SOURCE: Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP

Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP

April 15, 2015 13:17 ET

The Honorable Margaret H. Marshall Portrait Unveiled at Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - Apr 15, 2015) -  The portrait of The Honorable Margaret H. Marshall, who served as the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court from 1999-2010 and Associate Justice from 1996-1999, was presented to the Supreme Judicial Court on April 10, 2015 at the John Adams Courthouse. The special ceremony was presided over by Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants and attended by Marshall, many judicial leaders, members of the bar, and her colleagues from Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP where Marshall is currently Senior Counsel. Marshall retired from the Court in December 2010 and joined Choate in January 2012.

The portrait was painted by well-known artist Mary Hampson Minifie who has received many awards for her portraits of private and public figures. According to Minifie, who has painted several judges during her career, painting a judge "requires painting the added dimensions of the integrity and character of the judge." Marshall holds a book, "Gideon's Trumpet," which was written by her late husband Anthony Lewis about a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, in her left hand, and a pair of bright red eyeglasses, which were her trademark when she first joined the Court, in her right hand.

Marshall was the first woman Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in its more than 300 year history, and the first woman General Counsel of Harvard University. During Marshall's 14 years on the Court -- including 11 years as Chief Justice -- she wrote more than 300 opinions. She is best known for the 2003 decision, Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, which declared that the Massachusetts Constitution prohibits the state from denying same-sex couples access to civil marriage. The ruling made Massachusetts the first state to legalize gay marriage. 

As Senior Counsel at Choate, Marshall is a member of the firm's Complex Trial & Appellate Litigation Group, where she uses her significant expertise in trial preparation, mock trials, and moot appellate arguments to help clients prepare for litigation success in the courtroom. She also focuses her efforts on Choate's extensive community outreach, pro bono, and diversity programs, and mentoring junior lawyers. One of her most important community projects is her work with Greater Boston Legal Services, where she helped raise money for the Marshall Plan (named in her honor), which was created to help ensure that as many poor people as possible have access to legal assistance.

"I've known Chief Justice Marshall for more than 25 years. We were litigation partners at Choate in the late 80s and early 90s before she became General Counsel at Harvard. Over the years, we have all watched her many accomplishments and the arc of her career with awe," said John Nadas, Chairman of Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP, who spoke at the ceremony. "She has had a profound impact on history, and on many communities, families, and individuals. And she has helped us stay on the right side of history. Yet she is one of us, walks with us, and has taught us so much. It is so fitting that her portrait will hang in the beautiful John Adams Courthouse that she helped renovate and rename, where it will continue to remind us all of who she is, what she has done, and how much she has inspired us."

Following her graduation from Yale Law School, Marshall practiced law for 16 years in Boston and was a partner at Choate. In 1992, she became Vice President and General Counsel of Harvard University. In 1996, she was appointed as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court and was named Chief Justice in September 1999. 

Marshall served as president of the Boston Bar Association from 1991 to 1992, president of the United States Conference of Chief Justices from 2008 to 2009, and chair of the Board of the National Center for State Courts. Marshall is a member of the Council of the American Law Institute, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has served as a Fellow (trustee) of Yale Corporation from 2004 to 2010 and now serves as the Senior Fellow, the first woman to hold that position. She has received many honorary degrees and other professional awards. 

Born and raised in South Africa, Marshall received her undergraduate degree in 1966 from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. She served as president of the National Union of South African Students, a leading anti-apartheid organization. She moved to Boston in 1966 to attend Harvard University, where she received her master's degree in education in 1969. Marshall received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1976.

Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP, one of the nation's leading law firms, is consistently recognized for excellence by Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, The Legal 500, World's Leading Lawyers, International Who's Who of Lawyers, and Expert Guides. With all of its lawyers under one roof, Choate focuses on a core group of areas where it represents clients across the United States and internationally and provides exceptional efficiency, service and value. Choate's areas of focus include high-stakes litigation, corporate/M&A, private equity, technology companies and intellectual property, insurance/reinsurance, government enforcement and compliance, and wealth management.  

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