BBA President Paul T. Dacier's Statement Regarding Chief Justice Roderick Ireland's Retirement

In response to Chief Justice Roderick Ireland’s announcement that he will retire effective July 2014, President Paul T. Dacier issued the following statement on behalf of the members of the Boston Bar Association:

"We applaud Chief Justice Ireland, not only for his great integrity, deep sense of social justice, and sound judgment, but also his commitment to the administration of justice. Over the past four years, Chief Justice Ireland’s devotion to obtaining adequate funding for the Trial Court has resulted in a more efficient court system better recognized as a coequal branch of government, as mandated by the Massachusetts Constitution. The collaborative way in which he established a working relationship with the legislature, and especially with Speaker Robert DeLeo, has paved the way for court reform – such as the creation of a new Trial Court Administrator, a job which has been filled so admirably by Harry Spence; the first judicial pay raise in eight years; and a Governor’s budget that for the first time in years allots the funding amount requested by the Trial Court.

Since he was elevated from the Appeals Court to the Supreme Judicial Court in 1997, Chief Justice Ireland has been dedicated to serving the people first. In 2010, he became the first African-American Chief Justice of the SJC, and as a result of his extensive wisdom and care, the Commonwealth has seen justice delivered in a manner that best reflects the necessity of the judiciary, both every day and on a much larger scale.

As a Boston Juvenile Court Judge, Roderick Ireland received the BBA’s Haskell Cohn Award for Distinguished Judicial Service in 1990 to recognize his capacity for hard work, intellectual prowess, and restraint on the bench, which has only increased in the years since.

Chief Justice Ireland has given his life to the court, and his presence will be sorely missed. We wish him well in retirement, and thank him for his tireless work to improve the court system and, above all else, his ceaseless concern for the welfare of the people of Massachusetts."

BBA President Paul T. Dacier with Chief Justice Roderick Ireland discussing ways the BBA and SJC can work together.