RI Superior Court Presiding Justice Joseph Rodgers to Retire

Breaking News from the Providence Journal 7-7 Blog:

Superior Court Presiding Justice Joseph F. Rodgers Jr. on Wednesday announced his retirement from the bench at the same time that Governor Carcieri announced he was nominating Rodgers’ daughter, Kristen E. Rodgers, for a seat on the same court.

Presiding Justice Rodgers, 67, said in an interview with The Providence Journal that his retirement will be effective Aug. 28. He said he expected the Senate Judiciary Committee to take up his daughter’s nomination late next week — and a vote taken on her confirmation — before the legislature adjourns for the session.

Joseph F. Rodgers has been a judge for 35 years and when he retires will get a pension equal to his full salary, which as of July 1 will be $185,649, he said.

He said he was announcing his retirement now “to accelerate the process” so the General Assembly can name someone to take his place on the Superior Court sooner rather than later. He said it was his understanding that the legislature was planning to return for a special session in August or September to take up additional judicial nominations.

The Judicial Nominating Commission would have to advertise, hold hearings and vote on candidates to present to Carcieri to fill Rodgers’ slot on the bench.

Rodgers’ 41-year-old daughter is a partner at Blish & Cavanagh which concentrates in civil litigation. She is filling the vacancy that was created by the retirement of Superior Court Judge Vincent A. Ragosta last year.

Rodgers said that he already knows of at least one judge on his court who wishes to succeed him as presiding justice — Alice B. Gibney.

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2 responses to “RI Superior Court Presiding Justice Joseph Rodgers to Retire

  1. Here is the press release from the Governor’s office:

    Governor Donald L. Carcieri today announced that he has nominated Kristen E. Rodgers, Esq. to serve on the Rhode Island Superior Court. The nomination requires the advice and consent of the Rhode Island State Senate. Ms. Rodgers will fill the vacancy that was created by the retirement of Justice Vincent A. Ragosta.

    “Ms. Rodgers is a practicing attorney with more than 15 years experience in civil litigation, and has an outstanding reputation in the legal community,” said Governor Donald L. Carcieri. “I am confident she will serve with great distinction.”

    Ms. Rodgers is a partner with Blish & Cavanagh, LLP, a law firm with a significant civil litigation practice before state and federal courts in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, where she handles complex commercial and business disputes, media law, municipal law, contract negotiations and litigation, tort actions, construction litigation, zoning and various land use matters, and employment law. Prior to 1996, Ms. Rodgers practiced law at Tillinghast Licht & Semenoff, Inc. as a litigation associate, and also served as vice president of Tillinghast Sports Management, Inc., procuring endorsement opportunities and providing legal support services for professional athletes. Ms. Rodgers served as a law clerk to the Honorable Florence K. Murray of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, and from 1998 to 2002, served as Assistant Town Solicitor for the Town of East Greenwich.

    Ms. Rodgers is a member of the Rhode Island and Massachusetts Bar Associations, as well as a member of the US District Court for the District of Rhode Island, the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the First Circuit Court of Appeals. She served as the former chair of the Rhode Island Supreme Court Committee on Character & Fitness from 2001 to 2007.

    A Toll Gate High School graduate (1985), Ms. Rodgers received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College (1989) and her Juris Doctor Degree from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law (1992), where she was Lead Articles Editor and contributing student author for Volume 8, The Journal of Contemporary Health Law & Policy. Ms. Rodgers resides in Warwick, RI.

  2. “He said he was announcing his retirement now “to accelerate the process” so the General Assembly can name someone to take his place on the Superior Court sooner rather than later.”

    What an interesting sentence.

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