Gov. Charlie Baker has nominated James E. Byrne, a Dorchester attorney with extensive experience in the court room and a former Boston city councillor, to serve as a judge in the Chelsea District Court.
“James Byrne is a distinguished and dedicated attorney with many years of public service, including as a Boston City Councilor, “said Gov. Baker. “His legal experience and leadership skills make him an exceptional candidate that I am pleased to nominate for the Governor’s Council’s consideration.”
Said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, “With 35 years of experience James Bryne has the temperament, skill and knowledge of civil and criminal law to serve well all those who will appear in the District Court.”
Byrne has been in private practice for 35 years and is a founding partner of Byrne and Anderson LLP focusing on civil litigation, including personal injury, licensing, zoning and real estate matters. Byrne served five terms as a Boston City Councilor from 1984 to 1994, including as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, the Housing Committee, and the Planning and Development Committee. Byrne’s legal career began in 1981 as Director of Legal Services for the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department before opening his private practice, where he continued to focus primarily on criminal defense work for several years. He served on the Board of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority from 1997 to 2008 and is a member of the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys (MATA) and American Association for Justice (AAJ). He attended Boston Latin School and graduated cum laude from Harvard College in 1976 with a B.A. in Government and from Suffolk University Law School in 1980. He and his wife Jacqueline reside in Dorchester and are the parents of three children.
There are 62 District Courts throughout the Commonwealth hearing a range of criminal, civil, housing, juvenile, mental health and other case types, including all felonies punishable by a sentence up to five years, misdemeanors and violations of city and town ordinances and by-laws.
Judicial nominations are subject to the advice and consent of the Governor’s Council. Applicants for judicial openings are reviewed by the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) and recommended to the governor. Governor Baker established the JNC in February, 2015 pursuant to Executive Order 558, a non-partisan, non-political Commission composed of volunteers from a cross-section of the Commonwealth’s diverse population to screen judicial applications. Twenty-one members were later appointed to the JNC in April, 2015.