Patrick loading up on judicial nominees

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, SEPT. 12, 2014…..For the second consecutive Friday afternoon, Gov. Deval Patrick heaped another batch of judicial nominees before the Governor’s Council.

Patrick late Friday nominated Raffi Yessayan, a New Bedford criminal defense lawyer, to serve on the Superior Court, while also unveiling nominees to sit in courts in Boston, Brockton, Hingham and Gloucester.

Last Friday, Patrick selected Boston Municipal Court Judge Robert Tochka for a seat on the Superior Court; Jeanmarie Carroll for Quincy District Court; David Frank for Concord District Court, and Lisa Grant for the Dorchester division of the Boston Municipal Court.

Patrick’s new nominees include Holly Broadbent for Gloucester District Court; Paula Clifford for Hingham District Court, Myong Joun for Boston Municipal Court and Michael Vitali for Brockton District Court.

Patrick and the Legislature this session agreed to a pay raise that has enabled some judges to retire with higher pensions. Several of the new court picks would fill openings created by retirements, giving Patrick a chance to deepen the already major impact his appointments have had on the judiciary during his nearly eight years as governor.

A South Dartmouth resident, Yessayan worked in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office from 1995 to 2007, where he spent nine years in the gang unit and five as its chief. If confirmed by the Governor’s Council, he will fill a vacancy created by the upcoming retirement of the Judge Barbara Rouse.

Broadbent, the governor’s pick for a Gloucester judgeship, is chief of the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, where she began in 1999 as an assistant DA. She lives in Marblehead. Judge Ellen Flatley’s retirement created an opening at the Gloucester court.

Clifford, the Hingham District Court nominee, has been practicing civil litigation at Bonner, Kiernan, Trebach and Crociata in Boston since 2002, and worked from 1998 to 2002 as an assistant DA in Bristol County. Judge Patrick Hurley’s retirement opened the slot for Clifford, who lives in Weymouth.

Working out of Arlington since 2007, Joun’s practice has focused on plaintiff civil rights, employment cases and criminal defense. He began practicing law in 1999 at the Law Offices of Howard Friedman in Boston and served in the U.S. Army National Guard while in college. Judge Charles Johnson retirement from the central division of Boston Municipal Court created that vacancy that Joun will fill if confirmed.

Vitali, the Brockton District Court nominee, has been a criminal defense attorney practicing in Brockton and Boston since 2003. From 1998 until 2003, he worked as a Committee for Public Counsel Services attorney in Hampden and Plymouth counties. Vitali, of Westwood, teaches part-time at Boston University School of Law and Suffolk University Law School and if confirmed would fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Robert Baylor.

Copyright 2014 State House News Service

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