Judge Brieger Named Chief Justice Of Trial Court

Photo: Getty Images

BOSTON (State House News Service) — Judge Heidi Brieger will succeed Jeffrey Locke as chief justice of the Trial Court, one of the top posts in the Massachusetts judiciary.

The Supreme Judicial Court announced Brieger's appointment late Thursday morning and said it is effective Dec. 22. Locke is retiring from the bench in December. 

In her new post, Brieger will partner with Court Administrator Tom Ambrosino to oversee the administration of 385 judges, a staff of more than 6,000 people, and 94 courthouses that are part of the Trial Court system.

Brieger was named by Gov. Deval Patrick to the Superior Court in 2012 and has worked as Superior Court chief justice since June 2021.

She previously served as the regional administrative justice for civil business in Suffolk County and chaired the Superior Court Education Committee. She had a long run as a federal prosecutor, beginning work in the Massachusetts U.S. attorney's office in 1992 and serving as chief of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force in the office beginning in 2006.

A graduate of Smith College and Boston College Law School, Brieger was a law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Caffrey.

"The Justices are delighted to announce the appointment of Superior Court Chief Justice Heidi Brieger, who has led the Superior Court with skill, wisdom and dedication,” SJC Chief Justice Kimberly Budd said. "Chief Justice Brieger understands and cares deeply about the court system. Her thoughtful, collaborative leadership style makes her ideally suited to work with the Court Administrator, Tom Ambrosino, to lead the Trial Court."

The SJC described the post Brieger will assume as "the policy and judicial head of the Trial Court," which includes the Boston Municipal, District, Housing, Juvenile, Land, Probate and Family, and Superior courts, the Office of the Commissioner of Probation, and the Office of Jury Commissioner.

"The Chief Justice of the Trial Court has authority over all matters of judicial policy and appoints the departmental chief justices, oversees case flow management and the establishment of programs and procedures to continuously improve access to justice by all segments of the Commonwealth's population," the court said.

Written by Michael P. Norton/SHNS

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