University News

Western New England University Law Professor Tina Cafaro Unanimously Confirmed as Associate Justice of the District Court

Published: March 14, 2022 | Categories: All News, Faculty, Law
Attorney Cafaro in the Moot Courtroom at WNE School of Law

Western New England University (WNE) School of Law is pleased to announce that Professor Tina Cafaro was unanimously confirmed to serve as Associate Justice of the District Court.

"I am deeply humbled and honored by my appointment," said Cafaro. "I have enjoyed every minute of the past two decades working at WNE School of Law. My colleagues are talented and skilled educators, and our student body is made up of engaged, bright, and committed students who constantly make WNE and the legal profession proud. I am blessed to have been a part of each one of their lives. I am excited to take on a new role in the justice system, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds."

Attorney Cafaro began her legal career in 1995 as a clerk for the Honorable Justice Kent B. Smith of the Massachusetts Appeals Court. She then joined the Hampden County District Attorney's Office as an Assistant District Attorney in 1996. Since 2001, Attorney Cafaro has been a Clinical Professor of Law and the Director of Criminal Law Clinics at the Western New England University School of Law. In this role she instructs students in both prosecution and defense clinics, and has served as a Special Assistant District Attorney for the Hampden District Attorney's Office. She has been an instructor for the Massachusetts Police Training Committee, the Massachusetts State Police, and the Massachusetts Trial Court Academies since 1999.

Attorney Cafaro has been a member of the Hampden County Bar Association's Education Committee since 2015 and is active in her community. She has been a basketball and lacrosse coach with the East Longmeadow Youth Sports Program for nearly two decades, and has previously served on the East Longmeadow Basketball Association's Board of Directors. Attorney Cafaro received her bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1992 and her Juris Doctorate from Western New England University School of Law in 1995.

"Although we will miss her very much once she ascends to the bench, we collectively take pride in her accomplishment and look forward to the wisdom, integrity, and thoughtfulness that she will bring to the bench," said Law School Dean Sudha Setty in an announcement to the WNE community.

The District Court hears a wide range of criminal, civil, housing, juvenile, mental health, and other types of cases. District Court criminal jurisdiction extends to all felonies punishable by a sentence up to five years, and many other specific felonies with greater potential penalties; all misdemeanors; and all violations of city and town ordinances and by-laws. The District Court is located in 62 courts across the Commonwealth.