Thursday, 4:30 PM
Patrick nominates Botsford for high court
(Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff)
Governor Deval Patrick today introduced Margot Botsford, a superior court judge who he nominated to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Judicial Court.
By Frank Phillips and April Simpson, Globe Staff
Governor Deval Patrick this morning introduced Suffolk Superior Court Judge Margot G. Botsford as his first nominee for the state's highest court.
If confirmed by the Governor's Council, Botsford will fill the vacancy on the Supreme Judicial Court created when Justice Martha B. Sosman died in March.
Patrick said he was looking for someone with a respect for precedent, and an understanding that the constitution is a "living document."
"Judge Botsford's brilliance as a jurist on the superior court and as a prosecutor and litigator of civil matters, combined with her deep empathy for people, make her an ideal choice to serve the Commonwealth on the oldest appellate court in continuous existence in the Western Hemisphere," Patrick said at a State House news conference.
Botsford paid tribute to Sosman. "She has left very large shoes for me to try to walk in," Botsford said.
Botsford, 60, has frequently been a finalist for a seat on the high court, and was appointed to the bench in 1989 after working as an assistant attorney general and a Middlesex County prosecutor. A New York native who received a law degree from Northeastern University in 1973, she has a reputation as a hard-working, fair, and scholarly jurist.
Much of her work on the bench in recent years has involved handling the court's business sessions, which focus on complex corporate and business cases.
"She is universally regarded by lawyers and litigants for her knowledge of the law, her wise discretion in applying the law, her unwavering fairness and her unimpeachable character," said Josh Wall, Suffolk's first assistant district attorney. "By all measurements she is at the top of the judiciary."
"She is A-plus," said Boston attorney Michael S. Greco, who recently stepped down as the president of the American Bar Association. "There is no doubt in my mind that she has the intellectual firepower to handle some of the state's most complex cases."