Massachusetts Governor Baker Appoints Attorney Karin Bell as Associate Superior Court Judge – New Bedford Guide
Today, Governor Charlie Baker appointed attorney Karin Bell to serve 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 very qualified candidate,” Governor Charlie Baker said. “I look forward to the Governor’s Council’s consideration of his nomination for this appointment.”
“I am delighted with the appointment of this distinguished lawyer,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “If confirmed, I am confident that Attorney Bell’s skills and knowledge will enable her to continue to serve the public effectively in this new position.”
The Superior Court, Massachusetts’ trial court of general jurisdiction, is committed to delivering high-quality justice in a timely and fair manner under the rule of law. The Court’s 82 judges sit in 20 courthouses in the 14 counties of the Commonwealth. The Superior Court has first instance jurisdiction in civil actions over $25,000 and in cases where equitable relief is sought.
It also has original jurisdiction in actions, including labor disputes where an injunction is sought, exclusive power to convene medical malpractice tribunals, appellate jurisdiction over certain administrative proceedings, and may hold naturalization in any city or town. The Superior Court also has exclusive original jurisdiction for first degree murder cases and original jurisdiction for all other crimes.
Judicial appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Governor’s Council. Candidates for judicial openings are reviewed by the Judge Nominating Commission (JNC) and recommended to the Governor. Governor Baker established the JNC in February 2015 pursuant to Executive Order 558, a non-partisan, apolitical commission made up of volunteers drawn from a cross-section of the Commonwealth’s diverse population to review court applications. Twenty-one members were subsequently appointed to the JNC in April 2015.
About Attorney Karin Bell
Attorney Karin Bell began her legal career in 2003 as a law clerk to District of Massachusetts Judges Nathaniel M. Gorton and F. Dennis Faylor. In 2003, Attorney Bell joined Goodwin Law Firms, working as a litigation associate. She then joined the US Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts.
Attorney Bell started as an Assistant United States Attorney and was appointed Worcester Branch Chief in 2013. From 2018 to 2021, Attorney Bell became Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division and worked on several very high profile cases. media coverage, including as lead co-prosecutor in the Operation Varsity Blues trial. She was promoted to head of the criminal division in 2021. In 2021, attorney Bell became a partner at Manatt, Phelps, & Phillips, LLP.
She is a volunteer judge at the Harvard Law School Moot Court, teaches in 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 JD from Harvard Law School in 2002.