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Governor Nominates Local Attorneys to Western Mass. Courts

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker nominated Ellen Randle of East Longmeadow to serve as an associate justice of the Probate and Family Court, Hampden County Division, and Karen Goodwin of Amherst to serve as an associate justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court. Randle has 32 years of legal experience and concentrates her practice in family law, probate disputes, and civil litigation, while Goodwin’s 31 years at the bar have focused on trial work in both the private and public sectors.

“Attorney Randle and Assistant U.S. Attorney Goodwin have, over the last three decades and throughout their impressive careers, demonstrated a strong commitment to serving Massachusetts’ families and their communities,” said Baker. “I am confident Attorney Randle’s and Assistant U.S. Attorney Goodwin’s experience will serve their respective courts well.”

The Probate and Family Court Department has jurisdiction over family-related and probate matters such as divorce, paternity, child support, custody, parenting time, adoption, termination of parental rights, abuse prevention and wills, estates, trusts, guardianships, conservatorships, and changes of name.

The Superior Court is a statewide court of general jurisdiction, handling both criminal and civil actions. The court’s 82 justices sit in 20 courthouses in all 14 counties of the Commonwealth. The Superior Court has original jurisdiction in civil actions over $25,000, and in matters where equitable relief is sought. It also has original jurisdiction in actions including labor disputes where injunctive relief is sought, has exclusive authority to convene medical-malpractice tribunals, has appellate jurisdiction over certain administrative proceedings, and may hold sittings for naturalization in any city or town. The court has exclusive original jurisdiction of first-degree murder cases and original jurisdiction of all other crimes.

“I am pleased with the nominations of two well-respected and skilled women attorneys from Western Massachusetts,” said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. “If confirmed by the Governor’s Council, their respective courts and communities will benefit greatly from Attorney Randle’s and Assistant U.S. Attorney Goodwin’s judgment and wisdom.”

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