spotlight

Hon. Gregg J. Pasquale

Gregg Pasquale has been a trial lawyer for his entire career–until last fall. He still spends most of his time with trial lawyers, but now he looks at them from across the bench. In October 2014, he was appointed an associate justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court by Governor Deval Patrick.

A local boy

Gregg is a local boy. He grew up in Medford and attended Boston College High School, graduating in 1976. He became a Double Eagle in 1980 when he graduated from Boston College, with a double major in English and theater. Gregg was known for his acting abilities–he made quite an impression on audiences when he played the lead role of Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire. In fact, after his graduation, he pursued his interest in acting, doing some stage and television work, while bartending at the famed Locke-Ober Café in Boston to pay the bills. Gregg must have realized that those dramatic skills would be an asset in the courtroom, and he enrolled in the BC Law Class of 1985.

The formative years

Prosecuting crime was Gregg’s first job. He started his career with the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office and worked his way up from district court to “the Murder Team,” where he prosecuted homicides. After four years, Gregg decided to try his hand at civil litigation and went to work with the firm Craig & Macauley, representing insurance companies and financial institutions in commercial litigation and insureds in personal injury claims. Though he loved the people with whom he worked, he found the substance of the work less than inspiring. He moved on to a plaintiff’s medical malpractice firm, Lubin & Meyer, for a three-year period. There he met Melissa White, who would become his law and life partner.

In 1994 Gregg joined the firm of Carney & Bassil, which included the nationally famous criminal defense lawyer Jay Carney ’78. The firm was looking to expand into the medical malpractice area, and Gregg came in to make that happen. Gregg credits Jay Carney as having an important influence on him as a young attorney. Gregg explains that Jay not only taught him trial skills but also impressed him with the importance of being prepared and respectful to all, especially opposing lawyers and their clients.

Gregg then struck out on his own with Melissa. After three years, Pasquale & White was invited to become of counsel to a larger firm, Keches & Mallen, and that arrangement lasted 12 years. As a plaintiff’s medical malpractice attorney, Gregg obtained dozens of million-dollar and multi-million-dollar settlements and verdicts. He was consistently named a Super Lawyer by Boston Magazine.

All in the family

Over the years, Gregg and Melissa grew their family. Gregg has a son and a daughter from a prior marriage, and those children have grown into very interesting adults. Melissa also has a child, who has grown up and started the next generation. Fortunately, all of these folks live in the Boston area. But Gregg and Melissa decided that they had even more family love to share, and they adopted two infant girls from different provinces in China. The girls are now 10 and 13. This developing family caused Gregg and Melissa to re-evaluate everything, and so Pasquale & White was reborn, with an office close to home.

The Pasquale and White family includes Sam, a Boston-based stand-up comedian; Julia, a student in her last year at Northeastern majoring in business and finance; Kaitlyn and her son Jaxon, who live conveniently only a mile from Gregg and Melissa; and young Aliya and Ava, academically gifted children who are also the budding fashion models in the family. Family time is important to this family, and they enjoy spending some of it at a place on the Cape. They especially love long weekends on Martha’s Vineyard, and they take warm weather vacations in the winter, heading to Mexico or Florida to escape the cold and snow, if for a brief moment.

Why the bench?

Why an interest in the bench? Gregg thought he would enjoy the work as well as the challenge. He further explains that he thought himself well suited to the role of judge, having both prosecuted and defended first-degree murder cases as well as having represented individuals and institutions as both plaintiffs and defendants in civil matters.

Although Gregg had an interest in becoming a judge for at least the last 10 years, he decided to put in his application last year because the timing was right for him and his family. A Superior Court judge rotates through several counties, so some of his assignments require considerable commuting time, and, at the time of our conversation, he had worked exclusively in the civil jurisdiction. His enthusiasm for the new job, even with these challenges, jumped right through the telephone, and there is no doubt he will make a substantial contribution to justice in the Commonwealth.

When asked if he experienced any differences in the courtroom now that he is a judge, Gregg said that, when appropriate, he has always liked to use a sense of humor in dealing with lawyers. “I love telling jokes, and I have told them my whole life,” Gregg reflects, “but for some reason, now that I am a judge, people seem to laugh at them a lot more.”

BC’s lasting mark

Gregg remembers his time at BC Law with great fondness. He will never forget Constitutional Law with “The Ho,” and Trusts and Estates with “The Slew.” He will forever be grateful for the opportunity to participate in the mock trial competition where he won the intra-school competition, was selected as the best oral advocate, and went on to represent the school in the national competition in Dallas.

Addressing the impact Boston College had in his life, Gregg said that he owes a lot to the Jesuits. He carries in his heart as a guide the BC High motto, “being a man for others.” He mentioned an undergraduate professor who impressed him with a similar commitment, Al Folkard, former director of the Honors Program. His BC experience has much to do with who he is now and how he conducts his life. It has also impacted countless others, with that number to be multiplied from the bench. The Boston College community has much to proud of with this Triple Eagle.

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