having him followed. 726-727 n.2. He also claimed that Adams had drunkenly threatened his children. Id. These false statements would have been hurtful to anyone, but they were designed to be both personally and professionally hurtful to Adams, an attorney who worked with children.

Adams was able to right the initial wrong; she had the protective order vacated. But she encountered some difficulty in getting all records of the order expunged. Justice Beck, recognizing the lingering harm to Adams, affirmed the District Court’s inherent power to expunge all traces of the falsely obtained order. As Justice Beck wrote:

‘‘[T]he purpose of G. L. c. 209A is to protect prospective victims. In the case before us, Adams was the victim of abuse. The 209A order against her was obtained fraudulently as a means of retaliation against her for seeking a 209A order against Jones, and the court was used as a mechanism to perpetrate the fraud. Expunging Adams’s record not only remedies any harm suffered by her, but it also sends the appropriate message to the public: the courts will not be used as a vehicle for abusing G. L. c. 209A as a means of harassment through the seeking and obtaining of fraudulent 209A orders.’’ Id. at 735 (citations omitted).

Justice Beck continued, ‘‘[T]he order in this case serves no informational purpose. Because the order was obtained through fraud on the court, a subsequent discovery of the order in the system by a law enforcement official will provide incorrect information to the official. Adams has not posed any threat to Jones, and any contrary record will impede the administration of justice.’’ Id. at 735. In fact, she added, ‘‘[L]eaving the record on the system would reward Jones in his attempt to harass and destroy Adams. Refusal to expunge the record would fail to discourage others from committing similar frauds on the court.’’ Id. at 735 n.4.

But it was not all work. A former colleague remembers that Justice Beck was also ‘‘the chief organizer of many social events for the Justices that helped maintain the camaraderie that is so important to the smooth functioning of the Court. And she brought in her own home-baked cookies and other baked goods for every conceivable occasion.’’

She was willing to help outside the confines of the courtroom. She volunteered to participate in advanced appellate training for what we call the Assistant Attorneys General Institute, which helps assistant Attorneys General in my office sharpen their litigation skills.

Sadly, illness forced Justice Beck’s retirement on October 31, 2006. She passed away on March 7, 2009, at the age of 66. In addition to her husband, Dr. James Beck, and their daughters, Deborah and Emily, she left three grandchildren: Ariella, Maya, and Jesse.

On behalf of the Commonwealth, I respectfully move that this Memorial be spread on the records of the Appeals Court.

Chief Justice Rapoza: The court now recognizes Charles Baker.

Charles Baker addressed the court as follows:

Chief Justice, members of the Appeals Court, and assembled guests, I spent eight years working in the administrations of William Weld and Paul Cellucci, joining in January of 1991 and serving there to the fall of 1998. My first four years I spent in Health and Human Services where I had an opportunity to work on an indirect basis with Sue Beck and, in the fall of 1994, I became the Secretary of Administration and Finance where she was the General Counsel and we worked closely together on a variety of issues over the course of the next several years until she was nominated to the bench and left the department. I think what I will do is start by telling a quick story about the kind of person Sue Beck was to work with. For those of you who do not know how the State budget process works, the Legislature usually sends the budget to the Governor and the Governor has ten days to review it and make decisions on what to veto and sign. Once a document is signed, it is sent back to the Legislature. It is a big document. It has thousands of pages typically associated with it when you get into all the ancillary documents, hundreds of outside sections and lines, and lines of policy making, budget decisions and assorted ilk.

Sue Beck, by the time we would sit down after nine days of reviewing that budget document, would know virtually every single word of every single line item in that document and every outside section. And that was not because she was a speed reader. It was because there would be days where I would leave the office at 10:00 at night and I would poke my head into Sue’s office and say, ‘‘Are you going home?’’ She would say, ‘‘I just have a couple things to finish up and then I’ll be gone.’’ And I would say, ‘‘Fine, I’ll see you in the morning.’’ I would go home and I would come back around 7:00 the next morning and I would walk in and I would turn on the lights in the office and I would see something in Sue’s office and I would walk over there and she would be sleeping in a chair in her office. I would go over and I would shake her and wake her up and say, ‘‘Hey, Sue, it’s Charlie. It’s morning.’’ And she would say ‘‘Fine.’’ She would get up and not say another word, walk behind her desk, sit down and start working again on that budget document.

