Gov. Raimondo Announces 8 Judicial Nominations

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


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Governor Gina Raimondo has announced her eight judicial nominations to fill vacancies on the Superior Court, Family Court, District Court and Workers' Compensation Court. 

"I am delighted to recommend eight outstanding Rhode Islanders to serve in our state court system. Thanks to the good work of the Judicial Nominating Commission, I am nominating individuals with high standards of excellence and integrity. They are all highly-qualified people who are experienced practitioners that would treat everyone who comes before them with dignity and respect," said Raimondo. 

The names will be submitted this week to the Rhode Island Senate for confirmation. 

Superior Court 

Raimondo has nominated attorney Maureen Keough to the Superior Court. 

Keough has been a practicing attorney since 1995 and has been with the Department of the Attorney General since 1999. 

"Attorney Keough's exceptional trial skills and lifelong commitment to public service will make her an excellent addition to the bench. She also understands the need to find creative solutions to making the criminal justice system run better for the people it serves," Raimondo said. 

Keough is a graduate of Boston College and Suffolk University School of Law. 

Superior Court has jurisdiction over all felony proceedings and civil proceedings where the amount in controversy is more than $10,000.

Family Court 

To the Family Court, Raimondo has nominated three. Judge Michael Forte, Magistrate Rossie Lee Harris and Attorney Lia Stuhlsatz. 

"Judge Forte has led Family Court on an interim basis, and has articulated a vision for the court that supports families during their most difficult times. Magistrate Harris and Attorney Stuhlsatz have also demonstrated a lifelong commitment to strengthening families. I am proud to nominate these three people so they can continue to serve our families with compassion and integrity," Raimondo said. 

Judge Forte is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and Franklin Pierce Law Center. He has served on the bench of the Family Court since 1987. 

Magistrate Harris has served as a Family Court magistrate since 2013. He is a graduate of Brown University, the Rhode Island Municipal Police Academy and Boston College Law School. 

Attorney Stuhlsatz has worked as an attorney since 1996 and joined Rhode Island legal Services in 1999. She is currently the supervisor of the Family Preservation Unit. She is a graduate of Smith College, and City University of New York Law School. 

The Family Court has jurisdiction to hear all petitions for divorce, child support, adoptions, and matters related to delinquent, wayward, dependent, neglected, or abused juveniles.

District Court 

To the District Court, Raimondo has nominated two. Attorney Brian Goldman and Attorney James Caruolo. 

Goldman has been in private practice since 1988 and is combat veteran who served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. 

Caruolo has been an attorney since 1991. Prior to going into private practice, Caruolo worked as a prosecutor in the Attorney General's Office in the Appellate, District Court and Narcotics units.

"Given the additional emphasis the District Court is placing on serving our veterans, I am delighted to appoint two professionals with military service. Attorneys Goldman and Caruolo have the legal and life experiences to understand what many of the people before them are going through," said Raimondo. 

The District Court has jurisdiction over civil matters where the amount in controversy is less than $5,000, landlord/tenant matters, violations of housing standards, and criminal arraignments of misdemeanors and felonies.

Workers' Compensation Court 

Raimondo has named two to the Workers' Compensation Court. Judge Robert Ferrieri and Attorney Michael Feeney. 

Ferrieri has served on the bench since 2008, and is being nominated to serve as the Chief Judge of the Workers' Compensation Court.

Michael Feeney has been an attorney since 1988. He also serves as the assistant town solicitor in East Greenwich, and participates in the Superior Court Pilot Program, which provides legal services to indigent defendants in criminal cases.

"I am confident that as chief judge, Judge Ferrieri will continue to make our Workers' Compensation Court a national model. Attorney Feeney's broad range of legal experience make him an excellent addition to the Workers' Compensation Court," Raimondo said. 

Workers' Compensation Court has jurisdiction over employers and employees relative to work-related injuries, whether traumatic or occupational in nature, among other issues.


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