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Judge Barbadoro ’80 Named to Influential Judicial Conference Seat

As chair of Executive Committee, alumnus to play vital role in federal judiciary


US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on July 9 appointed Judge Paul J. Barbadoro ’80 of the US District Court of New Hampshire to serve as chair of the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States.

“The appointment shows the complete confidence that the Chief Justice of the United States has in Judge Barbardoro,” said Daniel R. Coquillette, J. Donald Monan, SJ, Professor at Boston College, himself a reporter to the Rules Committee, which reports to the Judicial Conference. “It shows he is held in great respect by his colleagues in the federal courts.”

“The federal judiciary is filled with extraordinary people,” Judge Barbadoro said of his appointment, “and it is a real pleasure to have the opportunity to work closely with such an able group of judges as a member of both the Judicial Conference and the Executive Committee.”

The Judicial Conference, which is the national policy-making body for the federal courts, comprises the chief judges of each judicial circuit and the Court of International Trade, as well as a district judge from each regional circuit. The committee supervises the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, approves the Judiciary’s annual spending plan, and works with the chairs of the other committees to resolve conflicts and develop proposals for consideration by the Conference, among other things.

For decades, Judge Barbadoro has maintained close ties to Boston College Law School, judging competitions and hiring law clerks. “I do what I can to promote the development of trial skills at the Law School and so I have presided over the finals of the Mock Trial competition every year for the last 20 or so years,” he said.

“He’s been extraordinarily helpful in so many ways and is an invaluable asset for our advocacy programs,” said Rosemary Daly ’87, who directs them.

In addition, through his relationships with his former professors, George Brown and Robert Bloom ’81, classmate Jim Repetti, and others like Judy McMorrow and Mike Cassidy, who understand what he is looking for and make recommendations, Judge Barbadoro has selected more than 20 law clerks from BC Law.

“I am looking for clear writers and clear thinkers. Boston College has a strong legal writing program and I always know when I hire a clerk from Boston College that he or she will come into the job knowing how to write,” Barbadoro explained.

“My work on the District Court is fact-driven and I am also looking for law clerks who are able to deal effectively with complicated facts,” he said. “This can be a real challenge for new law school graduates and I have found over the years that my Boston College clerks have been able to adapt quickly to the real world in which outcomes will often turn on fine factual distinctions.”

In the years before joining the bench, the native Rhode Islander was an assistant attorney general in New Hampshire, counsel to US Senator Warren B. Rudman ’60, a private practitioner, and deputy chief counsel to the US Senate Committee on Secret Military Assistance to Iran and the Nicaraguan Opposition.

He has been on the New Hampshire court since 1992 and served as its chief judge from 1997 to 2004.

“Judge Barbadoro will directly influence important policy in the US and our system of justice. It’s a huge responsibility,” Coquillette said.