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Wednesday, May 04, 2022

Governor Baker Nominates Sarah W. Ellis, Katie C. Rayburn as Associate Justices of the Superior Court and Erika P. Reis as Associate Justice of the Boston Municipal Court

 Governor Baker Nominates Sarah W. Ellis, Katie C. Rayburn as Associate Justices of the Superior Court and Erika P. Reis as Associate Justice of the Boston Municipal Court

 

BOSTON — Today, Governor Charlie Baker nominated Sarah W. Ellis and Katie C. Rayburn as Associate Justices of the Superior Court, and Erika P. Reis as an Associate Justice of the Boston Municipal Court.

 

"Justices Rayburn and Ellis are both experienced judges who are excellent candidates for these appointments, and Attorney Reis is well-qualified to serve on the bench," said Governor Charlie Baker. "I am pleased to submit their nominations to the Governor's Council for their advice and consent."

 

"These three qualified candidates bring valuable life and legal experience to these new roles,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “If approved, I am confident that they will serve as fair and thoughtful members of the judiciary.”

 

The Boston Municipal Court serves the City of Boston, handling both criminal and civil matters while maintaining a commitment to the rule of law, and protecting human dignity through respect, compassion, correction, and the fair resolution of cases. The Boston Municipal Court Department has 30 judges in 8 court divisions located in Brighton, Central (downtown), Charlestown, Dorchester, East Boston, Roxbury, South Boston, and West Roxbury. The Boston Municipal Court also has jurisdiction to review appeals of decisions made by some government agencies on issues such as unemployment compensation and firearms licensing.

 

For more information about the Boston Municipal Court, visit their homepage.

 

The Superior Court, the trial court of general jurisdiction for Massachusetts, is committed to delivering high quality justice in a timely and fair manner in accordance with the rule of law. The Court's 82 justices sit in 20 courthouses in all 14 counties of the Commonwealth. The Superior Court has original jurisdiction in civil actions over $25,000 and in matters where equitable relief is sought. It also has original jurisdiction in actions including labor disputes where injunctive relief is sought, exclusive authority to convene medical malpractice tribunals, appellate jurisdiction over certain administrative proceedings, and may hold sittings for naturalization in any city or town. The Superior Court also has exclusive original jurisdiction of first-degree murder cases and original jurisdiction of all other crimes.

 

For more information about the Superior 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 Sarah W. Ellis

 

Sarah W. Ellis began her legal career in 2000 as a Judicial Law Clerk in the Montgomery County Circuit Court in Maryland. From 2001 until 2014, Justice Ellis held a variety of positions in the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office. First, she served as an Assistant District Attorney for the District Court from 2001 to 2004, before working as the Jury of 6 Supervising Assistant District Attorney, Superior Court Assistant District Attorney, Regional District Court Assistant District Attorney, Motor Vehicle Fatality ADA Coordinator and Second Assistant District Attorney and Director of District Courts until 2014. Justice Ellis also served as the Director of Legal Policy and Deputy General Counsel at the Administrative Office of the District Court from 2014 until 2017. In January 2017, Justice Ellis was named Associate Justice of the District Court and later First Justice of the Waltham District Court in December 2021. Additionally, she is currently a member of the Judicial Outreach Program, sits on the Advisory Committee to the Supreme Judicial Court, presides as co-chair of the District Court Education Committee, volunteers at the Harvard Law School Trial Advocacy Clinic and participates in the Massachusetts Judiciary Trip to the Equal Justice Initiative. Justice Ellis also previously served as a member of the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. She received her bachelor’s degree from Kenyon College in 1997, and her Juris Doctorate from Boston College Law School in 2007.

 

About Katie C. Rayburn

 

Katie C. Rayburn began her legal career in 2001 as an Assistant District Attorney in the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office where she litigated over 150 criminal trials. Since leaving the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office in 2005, Justice Rayburn has worked in both the private and public sectors. From 2005 until 2008, Justice Rayburn worked as an Associate at the Law Office of Daniel W. O’Malley before returning to public service at the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney until 2017. Most recently, Justice Rayburn has served as an Associate Justice of the District Court, where she has presided over criminal and civil cases since 2017. Justice Rayburn has also participated in the State Mock-Trial Program, where she was a mentor and judge. Additionally, she has presented at several MCLEs and law conferences. Justice Rayburn received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts in 1996, and her Juris Doctorate from Suffolk University Law School in 1999.

 

About Erika P. Reis

 

Erika P. Reis began her legal career in 2007 as an Assistant District Attorney in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, where she focused on cases involving both adults and juveniles. After leaving the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office in 2011, Attorney Reis served as Deputy General Counsel in the Office of the Massachusetts Inspector General until 2012. Attorney Reis then served as Assistant Corporation Counsel to the City of Boston until 2016 before joining Eversource Energy as Counsel, where she worked until 2017. She then returned to the City of Boston to serve as Senior Assistant Corporation Counsel until January of this year. Most recently, Attorney Reis returned to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in the role of General Counsel. Attorney Reis is also a member of the Federal Bar Association, where she served as president from 2020 to 2021. In the community, she has volunteered with the Boston Inn of Court, with SafeLink as a Domestic Violence Advocate, as a Board Member of Project Right Inc. from 2013 – 2017, and was a part of The Partnership Inc.’s 2016 Fellows Class. Additionally, Attorney Reis is a member of the BBA, WBA and MBLA. She received her bachelor’s degree from Boston College in 2000, and her Juris Doctorate from the New England School of Law in 2007.

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