Amherst’s Kane nominated to Housing Court post

  • Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker faces reporters as he unveils his state budget proposal during a news conference, Jan. 23, at the Statehouse in Boston. AP FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Friday, April 12, 2019

NORTHAMPTON — Jonathan J. Kane, co-managing partner at Fierst, Kane & Bloomberg LLP in Northampton, has been nominated by Gov. Charlie Baker to be an associate justice of the state’s Housing Court.

Reached at his practice recently, Kane thanked Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito for putting his name forward to the Governor’s Council, which provides advice and consent on judicial nominees.

“I’m honored to have been nominated,” Kane said.

An Amherst resident, Kane has almost 30 years of legal and housing court experience and is an expert on landlord-tenant law.

The Housing Court oversees civil and criminal actions that involve the health, safety or welfare of homeowners or those who live in residential housing. The court handles evictions, small claims cases, civil actions suits, and other cases related to residential housing.

“Attorney Kane’s legal experience, from litigation to transactional law, and his tenure on the Housing Court Bench Bar Committee makes him well qualified for this position,” Baker said in a statement.

Led by Chief Justice Timothy F. Sullivan, the Housing Court has 15 statutory judges who sit across the five divisions across the state.

Kane said he looks forward to appearing before the Governor’s Council at some point in the near future. Judicial nominations are subject to the advice and consent of the Governor’s Council.

If his nomination is successful, Kane said he will transition from his private practice to the state position.

Kane joined his firm in 2001, a decade after beginning his legal career as an associate at the firm Brown, Rudnick, Freed & Gesmer PC in Boston. After completing an intensive two-year training program, Kane joined the Springfield firm Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas in 1993 as an associate specializing in civil litigation and administrative law.

In January 1995, Kane returned to Brown, Rudnick, Freed & Gesmer in Hartford as an associate in the litigation department where he served until 2000.

From 2009 to 2014, Kane served as chairman of the Western Division Housing Court Bench Bar Committee, and since 2014, Kane has been chairman of the Western Division’s Court Procedures Subcommittee. Kane currently serves on the statewide Lawyer-for-a-Day Program committee.

Kane has also participated as a faculty member on numerous panels and trainings on landlord-tenant law.

In addition to his legal work, Kane is the president of Amherst Baseball Inc. and serves on the Amherst Center Recreation Working Group.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Haverford College in 1987 and his J.D. from Boston College Law School, cum laude, in 1991. There he was on the editorial staff of the Boston College Law Review.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.