Governor Deval Patrick plans to make history again with his latest Supreme Judicial Court nomination today, tapping the first Asian-American to serve on the Western Hemisphere’s oldest court, according to a senior administration official.
Fernande R.V. Duffly, an appeals court judge, would replace Roderick L. Ireland, sworn in as the court’s first African-American chief justice Monday. Duffly’s appointment must be confirmed by the Governor’s Council, an elected body whose primary responsibility is confirming judicial appointments.
Duffly, 61, is a past president of the National Association of Women Judges. Duffly born in Indonesia, was at Warner & Stackpole from 1978 to 1992, including six years as a partner. She had been on a short list to join the high court since at least 1999, when she was under consideration by Governor Paul Cellucci.
Duffly was first appointed as a Probate and Family Court judge in 1992, then promoted to the Massachusetts Appeals Court in 2000.
Duffly currently serves as a commissioner on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession and the Boston Bar Association’s committees on pro se litigation and attorney volunteerism.
She graduated from the University of Connecticut and Harvard Law School. She moved with her family from Indonesia when she was six. She is Patrick’s fourth nomination to the SJC, following Margot G. Botsford in 2007, Ralph D. Gants in 2008, and Ireland, who was promoted from associate justice.