Governor Baker Nominates Cape Judge to Appeals Court

Judge Kathryn Hand resides in Osterville

BOSTON – A Massachusetts judge who resides on Cape Cod has been nominated by Governor Charlie Baker to the position of Associate Justice of the Appeals Court.

On Friday, Baker nominated the Honorable Kathryn E. Hand, of Osterville, to the position of Associate Justice of the Appeals Court.

Justice Hand has 24 years of legal experience, including 13 years as Justice on the District Court. Hand has been a Regional Administrative Justice of Region 1 since 2013 and has served as Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division of the District Court, Southern Division and the Barnstable District Court since 2015.

Hand is being nominated for the seat vacated by the Honorable Joseph A. Trainor. Former Governor Bill Weld appointed Justice Trainor to the Juvenile Court in 1997 and Governor Jane Swift named him to the Appeals Court in 2001.

“Justice Hand’s courtroom and appellate experience honed over decades of private practice and on the District Court bench will serve all parties that appear before the Appeals Court well,” said Governor Charlie Baker.

“I am pleased to submit this nominee to the Governor’s Council for their advice and consent.”

The Massachusetts Appeals Court is a court of general appellate jurisdiction. The justices review decisions that trial judges from the several Departments of the Trial Court have already made in many different kinds of cases. The Appeals Court also has jurisdiction over appeals from final decisions of three State agencies: the Appellate Tax Board, the Industrial Accident Board and the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board.

A total of 25 statutory justices make up the Appeals Court, including the chief justice.

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.

“Justice Hand is a well-qualified Justice and has served on numerous court committees in the judicial community over the years,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.

“I am confident that she will serve the Appeals Court with distinction, if confirmed.”

Justice Kathryn E. Hand began her legal career as an attorney at the firm Esdaile, Barrett & Esdaile in 1994 before becoming Assistant District Attorney in the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office in 1995.

In 1996, Hand returned to Esdaile, Barrett & Esdaile where she focused on civil litigation in the Massachusetts Superior Court and the Federal District Court relating to medical malpractice, class action litigation, products liability and contract disputes.

In 2006, Hand was appointed to the Massachusetts Trial Court by Governor Romney. As Justice on the Massachusetts Trial Court, Hand has served as a member of the District Court Civil Proceedings Committee since 2010, and served as a Supreme Judicial Court Access to Justice Commissioner from 2010 until 2017.

Since 2013, Hand has been a Regional Administrative Justice of Region 1, managing 24 judges and nine District Court divisions. Hand has served as Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division of the District Court, Southern Division and the Barnstable District Court since 2015, in addition to serving on the Supreme Judicial Court Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure.

Since 2017, Hand has led the 13-member District Court Debt Collection Working Group. She currently is a New Judge Mentor in the Trial Court Judicial Mentoring Program, providing guidance to newly appointed District Court judges. Justice Hand earned her B.A. in English and American Literature and Language from Harvard University in 1991 and her J.D. from Boston College Law School in 1994.


CapeCodToday.com welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on CapeCodToday.com.