Governor Deval Patrick has named a Boston attorney to head the panel that screens applications for judgeships in Massachusetts. E. Macey Russell has been a member of the Judicial Nominating Commission since 2007 and became its vice chairman this year. He will take over as chairman Jan. 1, succeeding Lisa Goodheart, who has headed the panel for the past 3 1/2 years. Russell is a partner at Choate, Hall & Stewart and is cochairman of the law firm’s diversity committee. The commission has assisted Patrick in the naming of 83 judges, including four nominations to the Supreme Judicial Court.