BOSTON, MA -- Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito today administered the Oath of Office to the Honorable Scott L. Kafker, who was sworn in as the sixth Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court in a small private ceremony in the State House.
"I am very pleased that the Governor’s Council has confirmed Chief Justice Scott Kafker and look forward to his continued service as a learned jurist who will serve the Appeals Court and the Commonwealth well," Governor Charlie Baker said.
"The late Governor Paul Cellucci first appointed Justice Kafker to the Appeals Court as an Associate Justice 14 years ago and I am honored to be part of this administration who has chosen Chief Justice Scott Kafker to now lead this important and prestigious court," said Lieutenant Governor Polito.
The swearing in took place in Lieutenant Governor Polito's office following Chief Justice Kafker's confirmation by the Governor's Council Wednesday morning. PHOTO CAPTION: On July 22, 2015, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito administered the Oath of Office to the Honorable Scott L. Kafker, who was sworn in as the sixth Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court in a small private ceremony in the State House.
"I want to thank the Governor's Council for approving my nomination to be Chief Justice of the Appeals Court. I consider it a great honor and responsibility to be selected by Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito to lead this important court into the future," Chief Justice Kafker said following his official swearing in. "In order to serve the pressing needs of the people of the Commonwealth in our rapidly changing world, the Appeals Court must be fast, more flexible and innovative, and more technologically sophisticated. It must strive to be swift and agile as well as fair and wise. As Chief Justice of the Appeals Court, I promise to do everything in my power to advance this critical mission."
Chief Justice Kafker graduated from Amherst College in 1981 and from the University of Chicago Law School in 1985, where he was on the Law Review. After law school, he served as a law clerk to Justice Charles L. Levin of the Michigan Supreme Court, then as a law clerk to Judge Mark L. Wolf of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. In 1987, he joined the Boston law firm of Foley, Hoag & Eliot as an associate. From 1991 to 1993, Chief Justice Kafker was deputy chief legal counsel to Governor William F. Weld. In 1993, he was named chief legal counsel for the Massachusetts Port Authority. He was appointed to the Appeals Court by Governor Paul Cellucci and joined the Court on March 7, 2001.
Chief Justice Kafker has taught state constitutional law at Boston College Law School since 2009. He has also served on the Visiting Committee of the University of Chicago Law School. He is the author of book reviews, comments and articles appearing in the University of Chicago Law Review, the Labor Lawyer, the Washington and Lee Law Review, the Michigan State Law Review, the New England Law Review, and the Rutgers Law Journal. He serves on the Supreme Judicial Court Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil and Appellate Procedure. He is also a member of the American Law Institute and a trustee of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
The Appeals Court is a court of general appellate jurisdiction and has twenty-five statutory justices, including the chief justice. The court decides between 1,400 and 1,700 cases a year. The justices, who sit in panels of three, review decisions made by Trial Court judges in the seven court departments. In addition to its panel jurisdiction, the Appeals Court runs a continuous single justice session, with a separate docket.