Last night, the Boston Bar Association presented Chief
Justice of the Trial Court Paula M. Carey with the Haskell Cohn Award for
Distinguished Judicial Service. Established in 1975, the Haskell Cohn
Distinguished Judicial Service Award is "presented to a member of the
Massachusetts judiciary, or a resident of Massachusetts who is a member of the
Federal judiciary, who has distinguished himself/herself in a manner that calls
for special recognition."
Chief Justice Carey is known throughout the
legal community for her steadfast leadership in the face of inadequate funding,
overwhelming numbers of self-represented litigants, and other difficult
circumstances. Appointed as a judge on the Probate and Family Court in 2001 and
later as Chief Justice in 2007, she was decisive and compassionate with court
personnel and litigants alike, aware that the court was understaffed and that
those who came through its doors were often at the lowest point of their
As Chief Justice of the Trial Court, Chief Justice Carey is
working with Court Administrator Harry Spence to implement a strategic plan that
will match the quality of the court's decisions with quality in structure and
operations. She has stepped into the role with her trademark collaborative,
inclusive leadership style, maintaining a supportive presence and a
During the ceremony, the BBA gave Chief Justice
Carey a celebratory plaque, which read:
"Chief Justice of the Trial Court
Paula M. Carey exemplifies excellence as a judicial leader with a clear vision
of advancing access to justice for all in the 21st century. Her passion for
innovation, her ability to foster collaboration, and her skill in executing
sound management principles amid scarce resources earn her the respect of all
who know her.
Thoughtful and inclusive, Justice Carey is receptive to
divergent viewpoints, and gives all of the court's constituents the opportunity
to speak and be heard. At the same time, she is courageous in her decisions,
doing what she believes is in the best interest of administering justice fairly,
compassionately and efficiently in challenging times.
Her enthusiasm for
embracing the most ambitious of strategic plans, and for doing frequent checks
on what is being accomplished, is grounded in her view that the trial court
department must evolve with the needs of those it must serve today and in the
future. Her self-confidence as a leader fosters constant self-appraisal and
allows her to welcome guidance from others.
She has a practical grasp of
every aspect of the law-making process, understands the big picture, and knows
how to build consensus in situations that might otherwise result in gridlock.
Demonstrating profound respect for all three branches of government and the work
done by each, Justice Carey in turn has developed great credibility among her
colleagues in the judiciary, the legislature, and the executive office.
For her dedicated and outstanding service as an associate justice of the
Probate and Family Court, as Chief Justice of the Probate and Family Court, and
as Chief Justice of the Trial Court, the Boston Bar Association is proud to
recognize Justice Paula Carey with the Haskell Cohn Award."