New St. Croix District judges Brady, Roach sworn in
Published: February 14, 2013
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ST. CROIX - In a ceremony surrounded by friends, family and members of the legal community, the V.I. Superior Court hosted the official swearing in of the two newest judges in the St. Croix District.
Judge Douglas Brady and Family Court Judge Denise Hinds Roach were nominated by Gov. John deJongh Jr. last year and confirmed by the 29th Legislature in November to six-year terms.
Brady replaces Judge Julio Brady, while Hinds Roach replaces Judge Patricia Steele; Steel and Julio Brady retired in December.
On Wednesday, Presiding Superior Court Judge Darryl Donohue Sr. issued the commission of office, and Supreme Court Chief Justice Rhys Hodge administered the oath of office, and the judges vowed to uphold the local and federal laws.
Each of them then was given a ceremonial gown and gavel as representations of their office.
Before the oath was given, friends and colleagues commended the new judges for the marks they already have made in the community through their willingness to serve.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Alphonso Andrews, a former judge, reminded the judges that with their office comes responsibility. It is not enough just to be fair in whatever they do, but they must ensure that the litigants before them also see them as being fair, regardless of who wins, he said.
Attorney Ned Jacobs, who has been Brady's law firm partner for the last 29 years, said he sees the new judge as someone who is reliable, smart, fair and who was a great attorney. The address of "your honor" comes with the authority over the lives of others, Jacobs said, and reminded Brady and Hinds Roach that all of their strength and ability come from God, and they should remember to avoid their pride, embrace their humility and go to God in times of need.
Brady was introduced by Roberto Martinez, who said he has known Brady for about 14 years as a member of Southgate Baptist Church. He said Brady is a man who seeks to humble himself before God consistently and will fulfill the duties of the office with respect and integrity.
After receiving his gavel and robe, Brady thanked those in attendance for being supportive. He said that since taking office Dec. 17, he has learned a lot and commended retired judges Eileen Petersen and Raymond Finch for being an inspiration to him.
"My job as a judge is to do what is right and to make decisions that are fair," Brady said. "My job is to know the law, sift through the facts and weigh the arguments, then do what is just and fair."
Former U.S. Attorney David Nissman said that Hinds Roach continues to be a constant inspiration because of her drive and her continuous striving to do more for her community and its young people by taking part in a number of outreach programs.
Nissman said that while there is no substitute for parents, one major role of the Family Court is to provide guidance and make decisions to benefit the child, and he said he is confident Hinds Roach will do that.
Hinds Roach was officially introduced to the audience by her cousin, Colleen Francis Carter, who said Hinds Roach comes from good family and is a product of the public school system and the close-knit community of Estate Grove Place during a time where the entire village raised the child.
Carter said Hinds Roach has a genuine love for the community and specifically the children and the future they represent.
In her response, Hinds Roach said the task before her is an enormous one, but she is ready to take it on. She said that when youths come before the court, that is not when their troubles started. Many times, the troubles began years before, when there was no discipline or love in the home, she said.
"We can not be in the business of just moving bodies from one court to the next," Hinds Roach said. "We have to rescue our children and give their parents the resources they need to make them better parents."
Hinds Roach said she has seen the demise of morals and strong families in the community and has asked herself whether she was doing enough. Her role as Family Division judge will enable her to help as many families for as long as she can, Hinds Roach said.
"Judge Steele has left a strong foundation behind, and I plan to continue to build on that foundation," she said.
A reception, with music provided by a contingent from the Superior Court's Rising Stars Steel Orchestra, took place after the ceremony.
- Contact Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email email@example.com.