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Honorable Paula M. Carey ’86, Chief Justice of the Trial Court, Receives Award for Distinguished Judicial Service

"...a proven leader, respected by all..."

(Boston, Revised 9/19/13) New England Law | Boston: Chief Justice Paula M. Carey '86 has received the Boston Bar Association's (BBA) Haskell Cohn Award for Distinguished Judicial Service. The award is "presented to a member of the Massachusetts judiciary, or a resident of Massachusetts who is a member of the Federal judiciary, who has distinguished himself/herself in a manner that calls for special recognition."

Chief Justice Carey heads the Trial Court, a position with broad and significant statewide responsibilities. Her five-year appointment became effective in July.
Chief Justice Carey receives the BBA award. Chief Justice Paula M. Carey receives the award from Boston Bar Association Past President J. D. Smeallie and President Paul Dacier.  Credit: Boston Bar Assn.
“The justices are very pleased that Chief Justice Paula Carey, a proven leader respected by all, will serve as chief justice of the Trial Court in these challenging times,” said Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland when making the announcement. “We are confident that her energy, skills, and passion for excellence in the courts are an outstanding match for this important leadership position."

Chief Justice Carey’s extensive background includes service as chief justice of the Probate and Family Court since 2007.

Recent legislation replaced the single position of chief justice for administration and management with two new positions: chief justice of the Trial Court and court administrator. The chief justice 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 Commissioner of Probation, and the Office of Jury Commissioner. The Trial Court is comprised of 380 judges and more than 6,000 employees who work in 100 courthouses throughout the state.

Chief Justice Paula Carey Chief Justice Carey

The chief justice of the Trial Court's authority over all matters of judicial policy include the appointment of departmental chief justices, oversight of case-flow management, and the establishment of programs and procedures to continuously improve access to justice by all segments of the Commonwealth's population.

“We congratulate Chief Justice Carey for this well-deserved accomplishment and the Commonwealth for appointing a jurist of her caliber to this critical position,” said Dean John F. O’Brien.  “We are proud to count her among our distinguished alumni, and we thank her for her active participation in our alumni community, including her supervision of recent graduates through the Judicial Fellowship Program.”

Chief Justice Carey was first appointed to the Probate and Family Court in 2001 as a circuit judge and then served as an associate justice in Norfolk County. She brings significant leadership experience to her new position.  She was instrumental in the development, adoption, and implementation of the Uniform Probate Code, which instituted major reforms in guardianship and probate procedures. Her many leadership roles include service as chair of the Child Support Guidelines Task Force, the Time Standards Committee, the Staffing Model Committee, and the Probate and Family Court Legislative Committee. She also served on the Budget Advisory Committee and currently is a member of the Governor's Working Group on Child Custody Laws and on Child Centered Family Law.

In 2011, Chief Justice Carey received the Boston Bar Association Citation of Judicial Excellence, the Haskell Freedman Award from the Massachusetts Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the MCLE Scholar-Mentor Award, and the Middlesex Bar Association's Distinguished Jurist Award. She is also a recipient of the Massachusetts Association of Women Lawyers Distinguished Jurist Award in 2009, the Daniel F. Toomey Excellence in Judiciary Award in 2006, and the Massachusetts Judges Conference Probate and Family Court Judicial Excellence Award in 2004.

Prior to her appointment as a judge, she co-founded the firm Carey and Mooney, PC, a family law practice. While in private practice, she chaired the Family Law Section of the Massachusetts Bar Association and served on the Family Law Steering Committee of the Boston Bar Association.

The BBA’s Haskell Cohn Award was presented to another New England Law alumna, Chief Justice Karen F. Scheier ’79 of the Massachusetts Land Court, in 2012.

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