Gov. Healey’s Strategic Nominations: Elevating Expertise in Boston’s Probate and Family Court

Governor Maura T. Healey has set the stage for a transformative shift in Boston’s Probate and Family Court, nominating three highly accomplished attorneys to join the esteemed bench. The introduction of Manisha Bhatt, Bernadette Stark, and Michelle Yee reflects Healey’s commitment to infusing the court with legal prowess and compassion—a dynamic blend crucial in navigating the intricacies of familial disputes.

A Governor’s Vision for a Compassionate Bench

Governor Healey, recognizing the pivotal role of Probate and Family Court in addressing delicate familial matters, expressed confidence in the expertise these nominees bring. “These three attorneys have all shown a profound commitment to helping families and children over the course of their careers,” emphasized Healey, highlighting the critical nature of their potential roles.

Meet the Nominees: Expertise and Compassion

1. Manisha Bhatt

With a commendable track record spanning over two decades at Greater Boston Legal Services, Manisha Bhatt stands out as a champion for the underprivileged. Her role as a legal guardian for immigrants navigating the complexities of the judicial system showcases a commitment to justice for those often marginalized. Bhatt’s dedication extends beyond the courtroom, with her “Know Your Rights” program contributing to legal education and empowerment.

2. Bernadette Stark

Bernadette Stark, bringing a wealth of experience in both probate and civil litigation, embodies resilience and hope. Rising from a challenging New York neighborhood, Stark has channeled her life experiences into a career devoted to ensuring justice reaches every distressed family. Her nomination reflects a commitment to inclusivity and accessibility in the pursuit of legal remedies.

3. Michelle Yee

Michelle Yee, with 18 years of experience in the Probate and Family Court systems, has been a driving force behind modernizing court procedures. Her involvement in the Pathways Case Management Initiative underscores a forward-thinking approach to enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the judicial process. Yee’s nomination aligns with Governor Healey’s vision of a progressive and responsive court system.

Governor Healey’s Strategic Approach

The nomination of these accomplished attorneys aligns with Governor Healey’s overarching strategy for enhancing the probate and family court system. Building on her earlier appointment of Stephanie L. Everett as Suffolk Register of Probate, Healey continues to prioritize individuals who blend empathy with effectiveness in their pursuit of justice.

Lieutenant Governor’s Endorsement

Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll echoed Governor Healey’s enthusiasm, expressing delight in submitting these nominations to the Governor’s Council. Their confirmation, if secured, holds the promise of significant reinforcement for a judicial body dedicated to delicately balancing the scales of justice for Massachusetts families facing challenging circumstances.

Looking Ahead: A Developing Narrative

As the nominations progress through the Governor’s Council vetting process, the legal community and the public await the unfolding narrative. Governor Healey’s strategic vision for Boston’s Probate and Family Court signals a commitment to a compassionate, efficient, and equitable judicial system that responds adeptly to the needs of Massachusetts families.

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