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Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Governor Baker Nominates Sharon F. Lalli and James M. Murphy as Associate Justices of the District Court

 Governor Baker Nominates Sharon F. Lalli and James M. Murphy as Associate Justices of the District Court

 

BOSTON — Today, Governor Charlie Baker announced the nomination of Sharon F. Lalli as Associate Justice of the Falmouth District Court, and James M. Murphy as Associate Justice of the Newton District Court. Attorneys Lalli and Murphy have more than 40 years of combined legal experience.

 

“The many decades Attorneys Lalli and Murphy have spent handling cases and managing busy courtrooms have prepared them well to serve as Associate Justices of the District Court," said Governor Charlie Baker. "I am pleased to submit these candidates to the Governor's Council for their advice and consent."

 

"Over the course of their careers, Attorneys Lalli and Murphy have both demonstrated their dedication to justice and public service," said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. "If confirmed, I am confident that they will serve the Commonwealth well as Associate Justices of the District Court."

 

The District Court hears a wide range of criminal, civil, housing, juvenile, mental health, and other types of cases. District Court criminal jurisdiction extends to all felonies punishable by a sentence up to 5 years, and many other specific felonies with greater potential penalties, all misdemeanors, and all violations of city and town ordinances and bylaws. In civil matters, District Court judges conduct both jury and jury-waived trials, and make final determinations on any matter where the likelihood of recovery is no more than $50,000 (for cases commenced on or after January 1, 2020). The District Court also tries small claims involving up to $7,000 (initially tried to a magistrate, where the defense has a right of appeal either to a judge or a jury). If confirmed by the Governor’s Council, Attorney Lalli will fill the seat vacated by the Honorable Kevin J. Cunningham, and Attorney Murphy will fill the seat vacated by the Honorable Daniel C. Crane. 

 

For more information about the District Court, 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 Sharon F. Lalli

 

Sharon F. Lalli began her legal career in 1986 as an Associate at Creedon & Creedon in Brockton, where she handled litigation pertaining to probate, civil and criminal matters. In 1999, she joined the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney, handling cases assigned by the District Attorney and leading the creation and implementation of asset forfeiture procedures. In 2004, Attorney Lalli joined the Massachusetts Senate Judiciary Committee as Counsel to the Chairman, where her responsibilities included researching and preparing bills relating to legal practices, assisting and advising committee members and conducting hearings. In 2013, she joined the Plymouth County Superior Court as an Assistant Clerk Magistrate, where she continues to advise the Court and prepare warrants, writs and other official documents in addition to managing all criminal sessions and court personnel. Attorney Lalli is also a member of the Plymouth County Bar Association and the Women’s Bar Association. She earned her Juris Doctorate from Suffolk University Law School, and her Bachelor’s Degree from Stonehill College.  

 

About James M. Murphy

 

James M. Murphy began his legal career in 1998 as a Law Clerk for the Massachusetts Superior Court, where he conducted research and worked daily to assist the Justices in motion sessions, hearings and trials. In 1999, he joined the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, handling cases before the Dorchester District Court and Suffolk Superior Court as well as serving from 2002 until 2003 as Deputy Chief of the Safe Neighborhood Initiative. In 2003, Attorney Murphy joined Bletzer & Bletzer, PC, in Boston, where he specialized in civil litigation and criminal defense while also developing a transactional real estate practice. After 13 years in this role, he joined the Woburn District Court as an Assistant Clerk Magistrate, where he continues to preside over small claims trials, manage criminal and civil sessions, and assist judges with questions of law and procedure. In addition to his legal work, Attorney Murphy is an active member of his community, serving since 2008 on the Board of Directors for Lexington Bedford Youth Hockey and as a Volunteer since 2014 for Lexington’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. He also served previously as a Lexington Town Meeting Member from 2007 until 2011, and as an elected member of the Boston College Law School Alumni Association Board from 2000 until 2008. Attorney Murphy earned his Juris Doctorate from Boston College Law School and his Bachelor’s Degree from College of the Holy Cross.

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