It was always fascinating in a very, almost weird way to watch Governor Bill Weld, one of the sharpest, legal eagles I ever had a chance to spend any time around, go toe to toe with Sue Beck over what was in the budget. For those of you who had the experience of spending time with Bill Weld, he is not a guy to be trifled with when it comes to a matter of the law or policy. And Sue is one of the few people I know who could actually go toe to toe with him on an issue that he cared about and at least break even at the time. But it was part of a work ethic that was sort of fundamental to what made her so special. During those four years I spent working with her at Administration and Finance, I never once worried about whether or not any decision we were making that involved her opinion and her decision making had not been properly vetted. She thought harder and longer and with more vim and vigor about every decision than anybody I have ever been around. It was not just her capacity for work that was special. I have been around enough big organizations in my career to be able to tell the difference between somebody people want to talk to and somebody people talk to when they feel like they have to. Sue’s door was always open. But that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that anybody actually walks through it. A lot of people over the course of that four years I spent at Administration and Finance would just find their way into Sue Beck’s office at all times of the day and the night and sit down and talk to her about all kinds of things. She was a little bit of a grey hair in the office. A lot of the people who work in State government, especially in places like that, are young, like me, inexperienced, immature, and have a lot to learn. It is people like Sue Beck who impart the wisdom of the ages whether its time spent as a mother, time spent as a prosecutor, time spent as an investigator, or time spent as a lawyer over the course of her career who helped turn young people into public servants. I never saw anyone who was as good at that or as patient in her dealing with people day in and day out as Sue Beck was.

My final comment about her would be about my relationship with her. She and I would have what we described as standing meetings, which basically meant we never sat down. She would come into my office about something and I would stand up and we would chat about whatever the issue was, and the reason we did that I think was because we both knew that if we sat down and started talking about whatever it was, we would be there all afternoon. And that would probably be a bad thing. So we just said we would have standing meetings on issues and we literally meant standing meetings. I never, ever once went into one of those meetings or out of one believing that the information I was getting had not been thoroughly vetted with all the appropriate parties, considered from every possible angle, and at the end of the day we were making what we believed would be the best decisions we could possibly make.

Shortly after this issue about whether or not she would choose to join the bench, she and I talked about that a bit. After I got over the offense associated with her saying she wanted to leave working with me, I did get a call from the Governor, at this point it was Governor Weld, who asked me to come down to his office and talk about it. We talked about it for awhile. That was a standing meeting too. The most interesting thing to me about it, was what the Governor really wanted to talk about most of all was character, and this is sort of the beauty of Governor Weld as well. He was absolutely convinced that Sue Beck had the legal mind and intellectual chops to serve on anybody’s court. But what he wanted to talk to me about was Sue Beck as a friend, Sue Beck as a colleague, and Sue Beck as somebody who day in and day out would be working in a collegial environment where it would be important for her to be able to act as a colleague, as a supporter, and as an engager with young people, other Justices and other folks on her team. I made quite clear to the Governor that across my career there were very few people I had ever met who were as smart as Sue was, who could play the game themselves or who were as team oriented and as team focused on getting stuff done as she was. And it gave me great pleasure to be able to speak on her behalf when her nomination went before the Governor’s Council.

One of the fun things about serving in public service — this is a fun thing actually — is that you actually get a chance in many cases to do something really great for somebody who has earned it and deserved it. And, having a chance to speak on Sue’s behalf in front of the Governor’s Council when she was a candidate for this court was really one of the best moments I had as a public servant, and I support the Attorney General’s motion. Thank you.

Jennifer Cartée addressed the court as follows:

Good afternoon, Chief Justice Rapoza, Justice Lenk, Justice Duffly, other assembled guests. May it please the Court: My name is Jennifer Cartée and I have been an attorney in the Commonwealth since 2002. Shortly after law school, I had the privilege of serving as law clerk to Justice Susan Beck on this court. I am honored and humbled to have been asked by Judge Beck’s family to speak today on behalf of her law clerks in support of the Attorney General’s motion.

You have already heard the broad outlines of Judge Beck’s professional life, including her devotion to purpose, her intellectual rigor, her humility, and her commitment to the public good. It is obvious to all assembled here that she was an exceptional lawyer, advocate, and jurist. My purpose before the court today is to speak to her constant efforts as a mentor and teacher, not just to her law clerks, but to all those around her.

