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This profile was last updated on 7/5/12  and contains information from public web pages.

Maureen H. Monks

Wrong Maureen H. Monks?

Associate Justice

Middlesex Probate

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • Boston University School of Law
  • University of Connecticut
43 Total References
Web References
2012 Portable Conference | NCSEA: National Child Support Enforcement Association, 5 July 2012 [cached]
Maureen Monks, Associate Justice, Middlesex Probate and Family Court
Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition - News, 19 May 2008 [cached]
Various News Stories and Essays on Maureen Monks as a Probate and Family Court Judge: MA, Middlesex County Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition - News
Various News Stories and Essays on Maureen Monks as a Probate and Family Court Judge: MA, Middlesex County
Included here are various news stories and essays on the hiring of Maureen Monks as a Probate and Family Court Judge.
BOSTON, MA -May 19, 2008 - The Women's Bar Association of Massachusetts (WBA) has officially endorsed the nomination of Maureen Monks to serve as an Associate Justice of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court. In letters to each member of the Governor's Council, the WBA asked for her confirmation, stressing Monks's extensive experience in family law and her leadership on issues that affect families and underrepresented groups throughout the Commonwealth.
For more than 20 years, Monks has been a family law practitioner, working with issues including guardianship, divorce, adoption and estate planning. She has devoted countless hours to educational and pro bono endeavors. Monks has served as a co-instructor of the Battered Women's Advocacy Project at Suffolk Law School, on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, as a volunteer for the Women's Bar Foundation Family Law Project for Battered Women and as pro bono counsel to lesbian and gay victims of domestic violence for the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders.
"Maureen Monks is a distinguished attorney, dedicated teacher and tireless advocate for the underprivileged," said WBA President Kathy Jo Cook.
Maureen Monks, about to become the newest judge of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court, is a long-time radical lesbian activist attorney. She specializes in "gay" family issues.
"Maureen will be a phenomenal addition to the bench.
Her public statement brings up even more difficulties with Monks:
"While [Maureen Monks'] agenda in favor of women in divorce was telegraphed in even a cursory reading of her resume, her attempts at hiding her agenda are of more concern.
"Finally, Attorney Monks' divorce was filed, finalized and impounded in one day, sealed from view.
Patrick had nominated Monks for the position.
According to news reports, there was a voice vote that went 5-2 in favor of Monks.
"After review, the administration has determined that the confirmation of Maureen Monks by the affirmative vote of five councillors stands," administration spokesman Kyle Sullivan said "This vote is reflected in the Governor's Council's minutes and its taped recording of the assembly.
On June 6 the Boston Globe wrote a scathing editorial attacking the Governor's Council as "just a sideshow" and praising Monks.
"Maureen H. Monks is a well-regarded Cambridge attorney, a recipient of a Massachusetts Bar Association 'access to justice' award for her volunteer work with battered women's groups and the indigent. . . This latest performance nearly derailed a distinguished legal career."
And just imagine what family courts will be like with Monks as a judge.
Maureen H. Monks is a well-regarded Cambridge attorney, a recipient of a Massachusetts Bar Association "access to justice" award for her volunteer work with battered women's groups and the indigent. She is a past board chairman of the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and a passionate advocate for gay rights and women's rights who has carved out a specialty in the evolving complexities of family law.
Patrick nominated Monks for an associate justice position in April, and her application was vetted by the governor's Judicial Nominating Committee, the Joint Bar Committee of the Massachusetts Bar Association, and Patrick's own chief legal counsel before she was interviewed by the council on May 21. At the interview Monks was asked about her law practice, called the Women's Law Collaborative, including whether her advocacy would prevent her from being a neutral arbiter on the bench (a legitimate question), and whether she had represented enough men in her career (not so legitimate).
Correction: An editorial yesterday misnamed an organization that vetted the judicial nomination of Maureen Monks.
Deval Patrick has appointed lesbian activist and lawyer Maureen Monks as associate justice of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court, effectively ignoring a dissenting vote by the Massachusetts Governor's Council.
WND received official word from the court that Monks was sworn in and formally assumed her position Friday despite the council's recorded 4-4 vote denying confirmation. Monks is required to win five votes to be confirmed by the council.
Monks, 49, a member and co-chair of the Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association, is an advocate for "gay" and women's rights. She has represented homosexuals pro bono for Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders.
The Governor's Council verbally voted 5-2 in favor of her appointment, but Democrat Mary-Ellen Manning arrived behind schedule and cast her vote against Monks. Democrat Marilyn Devaney switched her verbal "yes" to a recorded "no" before the meeting adjourned - effectively creating a 4-4 tie and failing to confirm Monks. Lt. Gov.
