BOSTON -- After a two-hour hearing Wednesday, Governor's Council member Marilyn Devaney said it is a "slam dunk'' that Lowell attorney Kerry Ahern's judicial nomination will be approved next week.

"Her resume is great. Her experience is great. She is qualified and she has a good heart,'' Devaney, the Lowell-area representative to the council, said of Ahern after Wednesday's Governor's Council hearing.

"Kerry is someone who is qualified for the job and not a political appointment,'' Devaney said. "She is just what I want to see in a juvenile-court judge.''

Devaney said there was no opposition to Ahern's judicial appointment and she expects a "unanimous vote'' next Wednesday at the confirmation hearing.

Several weeks after the confirmation, Gov. Deval Patrick swears in the appointee.

When reached for comment after the hearing, Ahern, who was surrounded by her family at the hearing, said she felt the hearing went well.

She said it will take a few weeks for her to close her legal office in Lowell before she can be sworn in as a judge and don a black robe.

Ahern, a former Middlesex prosecutor turned juvenile defense attorney, was nominated May 23 as an associate justice of the Juvenile Court in Essex County.

At the hearing, councilors heard testimony in support from people, including: Lowell Juvenile Court Judge Jay Blitzman, Middlesex prosecutor Thomas O'Reilly, Lowell District Court Clerk Meg Spring, and attorney Christopher Cook, of the Department of Children and Families.


Devaney noted Ahern also had the support of a school representative and the Fatherhood Coalition, which made her approval a "slam dunk.''

There was no opposition.

The 44-year-old lawyer and married mother of two is slated to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Essex Juvenile Court Judge Michael Edgerton.

She brings 26 years of varied experience as a lawyer to the bench, Devaney said.

Ahern, a Lowell native, graduated from the University of Lowell, magna cum laude, with a bachelor's degree in political science in 1991.

She graduated cum laude from the New England School of Law in 1994 and immediately began working as Middlesex prosecutor in District Court and then Superior Court.

Before she left the District Attorney's Office in 2008, the three-time award winner had risen to the post of the deputy chief of the Superior Court, Lowell region.

She hung out her shingle in February 2008 as a defense attorney focused on juvenile-court cases.

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