Westfield District Court has a new name

Greaney served as a judge for 35 years in Massachusetts.

WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) —The Westfield District Court honored one of its own yesterday, renaming the building and having a dedication ceremony in honor of Westfield-born Justice John M. Greaney.

The ceremony, which was attended by several elected officials and notable members of law, honored Greaney for his long career in the court system and beyond, which included time as a justice for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, among other judicial positions. The Westfield District Court is located on Elm Street, and currently bears Greaney’s name on the front façade.

Westfield courthouse re-dedicated to retired Judge John Greaney

Justice John M. Greaney stands beside the plaque that honored his service to the Massachusetts and local court systems.

“It’s significant because I’ve lived in Westfield all my life,” Greaney said of the honor. “This is the court I worked at in law school and practiced law as a lawyer. To be honored this way brings me full circle.”

Greaney served as a judge for 35 years in Massachusetts. In addition to his service on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Greaney served as the presiding judge of the Hampden County Housing Court, which was the second court of its kind in Massachusetts and the first outside of Boston, according to Judge Philip A. Contant, First Justice of the Westfield District Court. He also served as a Justice for Massachusetts Superior Court and the Massachusetts Appeals court, becoming the latter’s Chief Justice in 1984. He also was the director of the Macaronis Institute for Trial and Appellate Advocacy at Suffolk University Law School for seven years.

Previous to becoming a judge, Greaney also spent time in the Air National Guard and worked as a lawyer for Ely and King in Springfield for 10 years. However, according to Greaney it was his time at the court in Westfield working for Justice Garvey as a student intern beginning in 1961 that inspired him to become a judge.

“I was struck with how he dispensed justice and compassion,” Greaney said.

Greaney now works as a counsel for Springfield law firm Buckley, Richardson and Gelinas.

Among those in attendance were Rep. John Velis, his uncle, former Representative and judge Peter A. Velis, Sen. Don Humason, President-elect of the Hampden County Bar Association Attorney Travaun Bailey and Westfield Mayor Brian Sullivan.

Copyright 2017 The Westfield News