In July, the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court will lose its most dynamic and effective Chief Justice, Paula Carey, who will assume the same position for the entire state trial court system. The trial court's gain is the Probate Court's loss.
Judge Carey presided over the state's most important court for families during a most challenging period. Budget cuts, staffing attrition and alarming judicial vacancies met growing dockets, litigants with persistent economic pain and a shrinking safety net. Demoralization threatened at all levels. Yet she managed to administer, to innovate and to play cheerleader-in-chief to a system that badly needed it.
Picking a successor is a daunting prospect. We hope that the next Chief's tenure will have more opportunities and fewer crises. Whoever comes next will have the benefit of Judge Carey's continuing example and leadership, but with that comes the burden of following in her esteemed footsteps. Not easy.
As Greater Boston and Western MA divorce mediators, we depend on a well-functioning court, both to serve our clients and to respect our complementary role. As veterans of Judge Carey's bench and bar, we appreciate her efforts and support over many years, both then and now; and we wish her well. Constituents of the other trial court departments will soon learn to appreciate this important leader.
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