BOSTON – Today, Governor Charlie Baker nominated Mary Rudolph Black as an Associate Justice of the Probate & Family Court, and Richard J. Sinnott to serve as a Boston Municipal Court Justice. Black has extensive experience practicing before the Probate & Family Court and Sinnott has served for over 25 years in civil and criminal law, including as a Judge Advocate in the U.S. Army Reserves and law professor at Suffolk University.
“I am pleased to nominate two experienced attorneys who have served their communities well and with distinction throughout their careers,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Richard Sinnott’s diverse legal experience and his commitment to human rights laws will make him a welcome addition to the Trial Court system and Mary Rudolph Black’s compassion and understanding of the issues before the Probate and Family Court will make her an invaluable and fair arbiter for the Commonwealth’s families.”
Black is being nominated for the seat vacated by The Honorable Peter C. DiGangi and Sinnott for the seat vacated by The Honorable Patricia E. Bernstein.
“These attorneys’ deep understanding of the law through practice, teaching and activity within their communities have prepared them to address the issues that will come before the respective courts to which they are being nominated,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “I look forward to the Governor’s Council’s review.”
The Probate and Family Court Department has jurisdiction over family-related and probate matters such as divorce, paternity, child support, custody, visitation, adoption, termination of parental rights, abuse prevention and wills, estates, trusts, guardianships and conservatorships.
The Boston Municipal Court Department has thirty judges serving the City of Boston in eight court divisions located in Brighton, Central (downtown), Charlestown, Dorchester, East Boston, Roxbury, South Boston and West Roxbury.
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 Mary Rudolph Black
Mary Rudolph Black has been an attorney in Massachusetts since 1986. After receiving her B.A. in Government from Colby College in 1982 and J.D. from New England School of Law in 1985, Black practiced as an associate with the Gloucester firm of Porter and Coakley for four years, concentrating in contested domestic relations, and probating of estate cases and real estate matters. In 1991, she opened her own office litigating extensively in juvenile and Probate and Family Court matters. Before returning to her own practice in 1997, Black worked at the Gloucester firm, Black and Pontisakos for three years in domestic relations and probate litigation. Her private practice focuses on domestic relations, guardianship, conservatorship and estate matters, and she serves the court as a Guardian ad Litem. Black is a member of the Massachusetts, Essex County, and Gloucester County Bar associations and an active member of her community in Gloucester.
About Richard J. Sinnott
Richard J. Sinnott, a life long Boston resident, has practiced civil and criminal law from his own law office for more than 25 years. An Army Reserve judge advocate and Iraq war veteran, Sinnott also serves as an adjunct professor at Suffolk University Law School where he teaches law of war. He also teaches law and human rights to international military officers at the U.S. Department of Defense Institute of International Legal Studies. He is a graduate of Boston Latin School, Norwich University and Suffolk University Law School. He lives with his wife Eleanor in Charlestown.