Retired Appeals Court Judge James F. McHugh has joined The Mediation Group (TMG) in Brookline.
James F. (“Jim”) McHugh was appointed by Gov. Michael Dukakis as a Justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court in 1985. He remained on that Court for 16 years. At various times during the period, he served as a Regional Administrative Justice for Civil Business in Middlesex County and chaired the Superior Court Rules Committee.
In March, 2001, Gov. Paul Celucci appointed Judge McHugh to the Massachusetts Appeals Court where he served for the next 11 years until his retirement in February, 2012. From July, 2004 through July, 2008, however, he was the full-time Special Advisor to Trial Court Chief Justice Robert Mulligan, working with him and with the Trial Court’s Chief Information Officer on deployment of a statewide electronic case management system. Judge McHugh also chaired the Appeals Court’s Court’s Information Technology Committee and the Supreme Judicial Court’s Committee on Judicial Ethics. He was a member of the Supreme Judicial Court Task Force on Hiring in the Judicial Branch and was active in shaping and implementing the 2011 legislation that reorganized the Trial Court’s administrative structure.
While serving on the Superior and Appeals Court, Judge McHugh received the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorney’s Judicial Award, the Boston Bar Association’s Haskell Cohen Award, the Court Management Advisory Board’s Donald J. Monan Judicial Leadership Award and the National Center for State Court’s William H. Rehnquist award for Judicial Excellence.
In March, 2012, Attorney General Martha Coakley appointed Judge McHugh as one of the five initial Commissioners on the newly-created Massachusetts Gaming Commission and he served on the Commission for the next 3 1/2 years. During that period, he and the four other Commissioners oversaw the creation of the Commission itself and issuance of the Commission’s myriad regulations and policies, held hearings on applications for gaming licenses, issued several of those licenses, and oversaw opening and operation of the first licensed gaming facility in Massachusetts. His experience on the Commission coupled with his earlier experience with Trial Court organization and structure underlies Judge McHugh’s decision to join the TMG “Organizational” practice. There, he will work with other group members to help organizations deal with organizational issues, problems and aspirations.
Before he was appointed to the Superior Court, Judge McHugh was an associate and then a partner at the Boston law firm of Bingham, Dana & Gould where he was a member of the litigation department and specialized in First Amendment and admiralty law. For 10 years he taught a course in law of the First Amendment at Boston College Law School and later, for two years, taught a course in advance torts at Northeastern University School of Law.
For many years before his appointment to the Superior Court, Judge McHugh chaired the Board of Appeals in the town where he resided. He received his A. B. from Brown University in 1965 and then served on active duty in the United States Navy from 1965 through 1967. He received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Boston University School of Law in 1970 and, before joining Bingham, Dana & Gould in late 1971, served as a law clerk to the Hon. George E. McKinnon on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.