Mary Hogan Sullivan sworn in as first justice in Norfolk County court
Before she swore in Mary Hogan Sullivan as the new first justice of Norfolk County’s Dedham District Court, Lynda Connolly lauded her as a strong communicator, a “bridge builder” and a leader up to the task of heading the court in difficult financial times.
Connolly, chief justice of the administrative office of the District Court, said Tuesday that Sullivan is known for her common sense and “steady, unflappable demeanor.”
Besides her eight years as a judge, including at Quincy District Court, she was a civil trial lawyer, prosecutor and criminal defense attorney.
“I am so buoyed by the fact that in these challenging times that require the best efforts of all of us, I found absolutely the best judge to become the first justice of the Dedham District Court,” Connolly said.
Connolly administered the oath of office, making official the appointment of Sullivan, who started work Feb. 19.
“Today we embark on a renewed journey to continue to deliver justice to the constituents of the court with compassionate professionalism,” Sullivan said before an overflowing first-floor courtroom of Boston-area judges, clerk magistrates, lawyers and court staff.
She lives in West Roxbury with her husband, Jeremiah Sullivan, a lawyer.
He and their four grown children were at the ceremony, as were her parents, Dorothea and William Hogan.
“We’re very pleased. She’s a hard worker,” said William Hogan, who was a judge in Dedham from 1983 to 1994.
“It’s a happy day for all of us to see a judge of this distinction be appointed a first justice of a court that we all love,” added Maurice Richardson, who was a judge in Dedham from 1974 to 1998 and a first justice his last 16 years before he retired.
Sullivan succeeds acting First Justice Patricia Curtin, who was recently appointed first justice of Brookline District Court.
Regional Administrative Justice Paul Dawley said Sullivan’s appointment is well-deserved.
“Her eight-year tenure on the bench can be characterized by two words – competence and integrity,” Dawley said, adding that she is widely respected by colleagues for her work ethic, courtesy, patience and dignity.
Sullivan, a graduate of George Washington University Law School, said at a post-ceremony reception that what she most enjoys about being a judge are “the occasions, which are pretty rare, where we can make a difference in somebody’s life.”