The following is a press release from the Governor’s office submitted to SOURCE media.
BOSTON — Today, June 24, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker nominated Sylvia Gomes as Associate Justice of the Juvenile Court, and Michael D. Anderson as Associate Justice of the Probate and Family Court. Attorneys Gomes and Anderson have more than 50 years of combined legal experience.
“The many cases that Attorneys Gomes and Anderson have tried over their decades of experience have prepared them well to serve as Associate Justices of the Juvenile Court and the Probate and Family Court,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “I am pleased to submit these qualified candidates to the Governor’s Council for their advice and consent.”
“Throughout their careers, Attorneys Gomes and Anderson have demonstrated a commitment to both public service and the families of the Commonwealth,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “If confirmed by the Governor’s Council, I am confident that they will maintain that commitment as Associate Justices of the Juvenile Court and the Probate and Family Court.”
The Juvenile Court Department is a statewide court with jurisdiction over civil and criminal matters including delinquencies, care and protections, youthful offender cases and children requiring assistance.
The Juvenile Court’s mission is to protect children from abuse and neglect, to strengthen families, to rehabilitate juveniles and to protect the public from delinquent and criminal behavior.
The Juvenile Court has over 40 judges, including Chief Justice Amy L. Nechtem, in over 40 locations. If confirmed by the Governor’s Council, Attorney Gomes will fill the seat vacated by the Honorable Mary M. McCallum.
The Probate and Family Court Department has jurisdiction over family-related and probate matters such as divorce, paternity, child support, custody, parenting time, adoption, termination of parental rights, abuse prevention and wills, estates, trusts, guardianships, conservatorships, and changes of name.
The Probate and Family Court has over 40 judges, including Chief Justice John D. Casey. If confirmed by the Governor’s Council, Attorney Anderson will fill the seat vacated by the Honorable Randy J. Kaplan.
Sylvia Gomes began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney at the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office in 1996, where she prepared and conducted criminal trials on behalf of the Commonwealth for 3 years. In 1999, she joined the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families’ Southeast Regional Office as Assistant Regional Counsel, preparing and conducting civil trials involving juveniles.
She has served in this role for more than 20 years. Prior to practicing law, Attorney Gomes spent 2 years as a Probation Officer in New Bedford and worked one year as an Investigator for the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General. In addition to her legal work, Attorney Gomes is a board member of the Cape Verdean Recognition Committee, the Bristol County Commission on the Status of Women and the New Bedford Community Preservation Act Committee, and serves as Co-Chair of the Martha Briggs Educational Club Scholarship.
She earned her Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law, and her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Michael D. Anderson began his legal career in 1991 as an attorney at McLellan & Zack in Boston, where he concentrated primarily on family law for more than 9 years.
In 2000, he opened the Law Office of Michael D. Anderson in Woburn, which he has managed and operated for the last 20 years. In his private practice, Attorney Anderson has continued to focus on family law, providing representation to clients on matters before the Probate and Family Court. He also has represented a civil engineering and design firm as outside corporate counsel, and serves as Clerk of the company.
In addition to his legal practice, Attorney Anderson was elected and is in his fifth term as an Alderman of the City of Woburn, and currently serves as the City Council President.
He has also published four books on family law. Attorney Anderson earned his Juris Doctorate from Suffolk University Law School, and his Bachelor’s Degree from Trinity College.