Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Governor Baker Nominates Marguerite T. Grant as Associate Justice of the Appeals Court, and Joanna Rodriguez as Associate Justice of the Juvenile Court

Governor Baker Nominates Marguerite T. Grant as Associate Justice of the Appeals Court, and Joanna Rodriguez as Associate Justice of the Juvenile Court

BOSTON — Today, Governor Charlie Baker nominated Marguerite T. Grant as Associate Justice of the Appeals Court, and Joanna Rodriguez as Associate Justice of the Juvenile Court. Attorneys Grant and Rodriguez have nearly 50 years of combined legal experience.

"The many cases tried by Attorneys Grant and Rodriguez over their decades of legal experience have prepared them well to serve as Associate Justices of the Appeals Court and the Juvenile Court," said Governor Charlie Baker. "I am pleased to submit these qualified candidates to the Governor's Council for their advice and consent."

“Over the course of their careers, Attorneys Grant and Rodriguez have each demonstrated leadership and expertise in their respective concentrations," said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.​ "If confirmed by the Governor's Council, I am confident that they will serve the Commonwealth well as Associate Justices of the Appeals Court and the Juvenile Court."

The Appeals Court is a court of general appellate jurisdiction, where justices review decisions that the trial judges from the several Departments of the Trial Court have already made in a wide variety of cases. The Appeals Court also has jurisdiction over appeals from final decisions of three State agencies: the Appellate Tax Board, the Industrial Accident Board and the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board. The Appeals Court consists of a chief justice and twenty-four associate justices. If confirmed by the Governor’s Council, Attorney Grant will fill the seat vacated by the Honorable Sydney F. Hanlon.

For more information on the Appeals Court, please visit their homepage​.

The Juvenile Court Department is a statewide court with jurisdiction over civil and criminal matters including delinquencies, care and protections, youthful offender cases and children requiring assistance. The Juvenile Court's mission is to protect children from abuse and neglect, to strengthen families, to rehabilitate juveniles and to protect the public from delinquent and criminal behavior. The Juvenile Court has over 40 judges, including Chief Justice Amy L. Nechtem, in over 40 locations. If confirmed by the Governor’s Council, Attorney Rodriguez will fill the seat vacated by the Honorable Mark M. Newman. 

For more information about the Juvenile Court, please visit their homepage.

Judicial nominations are subject to the advice and consent of the Governor’s Council. Applicants for judicial openings are reviewed by the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) and recommended to the governor. Governor Baker established the JNC in February 2015 pursuant to Executive Order 558, a non-partisan, non-political Commission composed of volunteers from a cross-section of the Commonwealth's diverse population to screen judicial applications. Twenty-one members were later appointed to the JNC in April 2015.

About Marguerite T. Grant

Marguerite T. Grant began her legal career in 1988 as a Litigation Associate at Hill and Barlow, P.C. in Boston. In 1991, Attorney Grant joined the Middlesex District Attorney's Office, where she served as an Assistant District Attorney for 20 years. In addition to her work as an Assistant District Attorney, Attorney Grant also served as a Lecturer in Legal Writing for Harvard Extension School from 1992 until 1997, and as an Adjunct Professor in Appellate Advocacy for Northeastern University School of Law from 2002 until 2005. In 2011, she joined the Norfolk District Attorney's Office as an Assistant District Attorney, before her promotion in 2014 to her current role as General Counsel and Director of Training. In this role, Attorney Grant advises the District Attorney on legal and ethical issues, trains prosecutors on legal and ethical obligations, and argues primarily homicide and sexual assault cases in state appellate courts. She also serves as an Adjunct Professor in Professional Responsibility at Suffolk University Law School. Attorney Grant has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation since 2007, and was previously a member of the Board of Bar Overseers, serving as Chair from 2007 until 2008. She has also served on the Board of Editors of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly since 2016. Attorney Grant earned her Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School, and her Bachelor's Degree from Wellesley College.

About Joanna Rodriguez 

Joanna Rodriguez began her legal career in 2003 as an Associate at Wadland & Ackerman in Andover. In 2004, she joined the Essex County Probate and Family Court as a Family Law Facilitator, where her responsibilities included assisting pro se litigants by drafting and filing legal pleadings regarding custody, child support, divorce, separate support, and guardianships. Attorney Rodriguez joined the Law Office of Deborah A. Anthony in Andover in 2006, litigating cases with a concentration in juvenile delinquency. In 2008, she opened the Law Office of Joanna Rodriguez in North Andover, where she handled cases as an independent contractor for the Committee for Public Counsel Services in the Lawrence District and Juvenile Courts. Since August 2020, Attorney Rodriguez has been Acting Deputy General Counsel​ for the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board. She has also served since 2019 as a Hearing Officer for the Board of Bar Overseers, and since 2007 as a Team Leader for the US Office of Personnel Management's Voting Rights Observer Program, supervising federal observers at polling places during local, state and national elections. Attorney Rodriguez is an active member of her community, volunteering since 2001 for the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club and serving since 2016 as a member of the Executive Board of Socratic, Inc, a non-profit that grants scholarships to children in Lawrence. She earned her Juris Doctorate from Massachusetts School of Law, and her Bachelor's Degree from Rutgers University.

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