Governor Maura Healey strengthens her footprint in the Massachusetts judiciary

Emmanuel Paul
Emmanuel Paul - Journalist/ Storyteller

Three new judges in the Massachusetts state court system.

Governor Maura T. Healey has nominated three prominent attorneys to serve as Associate Justices of the Massachusetts District Court.

This initiative represents a significant step forward in strengthening the Massachusetts judicial system.

The appointments of Frederick DeCubellis, Gregory Teran and Amanda Ward, each with extensive experience and a deep commitment to public service, are subject to confirmation by the Governor’s Council.

“I am proud to appoint these three highly experienced attorneys who can be excellent assets to the District Court,” said Governor Healey, “We are grateful to the Governor’s Council for their careful consideration of their nominations. The Governor’s enthusiasm was shared by Lieutenant Governor Driscoll, who emphasized that the candidates were ready and eager to continue their dedicated service to the Commonwealth. “I look forward to working with the Governor’s Council to review these outstanding candidates,” she said.

The Massachusetts District Court plays a vital role in the state’s judicial system, handling a wide range of cases, including criminal procedure, civil, housing, juvenile delinquency and mental health cases.

With 62 courts within the state, the district court’s jurisdiction is extensive, covering crimes punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment, misdemeanors and violations of local ordinances.

In civil matters, the court handles cases in which damages are less than $50,000 and small claims up to $7,000. The selection of these candidates is essential to maintaining the tribunal’s high standards and efficiency.

Candidate profiles: Experience and dedication

Frederick DeCubellis has dedicated much of his career to serving the legal needs of his community. He is currently Deputy Clerk of the District Court of New Bedford. Most notably, he successfully ran a solo practice for 22 years in New Bedford, handling a wide range of civil and criminal matters. DeCubellis holds an associate’s degree from the Community College of Rhode Island, a Bachelor of Arts from Rhode Island College and a Juris Doctorate from Southern New England School of Law. His career demonstrates a deep commitment to justice and community service, qualities that make him a prime candidate for the District Court, according to a release from the Governor’s office.

Gregory Teran brings a wealth of experience to the judicial system of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He is currently a public defender in the Mental Health Litigation Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services. In this capacity, he represents indigent clients facing critical issues such as commitment, involuntary medication and guardianship proceedings. Mr. Teran is also a director of the Massachusetts Guardianship Association. This reflects his commitment to providing resources and support for guardianship issues. Over the course of his career, he has gained extensive experience in complex civil litigation while working at WilmerHale, and served for an extended period as an Assistant District Attorney in Malden. A U.S. Air Force veteran, Mr. Teran holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from MIT and a J.D. from Harvard University.

For her part, Amanda Ward currently holds the position of Assistant Clerk-Magistrate in the Dorchester Division of Boston Municipal Court, having previously worked in Middlesex Superior Court. Her professional career is marked by more than a decade as a public defender with the Committee for Public Counsel Services, where she provided criminal defense for those without financial means. Ms. Ward also contributed to legal education as an adjunct professor at Boston College Law School and was an active member of the National Mock Trial Team.

Early in her career, she worked as a victim/witness advocate in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. Ward’s educational journey took her from American University to Northeastern University School of Law, where she earned her J.D., the Governor’s office informed.

Continuing a tradition of judicial excellence

Governor Healey’s recent appointments follow those of Leo Fama, Francis V. Kenneally, Courtney C. Linnehan and Marjorie P. Tynes as Associate Justices of the District Court. In addition, Sarah Kennedy and Edward Krippendorf are currently under review by the Governor’s Council. This series of thoughtful and strategic appointments underscores Governor Healey’s commitment to maintaining a strong and competent judiciary in line with her campaign promises.

The appointments of Frederick DeCubellis, Gregory Teran and Amanda Ward can be seen as an important step in ensuring the efficient and fair operation of the Massachusetts Trial Court. Their varied backgrounds and commitment to public service should strengthen the Court’s ability to handle a wide range of cases and services. The Governor’s Council’s careful consideration of these candidates is a crucial step in this important process.

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