New probate court judge for Dukes County will sit in Essex County


Gov. Deval Patrick nominated Boston attorney Brian Dunn last week to be the associate justice of the Probate and Family Court for Dukes County. The Governor’s Council will hold a hearing for Mr. Dunn on June 5.

Although the nomination references Dukes County, if Mr. Dunn is appointed he will sit in the Essex County court and not in Dukes County, Chief Justice of the Probate and Family Court Paula Carey told The Times.

Mr. Dunn would be filling the Dukes County position vacated by the retirement of the Honorable John P. Cronin, who sat in Essex County. The state house allocates justices’ positions by county, but the justices can sit in any of the courts to which they have been assigned. The assignment of justices to the individual courts is handled by the Chief Justice of the court.

The Dukes County Probate and Family Court meets five times a month, on average. A circuit judge, the Honorable Spencer M. Kagan, who sits in the Middlesex County Court, presides over the Dukes County court.