At the time of Judge Beck’s retirement in 2006, her law clerks were scattered in many geographic locations and not all could attend her final party at the court. We were, however, able to assemble a collected memory book for her, each submitting a photo and letter, conveying what our clerkships had meant to our personal and professional development, updating her on the goings-on in our families since our time with her, and making sure she knew how to reach each of us in the months ahead. Those letters make abundantly clear how very much every law clerk benefited from working with her.

I say working with her, not for her, because Judge Beck insisted from the start that she believed our work relationship must be collaborative, not deferential, in order to do her any good. She emphasized this in a variety of ways. For me, the most memorable was her habit of coming to my desk if she wanted to talk to me, even if that meant we then immediately decamped to her chambers. She could not be convinced to use the telephone to call me, as it seemed too much to her like summoning me, and she said she could not tell if I was deep in the middle of anything that ought not be disturbed. Instead, she would quietly arrive behind my shoulder, and, if she deemed me interruptible, would announce herself by saying, ‘‘Knock, knock.’’ From someone else, that might have made me jumpy, but with Judge Beck, I knew she was sincerely worried about disturbing me, as she regarded my work as on equal footing with her own. When reminiscing with her other law clerks, it became clear that early in her clerkship relationships, Judge Beck would question intensely every opinion offered by the recent law school graduate in front of her, carefully turning it over this way and that, making sure we were not holding back our thoughts or instincts in any way. She did not need us to agree with her, and in fact greatly valued alternative perspectives, especially when the stakes were high. She made sure we were sharing our entire viewpoint. As the year progressed, we were invited to do more and more drafting, which invariably led to more and more interactive revisions, all of which served to polish our legal reasoning and writing skills.

Judge Beck taught us tremendously just by allowing us to work at her side and sometimes be of use to her. She encouraged us to attend any argument of interest, even if we would not be working on that particular case for her, as she felt it an important part of our education to see attorneys actually practicing their craft. Similarly, we were always welcome to join her at any bar association event or continuing education program she was attending or at which she was speaking. If she had anything to do with it, her nametag at these events simply said, ‘‘Susan Beck.’’ I was at her elbow more than once when some newly admitted attorney asked her practice area, and she replied that she worked for the Commonwealth.

As her law clerks, we observed the depth of thought and effort she applied to vexing cases; we observed that she never rushed to judgment, and, until an opinion was published, was willing to reconsider her original position in light of new arguments; we observed that she kept an open mind, even while hewing to deeply felt convictions; and, perhaps most significantly, we observed that she always treated everyone who crossed her path — colleagues, members of the bar, litigants, or just someone whom she might never meet again — with courtesy, respect, and kindness. Seeing these much admired ideals put into practice on a daily basis could not help but change who we are and how we aspire to practice law and to live.

There were times during her tenure on the court that Judge Beck became a careful diplomat, bringing her fellow jurists slowly around to adopting a new principle for which there was no precedent in Massachusetts. She did not do this in order to expand the law, but rather, because she could not abide an obviously unjust result merely because no case currently on the books stated the obvious. By serving with her, we were privileged to see the law of the Commonwealth grow along with the society it governs.

Judge Beck continued mentoring her law clerks even after our time working in her chambers was complete. Many of us turned to her for career advice over the years, whether about our general direction, or the particular personality of a given firm or government office. She was always available to give us her unvarnished opinions, and helped many of us discern what setting would offer a fulfilling legal career, for which we are grateful.

Given how generously Judge Beck brought her clerks into not just the intellectual rigors of her chambers, but also the warm welcome of her home, I would be remiss if I failed to mention her devotion to her family, especially her treasured grandchildren. By inviting us into her daily life outside the court, both during her tenure and after her retirement, she showed us one of the paths available for being both a consummate attorney, and simultaneously living a joy-filled family life. Many of us celebrated holidays with Susan and her husband Jim, and more than one of us had the privilege of their attending our weddings. Indeed, the memento I keep from this clerkship in my office is not some certificate or lawyerly gift, but rather a photo of Susan and Jim dancing at my wedding, hung in a frame made for me by one of their daughters.

Susan lived well, loved well, and left her mark on many. We are all richer for knowing her, and we will long miss her.

