Governor Maura Healey has made a bold move in nominating three exceptional attorneys to the Probate and Family Court: Manisha Bhatt, Bernadette Stark, and Michelle Yee. Each nominee brings a unique skillset and dedication to justice, promising a starkly positive impact on the Massachusetts legal landscape.
Manisha Bhatt: A Champion for the Underprivileged
For over two decades, Manisha Bhatt has been a beacon of hope for low-income families navigating the complexities of the legal system. As an attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services, she has fiercely advocated for clients embroiled in divorce, paternity, guardianship, and abuse prevention matters. Her unwavering commitment to ensuring access to justice, particularly for limited English-speaking immigrants, shines through in her dedication to community outreach and legal education programs like “Know Your Rights.” Ms. Bhatt’s empathy and legal acumen make her a stark force for good in the lives of those facing challenging legal situations.
Bernadette Stark: A Voice for Resilience and Hope
Emerging from a New York neighborhood riddled with violence, Bernadette Stark has carved a path of resilience and unwavering commitment to justice. Her legal career reflects this journey, spanning both probate and civil litigation. Ms. Stark’s dedication to helping families through difficult legal issues, particularly those experiencing estate planning challenges, family conflict, and guardianship disputes, is unwavering. Her personal experiences and legal expertise combine to form a starkly compassionate and effective approach to navigating the complexities of family law.
Michelle Yee: A Decade of Dedicated Service
For the past ten years, Michelle Yee has served as an Assistant Clerk Magistrate in the Suffolk County Probate and Family Court. Her keen understanding of the court system and unwavering commitment to fairness and impartiality have earned her the respect of colleagues and litigants alike. Ms. Yee’s extensive experience in handling sensitive family matters, including child support, paternity, and adoption, makes her a valuable asset to the court. Her dedication to ensuring a smooth and just process for families in need shines through in her meticulous attention to detail and unwavering adherence to legal principles.
A Starkly Positive Impact on the Future of the Court
Governor Healey’s nominations of Manisha Bhatt, Bernadette Stark, and Michelle Yee represent a starkly positive shift towards a more equitable and accessible Probate and Family Court. Their diverse backgrounds, legal expertise, and unwavering commitment to justice promise to positively impact countless families across Massachusetts. The Governor’s Council now faces the critical task of confirming these exceptional nominees, paving the way for a brighter future for the Massachusetts legal system.
Beyond the Appointments: A Stark Reminder of Our Collective Responsibility
While Governor Healey’s appointments mark a significant step forward, they also serve as a stark reminder of the ongoing need for greater access to justice. The legal system remains complex and often inaccessible for many, particularly low-income families and marginalized communities. It is imperative that we continue to advocate for increased funding for legal aid organizations, community outreach initiatives, and simplified legal processes. By working together, we can strive to create a legal system where justice is not a privilege, but a fundamental right for all.
As these exceptional nominees prepare for their confirmation hearings, let us celebrate their achievements and remain steadfast in our commitment to building a more just and equitable legal system for all. The future of the Probate and Family Court appears bright, and with continued support and collaboration, we can ensure that this starkly positive trajectory continues.
Manisha Bhatt, Bernadette Stark, and Michelle Yee Nominated for Probate and Family Court
Governor Maura Healey has nominated three highly qualified attorneys to the Probate and Family Court: Manisha Bhatt, Bernadette Stark, and Michelle Yee.
Bhatt has been an attorney with Greater Boston Legal Services for over 20 years, representing low-income clients in probate and family matters. She is a champion for the underprivileged and has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by low-income families.
Stark has extensive experience in both probate and civil litigation. She is a skilled advocate and is dedicated to helping families through difficult legal issues.
Yee has served as an Assistant Clerk Magistrate in Suffolk County Probate and Family Court for the past ten years. She has a strong understanding of the court system and is committed to fairness and impartiality.
These three nominees are all highly qualified and dedicated to serving the public. They will be a valuable asset to the Probate and Family Court.
Governor Healey’s nominations are a positive step towards a more equitable and accessible Probate and Family Court. We urge the Governor’s Council to confirm these outstanding nominees.
FAQs about Governor Healey’s Nominations for Probate and Family Court
Who are the nominees?
Governor Healey has nominated three attorneys to the Probate and Family Court:
- Manisha Bhatt : Attorney with Greater Boston Legal Services for over 20 years, representing low-income clients in probate and family matters.
- Bernadette Stark : Extensive experience in both probate and civil litigation, dedicated to helping families through legal challenges.
- Michelle Yee : Ten years as an Assistant Clerk Magistrate in Suffolk County Probate and Family Court, committed to fairness and impartiality.
Why were these individuals nominated?
Governor Healey commended each nominee for their:
- Profound commitment to helping families and children
- Highest praise from colleagues across the state
- Innate ability to navigate difficult cases with respect and consideration
What are the nominees’ qualifications?
- Manisha Bhatt: Over 22 years of experience representing low-income clients in divorce, paternity, guardianship, and abuse prevention matters. Recognized for her work with limited English-speaking immigrants.
- Bernadette Stark: Extensive experience in both probate and civil litigation. Recognized for her resilience and dedication to ensuring justice for all families.
- Michelle Yee: Ten years of experience in the Suffolk County Probate and Family Court. Demonstrated fairness, impartiality, and strong understanding of the court system.
What are the next steps for the nominees?
The Governor’s Council will hold public hearings on the nominations before voting on confirmation.
How can I learn more about the nominees?
You can visit the following resources:
- Governor’s press release: https://masslawyersweekly.com/2023/10/25/first-healey-appointees-are-confirmed-to-bench/
- Greater Boston Legal Services website: https://www.gbls.org/
- Suffolk County Probate and Family Court website: https://www.mass.gov/locations/suffolk-probate-and-family-court
How can I get involved in supporting access to justice?
Here are some ways you can help:
- Contact your local legislators and urge them to support increased funding for legal aid organizations and community outreach programs.
- Volunteer your time or skills to legal aid organizations or non-profit organizations working on access to justice initiatives.
- Educate yourself and others about the importance of access to justice and the challenges faced by underserved communities.
- Spread awareness about the important role of the Probate and Family Court and the impact it has on families across Massachusetts.
By taking action, we can collectively work towards a future where everyone has access to the justice they deserve.