I used the first name Charles, the last name Groce, they may not all be the nominee.
The donation 10/25/2006 is for the Governor.
The donation 11/4/2008 is for the Governor's Council member the Honorable Thomas Merrigan, he is not seeking re election
PO BOX 30119 SPRINGFIELD, MA 01103-0119
Patrick, Deval L. $500.00
24 MATTOON ST MA 01105
Patrick, Deval L. $500.00
1331 Main Street Springfield, MA 01103
Spelman, Stephen E. $250.00
1331 Main St. Springfield, MA 01103
Law Office of Charles Groce
Mastroianni, Mark G. $250.00
Groce, III, Charles
P.O. Box 30119 Springfield, MA 01103
Merrigan, Thomas T. $100.00
Groce, Jr., Charles
51 1/2 Hatfield Street Northampton, MA
Bonavita, Anthony C. $100.00
ANTONIO SANCHEZ vs. COMMONWEALTH
COMMONWEALTH vs. ANDREY RUDENKO
JOSHUA FITZPATRICK vs. COMMONWEALTH.
1:28 Decisions (available free through WestLaw http://www.massreports.com/UnpublishedDecisions/)
COMMONWEALTH vs. ADRIALINO G. VICENTE
COMMONWEALTH vs. MARIO C. TAYLOR .
COMMONWEALTH vs. MARQUES GREEN .
COMMONWEALTH vs. JOSE R. RIVERA.(The Nominee withdrew from this case)
COMMONWEALTH vs. IAN K. AGBANYO
The council met with Attorney Groce on April 25. Groce is applying for a position on the District Court bench.
Councilors present for some or all of the hearing were:
Charles Oliver Cipollini - District 1
Marilyn M. Petitto Devaney - District 3
Christopher Ianella - District 4
Mary-Ellen Manning - District 5
Terrence Kennedy - District 6
Jen Caissie - District 8
The nominee's current practice is 25% civil and 75%.
His civil cases seldom if ever go to trial.
The nominee acknowledged his experience in civil law was not current.
The nominee's experience with 209a restraining orders were also limited, he had more experience with 209a restraining order violations.
He was asked his view on bench trials versus jury trials. He stated that he had done both and was comfortable with both forms of trials.
The nominee was also asked his view of lobby conferences, a practice were judge, prosecution and defense meet outside of the public forum as part of the process of resolving a case.
Attorney Groce stated that he also practices in Connecticut, where lobby conferences are common. He stated that he had no problem with such a practice, but that Massachusetts courts did not frequently engage in such a practice.
The issue of pending mandatory sentencing laws were raised. The nominee was asked if he anticipated using any new arguments to circumvent the anticipated change in the law. He stated that if approved it would be his obligation to follow the law.
He also went on to state, that efforts to circumvent such laws could more effectively done by the District Attorny Offices.
The nominee was asked about post conviction issues, but he pointed out that the courts are not involved in those proceedings.
The nominee as asked about if he believed the courts had any responsibilty to interact with ICE (Immingration and Customs Enforcement). He stated that such actions are taken post trial, and that the judiciary itself was not involved in such proceedings. He stated that he was aware that ICE did avail itself of the opportunity to follow through with such procedures.
The nominee was asked of his view on bail hearings on 209a violations. He pointed out that in the first instance it is the role of the DA's office to seek bail, and that only if they seek bail does the court rule on the need for bail and how much it should be.
The nominee was asked about his view on the marriage privilege in the case of domestice violence. He stated that there was a marriage privilege and that there were advocates to encourage victims to seek the courts help. If a victim chose to assert the marriage privilege there was little a judge could do.
The nominee was asked his view on the Council speeding $10,000 on a legal brief, given that he often was paid by the state to write legal briefs. He stated that he believed $10,000 was a good price.
The nominee was asked about his donations to Governor Patrick, President Obama, and Councilor Merrigan.
He stated that he supported Governor Patrick and President Obama as fellow African Americans. He also donated to Councilor Merrigan, because he knew him professionally, and he pointed out that he had made other donations.
Concern was raised regarding the application he had filled out for the Judicial Nominating Commision. According to one councilor the application provided to the council was not the same as application for the current position. The application the council had was for the Superior Court and the nominee had filled out an application for the District Court, the current position.
Concern was also raised regarding the road to the nomination that this candidate had taken. The Governor appeared to have circumvented the JNC, which is his right, but it does raise the concern about whether or not the JNC is a viable body.
The issue of proper dress for the courtroom was raised. The nominee acknowledged that dressing properly is a way of showing respect for the the court and he said he would hold his court to the an appropriate standard. The council was reminded of the Picciotto and Judge Green case. Where the judge allowed juries to come to court in Halloween costumes.
The nominee was asked about his success rate as an attorney. He claimed his success rate was about 30% if the cases that went to trial.
He stated that he would over rule a jury if the facts and the law warranted it
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