The Year Ahead

The Year Ahead. As the summer winds down, we are finalizing preparations for a busy year of educational programs, new books, author talks, and special events. Last year, more than 85% of sitting judges attended at least one Flaschner program, and many attended two or more. We also saw an increasing number of retired judges attending our author talks and special events. Our goal is to provide a range of choices so varied that every judge will find one or more of them compelling.

The New Flaschner Team. This is also an appropriate time to share with you some changes which have occurred at Flaschner. SJC Associate Justice Scott L. Kafker remains our President and Dean. We are pleased to announce that District Court Judge Julie J. Bernard has succeeded Appeals Court Justice Mary Thomas Sullivan as the Chair of Flaschner’s Board of Trustees. Judge Bernard, who was appointed to the bench in 2002, also serves as an Access to Justice Commissioner and Chair of the District Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee. She has participated as faculty and panelist on numerous legal education programs in Massachusetts, the National Center for State Courts, the National Center for Judicial Ethics, and the National Association for Court Management.

In addition to Justice Sullivan’s retirement this year, the Flaschner Board also lost the services of three other Trustees who recently retired: Probate and Family Court First Justice Linda S. Fidnick, Superior Court Judge Douglas H. Wilkins, and Boston Municipal Court First Justice Kathleen E. Coffey (retiring in September). Flaschner is deeply indebted to Justice Sullivan, Judge Fidnick, Judge Wilkins, and Judge Coffey, each of whom made significant contributions to the cause of judicial education and the administration of Flaschner. We hope they will continue to play a role in Flaschner’s activities as Emeritus Trustees for years to come.

As a result of these four departures, other Board members have been appointed to leadership positions by President Kafker. Land Court Judge Robert B. Foster now chairs the FJI Program Committee, which reviews and approves ideas for educational programs, events, and publications. Juvenile Court Judge Gloria Y. Tan recently became the Chair of the Nominating Committee, which identifies candidates to fill vacancies on Flaschner’s Board. Judge Frances M. Giordano now chairs the Survey Committee, which designs the annual survey sent to every sitting and retired judge seeking ideas for new programs, comments on past programs, and recommendations for how Flaschner can better meet the needs of judges. A complete list of Flaschner’s Trustees and Emeritus Trustees appears below.

Flaschner’s Mission. Flaschner’s programming is built around five key program areas: (i) the impact of race and implicit bias in society, (ii) cutting-edge issues in science and technology, (iii) the art of judging, (iv) responding to societal change, and (v) bench-bar programs. Our annual surveys indicate that the overwhelming majority of judges agree with these priorities. If you have suggestions for new programs Flaschner should consider in these core areas, please send them to: or

Massachusetts Bar Foundation. We also want to take this opportunity to thank the Massachusetts Bar Foundation for its unfailing support for independent judicial education over its 45 year history. The MBF’s annual grant to Flaschner, along with the generous contributions made by judges and lawyers, is essential to Flaschner’s ability to support the more than 60 trial and appellate judges who taught at Flaschner programs or authored Flaschner publications this past year. Flaschner’s commitment is educational services of the highest quality for judges, by judges, and with your support, it will remain so.

Hon. Peter W. Agnes, Jr. (ret.)
Chief Executive Officer, Flaschner Judicial Institute


Honorary President
Hon. Kimberly S. Budd, Chief Justice, Supreme Judicial Court

President and Dean
Hon. Scott L. Kafker, Associate Justice, Supreme Judicial Court

Hon. Julie J. Bernard, Associate Justice, District Court

Chief Executive Officer
Hon. Peter W. Agnes, Jr. (Ret.)

Treasurer and Clerk
Richard D. Dionne, Esq., Dionne Law Group LLC, Boston


Hon. Helen A. Brown Bryant, First Justice, Suffolk County Juvenile Court
Hon. Sergio E. Carvajal, Central Housing Court – Worcester Session
Hon. Kathleen E. Coffey, First Justice, Boston Municipal Court, West Roxbury Division
Hon. Jackie A. Cowin, Associate Justice, Superior Court
Hon. David A. Deakin, Associate Justice, Superior Court
Hon. Robert B. Foster, Associate Justice, Land Court
Hon. David E. Frank, First Justice, Cambridge District Court
Hon. Frances M. Giordano, First Justice, Essex Probate and Family Court
Hon. Kathryn E. Hand, Associate Justice, Appeals Court
Hon. Myong J. Joun, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
Hon. Angel Kelley, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
Hon. Richard A. Simons, First Justice, Berkshire Probate and Family Court
Hon. Gloria Y. Tan, First Justice, Middlesex County Juvenile Court
Hon. Samir Zaganjori, Associate Justice, Boston Municipal Court


Hon. Margot Botsford (Ret.)
Robert J. Brink, Esq. (Ret.)
Hon. Mark S. Coven (Ret.)
Hon. Judith A. Cowin (Ret.)
Hon. John C. Cratsley (Ret.)
Hon. John J. Curran, Jr. (Ret.)
Hon. Linda S. Fidnick (Ret.)
Hon. John M. Greaney (Ret.)
Hon. Peter M. Lauriat (Ret.)
Hon. Barbara A. Lenk (Ret.)
Hon. Stephen M. Limon (Ret.)
Andrew J. McElaney, Esq. (Ret.)
Hon. Christine M. McEvoy (Ret.)
Hon. Paul L. McGill (Ret.)
Hon. James F. McHugh, III (Ret.)
Hon. Mary Thomas Sullivan (Ret.)
Ronnie Flaschner Werner (Ret.)
Hon. Douglas H. Wilkins (Ret.)

Leave a Comment