Today, Governor Charlie Baker nominated Attorney Karin Bell as Associate Justice of the Superior Court. Attorney Bell has 19 years of legal experience.
“The many years of legal experience that Attorney Bell will bring to the Superior Court make her a well-qualified candidate,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “I look forward to the Governor’s Council’s consideration of her nomination for this appointment.”
“I am pleased with the nomination of this distinguished attorney,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “If confirmed, I am confident that Attorney Bell’s skills and knowledge will allow her to continue to serve the public effectively in this new position.”
The Superior Court, the trial court of general jurisdiction for Massachusetts, is committed to delivering high quality justice in a timely and fair manner in accordance with the rule of law. The Court’s 82 justices sit in 20 courthouses in all 14 counties of the Commonwealth. The Superior Court has original jurisdiction in civil actions over $25,000 and in matters where equitable relief is sought.
It also has original jurisdiction in actions including labor disputes where injunctive relief is sought, exclusive authority to convene medical malpractice tribunals, appellate jurisdiction over certain administrative proceedings, and may hold sittings for naturalization in any city or town. The Superior Court also has exclusive original jurisdiction of first-degree murder cases and original jurisdiction of all other crimes.
Judicial nominations are subject to the advice and consent of the Governor’s Council. Applicants for judicial openings are reviewed by the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) and recommended to the governor. Governor Baker established the JNC in February 2015 pursuant to Executive Order 558, a non-partisan, non-political Commission composed of volunteers from a cross-section of the Commonwealth’s diverse population to screen judicial applications. Twenty-one members were later appointed to the JNC in April 2015.
About Attorney Karin Bell
Attorney Karin Bell began her legal career in 2003 as a law clerk under Judges Nathaniel M. Gorton and F. Dennis Faylor of the District of Massachusetts. In 2003, Attorney Bell joined Goodwin law offices, working as a litigation associate. She then joined the Office of the US Attorney for Massachusetts.
Attorney Bell started as an Assistant US Attorney and was named Chief of the Worcester Branch office in 2013. From 2018 to 2021, Attorney Bell became Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division and worked on several high-profile cases, most notably serving as a co-lead prosecutor for the Operation Varsity Blues trial. She was promoted to Chief of the Criminal Division in 2021. In 2021, Attorney Bell became a partner with Manatt, Phelps, & Phillips, LLP.
She volunteers as a judge in the Harvard Law School Moot Court Competition, teaches at the Discovering Justice program, and volunteers at Grace Chapel. Attorney Bell received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland in 1997, and her Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School in 2002.