In light of the profound and generous impact Judge Beck had on so very many, on the bench, in the bar, and in daily life, her law clerks ask that this court allow the motion of the Attorney General.

Retired Chief Justice Christopher J. Armstrong, speaking for the court, responded as follows:

Chief Justice Rapoza and Justices of the Appeals Court, Chief Justice Marshall and Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court, Attorney General Coakley, Secretary Baker, Attorney Cartée, Dr. Jim Beck, daughters Emily and Deborah, the entire Beck family, and friends of Justice Susan Beck:

When Susan Beck arrived at the Appeals Court in November, 1997, the backlogs were well past the breaking point that led to the court’s expansion three years later. Justice Beck was the perfect fit for the situation — a legal craftsman of impeccable credentials, conscientious almost to a fault, who was willing to work super-human hours in a significant government service for compensation seriously inadequate by comparison to the private practice of law, all for the satisfaction of serving the public and working in the company of other like-minded people. Susan Beck loved the Appeals Court and the people in it, judges and staff alike; and the saddest day of her life, I think, was the day nine years later, when illness forced her to lay down her pen for the last time.

For one whose legal education and career started only after she had raised her family, Justice Beck brought to the Appeals Court an astonishing wealth of experience. From municipal governance to political campaigns, from legal services work to being a public prosecutor, from academic research to investigating public corruption, from counsel to the Ward Commission to counsel to the Secretary of Administration and Finance, her career spanned a broad range of experiences and perspectives.

Formative in her experience must have been her service with the Ward Commission in the early 1980s, a legislative commission set up to investigate comprehensively the then-rampant corruption in public construction contracts. The commission was equipped with broad powers to subpoena records, to grant immunity to witnesses, to hold public and private hearings, and to refer cases for prosecution. There Susan Beck worked under the commission’s deputy chief counsel Thomas Dwyer — coincidentally my colleague in my new life — in charge of the litigation generated by the commission’s broad mandate. Working with what soon became recognized as her characteristic intensity, Susan became familiar with every case and statute in American jurisprudence on the investigative powers of legislative commissions and the limitations on these powers. She wrote the briefs, recalls Attorney Dwyer, defending against nineteen separate assaults on the commission’s jurisdiction, winning all nineteen. ‘‘Not an issue was raised that was new to her,’’ Dwyer writes. ‘‘She was a superstar, and,’’ he adds, ‘‘her smile every morning was a great way to start the day.’’ Susan Beck’s subsequent work as an assistant district attorney in Middlesex County, and as an Assistant Attorney General in the Public Integrity Division, investigating and prosecuting public corruption cases, seems to reflect her deep revulsion at betrayed public trust. What better preparation could she have brought to her six years as General Counsel to the Secretary of Administration and Finance, the mammoth agency that is the very hub of the collections and disbursements of public funds for the Commonwealth, with watchdog powers over county and municipal finances?

None of us judges fully understood Susan’s strengths until she arrived. Oh, we knew she was good; her resume alone, starting with honors from Wellesley and Harvard Law School, and ending with six years in the demanding position of General Counsel at Administration and Finance, all bespoke a person of uncommon ability. What the resume failed to disclose was the grueling schedule she was willing to work to be certain her work was fully informed, fully correct, and impregnably buttressed.

The intensity began with arguments. As one of our judges observed, ‘‘it was comforting to sit on a panel with Judge Beck, because one knew that at least one judge had read every line of the briefs and record appendix.’’ Judge Beck was determined to get our decisions right and poured all her energy into that task. The result was, in her case, finely crafted opinions and, for the rest of us, decisions at least purged of inaccurate citations and vulnerable reasoning. Judge Beck never forgot that the decision of a panel was the decision of every member of the panel, not just the authoring judge; and she was similarly conscientious about the Appeals Court’s ‘‘second panel’’ process, whereby every panel opinion to be published is submitted first for the scrutiny and suggestions of all the non-panelists. As authors, we were all in her debt for improvements made in our opinions by her conscientious reviewing.

The goal was always perfection. She had no tolerance for oversight. Susan Beck, in her legal work, was a methodical, meticulous perfectionist. If that called for her to work all night, she willingly worked all night. She had done so at Administration and Finance, according to our colleague, Justice Trainor, who was at that time Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and the Personnel Administrator for the Commonwealth, and she would do no less in the Appeals Court.

