Gov. Baker Nominates Joss to Fill Vacancy Left by Haverhill District Court Judge Dowling

Haverhill District Court. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Sarah Joss, who served 11 years under Attorneys General Tom Reilly and Martha Coakley, has been tapped to fill a vacancy left by Haverhill District Court Judge Patricia Dowling two years ago.

In his first new nominations of 2022, Gov. Charlie Baker also named Kristen Stone, who served two years under Attorney General Maura Healey, for nomination to the District Court bench.

Dowling is a former Governor’s Council member and Lawrence mayor. She was nominated to the bench by Gov. Jane Swift after Dowling lost her reelection to the Council. Dowling, who most recently served in the Haverhill courthouse, initially joined the Ipswich District Court in 2001 where she took over a seat vacated by Judge David Lowy.

Since 2014, Joss has worked in the Massachusetts Probation Department, where she is deputy commissioner for legal services/legal counsel. She previously spent around two years at Foley Hoag after graduating University of Chicago Law School in 2001.

Stone was a licensed clinical social worker at Bridgewater State Hospital in the 1990s before attending Suffolk Law, where she graduated in 2003. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Harvard and a master’s in social work from Boston College. She went on to prosecute cases for the Plymouth County district attorney’s office before working in Healey’s White Collar and Public Integrity Division and the Enterprise, Major and Computer Crimes Division.

Stone would fill the seat left in April 2021 by Judge Diane Moriarty, a Gov. Paul Cellucci appointee and 1993 Boston mayoral candidate who received a rare public censure from the SJC in 2010 while serving in Quincy. The Governor’s Council, which interviews and votes on the governor’s nominees, did not meet as scheduled on Wednesday. The panel plans to hold its first meeting of the year next Wednesday.

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