Manning also said Monks was prone to side with women over men and that her appointment would be in conflict with the public's perception of fair treatment.
Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition - News, 13 June 2008 [cached]
"I see nothing but devastation in the future for families of Middlesex County," Governor's Councilor Mary-Ellen Manning, who voted against Monks, told the Gazette.
Local resident Maureen Monks has been appointed as a judge in the East Cambridge-based Middlesex County Family and Probate Court by Gov.
But the judgeship comes only after Monks survived a bruising confirmation battle before the Governor's Council, where even a supporter expressed concerns that she "fudged" key facts about her legal background.
"I see nothing but devastation in the future for families of Middlesex County," Governor's Councilor Mary-Ellen Manning, who voted against Monks, told the Gazette. "I hope I'm wrong. I hope I'm dead wrong."
Manning accused Monks of giving inaccurate data on the genders of clients she has represented as an attorney and of incorrectly claiming to have helped found a legal project-which Manning was actually involved in-among other criticisms.
"There were a number of things that were not true and were provably not true," Manning said of the information Monks presented to the Governor's Council, which reviews judicial appointments.
"I don't have any comment at this time," Monks said in a voicemail message to the Gazette.
With seven councilors present, the body at first voted orally 5-2 to confirm Monks. But then Manning showed up about a minute later with the results of her own research into some of Monks' statements. In a written vote tally book, Manning added her negative vote and convinced another councilor to change her vote, making for a 4-4 tie instead. A majority is needed to confirm a candidate.
At a June 4 Governor's Council meeting, Lt. Gov. Tim Murray, who presides over the body, announced that the administration was accepting only the original 5-2 vote as valid because Manning showed up after the meeting was adjourned. That meant Monks is confirmed as a judge.
"The vote was 5 to 2, but the sense of the council was 4 to 4," said Iannella, who voted in favor of Monks.
The controversy led the Boston Herald to editorialize on May 31 that the Governor's Council should be disbanded as a "relic of a bygone era," adding that opposition to Monks appeared to be not based on "anything beyond a hunch.
Monks is co-chair of the Stonybrook Neighborhood Association and has frequently been an activist in development controversies in that neighborhood, notable for a calm, precise approach. Before the judgeship, she was partner in the Cambridge family law firm Butler & Monks, The Women's Law Collective.
She is also co-director of the Battered Women's Advocacy Project at Suffolk University. An expert in legal issues of gay/lesbian/bisexual parents, she is also a founding member of the Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association.
Patrick nominated Monks for the judgeship in April.
"Maureen Monks is a compassionate collaborator who offers important expertise in the evolving issues of family law," he said in a press statement at the time.
However, Monks was not under oath in her interview with the Governor's Council.
"Any one of these things I don't think would be enough to conclude anything about attorney Monks," Manning said of her complaints.
Still, in a statement delivered to the council and published on her web site, Manning accused Monks of actively "hiding."
Another criticism was Monks' reported claim to have helped create and design the Women's Bar Foundation pro bono Family Law Project.
"She took credit for something she didn't do. I know, because I was there," Manning said, explaining that she was herself involved in the early planning for that project. "I asked her at the hearing, 'Have I ever met you before?'" Monks was reportedly unable to answer detailed questions about the project.
An item about "teaching same-sex marriage concepts to high school students" was dropped, according to Manning, who said Monks explained she needed room to add her address to the resume.
In this case, if Maureen Monks is thought to be potentially a gender biased jurist, the Governor's Council should reject her and move on to the next candidate. Monks has not been victimized by the Governor's Council and she has no right to the certification of her appointment. If the Governor's Council believes that the governor can do better by appointing another candidate in her place, it does a service for the citizens.
News | Current Issues & initiatives | Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association [cached]
Maureen Monks Appointed to Middlesex County Bench
Maureen H. Monks, 49, a graduate of the University of Connecticut and Boston University School of Law, currently serves as a partner in the Women's Law Collective in Cambridge."Maureen Monks is a compassionate collaborator who offers important expertise in the evolving issues of family law," Governor Patrick said.
A Jamaica Plain resident who concentrates in domestic relations and domestic violence, Monks also serves as a clinical faculty member with Suffolk University Law School's Battered Women's Advocacy Project.Monks is slated to fill the vacancy on the Middlesex County Division of the Probate & Family Court created by the retirement of Judge Beverly Weinger Boorstein.
Testimonials and References - TurboLaw Automated Document Assembly Software, 27 Mar 2008 [cached]
Attorney Maureen Monks of Butler & Monks, The Women's Law Collective
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