Former Norfolk County DA Jeffrey Locke named state's Trial Court chief

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Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke, a former Norfolk County district attorney, will take over as chief justice of the Trial Court this week.

The Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday appointed Locke to be the next top official of the Trial Court system. He will oversee policy and judicial affairs for all of the state's District, Superior, Housing, Juvenile, Land, Probate and Family courts; Boston Municipal Courts; and the Office of the Commissioner of Probation and the Office of Jury Commissioner.

Locke has been a Superior Court judge since 2001.

He was the regional administrative justice for all cases in Plymouth County between 2007 and 2011 and for Suffolk County criminal cases from 2012 to 2015.

Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke.
Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke.

Since 2018, Locke has chaired the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission. A Boston University law school graduate, Locke worked as a prosecutor before he became a judge. Between 1997 and 1999, Locke was Norfolk County district attorney.

He spent eight years before that as an assistant U.S. attorney, including a stint as deputy chief of the office's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force from 1994 to 1997.

Locke – whose father, David Locke, once was the Senate's Republican leader – takes over the Trial Court system as the entire judiciary continues to grapple with COVID-19 impacts.

Many proceedings are again taking place remotely amid the latest surge fueled by the omicron coronavirus variant.

"Working with the many talented Trial Court managers, starting with Court Administrator John Bello and the dedicated Trial Court departmental chief justices, I will strive to address immediate challenges resulting from the pandemic and also build on improvements put in place by Chief Justice (Paula) Carey," Locke said in a statement.

Carey, who became the Trial Court's chief justice in 2013, announced her retirement plans last fall. She will step down Tuesday, and Locke's first day in his new role will be Wednesday.

This article originally appeared on The Patriot Ledger: Ex-DA Jeffrey Locke named Massachusetts Trial Court chief

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