Robert J. Cordy is the newest member of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, nominated by Governor Paul Cellucci to replace Ruth Abrams who reached the mandatory retirement age of 70. This was the first SJC nomination approved without significant input from the Massachusetts Bar, who have been gradually reduced by the governor to a nominal role in the process.
Cordy has been legal counsel to former Republican Governor William Weld, a lobbyist for companies with business before the state, state ethics counsel, and most recently the managing partner at megafirm McDermott Will & Emory.
When Boston's Big Dig was running short of places to dump its debris, Cordy helped Quincy Mayor Walter J. Hannon II and his pals get a contract to establish a new landfill in West Quincy's Quarry Hills area. This group had no experience or assets, only connections. They plan to develop the landfill as a golf course when the Big Dig is over.
Cordy also helped EMLICO, an insurance company wholly owned by Cordy's client General Electric. EMLICO was used exclusively to underwrite GE's operations, but when GE faced two billion dollars in cleanup costs due to toxic wastes it had discarded in the Pittsfield area, EMLICO evaded the bill by spinning off all its profitable business into a separate company, relocating to Bermuda, and declaring bankruptcy there. The move to Bermuda was approved by corporation-friendly Insurance Commissioner Linda Ruthardt in a 37 minute hearing, but her decision was overruled by the SJC after EMLICO's secondary insurers brought suit. The majority opinion overruling Ruthardt was written by the retiring SJC judge, Ruth Abrams.
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