Baker picks four for Appeals Court bench

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Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday nominated two Superior Court judges, an assistant attorney general and a state solicitor to serve on the Appeals Court.

The nominations of Judges Kenneth Desmond and James Lemire, State Solicitor Peter Sacks, and Assistant Attorney General Sookyoung Shin arrived with an endorsement, released by Baker’s office, from Appeals Court Chief Justice Scott Kafker.

“They would bring to our court a wealth of civil and criminal, and trial and appellate experience, and enhance our diversity,” Kafker said in a statement.

The Appeals Court consists of one chief justice and 24 associates.

Desmond, a graduate of Tufts University and Boston College Law School, started his legal career as a prosecutor in the Suffolk Country District Attorney’s office before working as the deputy chief legal counsel for the Middlesex County sheriff. He started as a judge on the Boston Municipal Court in 2005 and joined the Superior Court bench in 2012.

Lemire also started out as a prosecutor in Worcester County where he specialized in sexual assault and drug cases before going into criminal and civil litigation at a private firm in Holden. The Assumption College and New England Law graduate returned to the Worcester District Attorney’s office in 2001 and became chief of the financial crime unit until he was appointed to the Superior Court in 2006.

Sacks earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard before clerking for Maine U.S. District Court Judge Edward Gignoux and U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Frank Coffin. In 1988, Sacks joined the attorney general’s office where he worked as elections counsel, opinions coordinator and deputy chief of the government bureau. He became State Solicitor in 2013 acting as the chief advisor to the attorney general.

Shin, if confirmed, would also come out of the Attorney General’s office where she works in the administrative law division. Another Harvard Law graduate with an undergraduate degree from Brown University, Shin worked as a patent litigator in Washington, D.C. Before clerking for several federal courts and specializing in appeals and dispostive motions at Kirkland & Ellis in D.C.

— Written by Michael Norton and Matt Murphy

Copyright State House News Service