At every stage of Susan Beck’s long record of service to the public, her colleagues admired and respected her for her work ethic, here at the Appeals Court no less than at Administration and Finance, and she was an inspiration to her fellow judges no less than the staff attorneys and her law clerks. But to leave the story there is to leave out the very side of her makeup that those of us who worked with her most remember her for.

She came to the Court in late 1997, and by 1998 she had quietly slipped into the role of den mother. Despite Judge Beck’s grueling work schedule, somehow she always found the time to bake up a coffee cake or cookies or brownies or the like which would appear quietly at meetings of the court. The judges had many meetings in those days, grappling with intractable problems. Susan Beck always added a note of grace, an amenity which was one of many little things that contributed to the court’s collegiality. Soon Justice Beck had organized a group of staff attorneys, law clerks, fiscal office people, court officers, and secretaries who would quickly and efficiently produce parties in the court’s library to celebrate holidays, birthdays, arrivals, and departures. Who can forget the Halloween visit by the witch who stealthily sneaked her way into every office of the court, wordlessly distributing candy or favors? Silly things? Maybe, maybe not. Recall the turmoil the court lived through in the decade Susan Beck was a judge: the building waterproofing project that made significant areas of our building uninhabitable, and left many of us scattered in temporary quarters; the doubling in the size of the court; the relocation of the court twice, first to commercial quarters, then to the Adams; the necessary use of courtrooms in scattered courthouses and generous law schools; all the while that we were trying to deal with our impossible workload. Throughout all that period, morale remained high, and the court reached its highest level of collegiality in my experience. To me, Susan Beck, in addition to all her other attributes, was the consummate team player and morale builder, a strong cohesive influence through a trying time. To me as Chief, she was a strong right arm.

What was it about Justice Beck that caused her to be so beloved at all levels of the Appeals court staff and to be a strong bonding influence for the court as a whole? Part of it was her humility — a deep seated, genuine feeling on her part that she was nothing special, and that everyone who served the court was worthy of her respect as an equal. More than one staff attorney related to me that she would sign her notes to them simply as ‘‘Susan’’ and that if she wanted to see them she was as likely as not to appear at their offices rather than summon them to hers. None of this was affectation. It was all utterly genuine, as was everything she did or said. She accepted their suggestions and criticisms as from an equal, to be discussed with the same thoughtful deliberation as if they were coming from one of her co-panelists. If that may seem inefficient, it also made staff attorneys and her law clerks feel they were a valued part of the work of the court; and it goes without saying that one who feels that way is more motivated to do his or her very best work. Staff measured up to her treatment of them and felt good about it.

The other related aspect was Justice Beck’s transparent genuineness — a transparency apparent in the smile that Attorney Dwyer remembers from so long ago. No one ever had eyes more transparent then hers, whether they twinkled with joy or amusement or blazed with anger or outrage. The staff attorneys and law clerks could see that she was genuinely interested in their problems and in their successes and disappointments. To them, she was never ‘‘the judge.’’ She was their co-worker and friend. Exactly how one accomplishes that, I can’t say. She was, after all, the judge. But somehow the genuineness of her humility came through.

Susan Beck wore many hats in her all too brief years with the court. I say this, to some extent, literally, thinking not only of her Halloween witch’s hat, but also of the hard hat she wore in her work on our building committee, tramping the better part of two years through the halls of this building during the massive renovation project. Justice Beck, characteristically, despite her rigorous panel schedule, was always ready to volunteer for any committee or job I sought volunteers for. Her greatest joy was to be of service.

I remember seeing her during the many court functions she organized, busy everywhere making certain that all the details were right, and that we did not run out of something needed. Sometime after the mid-point of the celebration, I would usually make some remarks, and I would look for her to acknowledge publically her work in organizing the event. I would look in vain. I often reflected on this paradox: that when work needed to be done, Justice Beck was always first in line; and when the time came to give credit for a job well done, she was nowhere to be found.

I like to think she is somewhere today, able to observe our efforts to thank her for her magnificent contribution to our lives, to our court, and to the citizens of the Commonwealth she served so faithfully throughout her career as a lawyer and judge.

On behalf of Chief Justice Rapoza and all the justices of the Appeals Court, it is my honor to announce that the court allows the motion of the Attorney General to spread these proceedings on the records of the court.

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