David Sacks served as a Massachusetts Probate and Family Court judge for over 33 years from his appointment by then Governor Michael S. Dukakis in 1986 until mandatory retirement in 2020, including having been Hampden Division First Justice from 1992 to 2003.
Before his judicial career, he was in private practice in Holyoke. He was active in the Holyoke (Treasurer), Hampden County (Executive Committee member), Hampshire County, and Massachusetts (House of Delegates member) Bar Associations, and community activities including chairing the Holyoke School Committee, chairing the Hampden-Hampshire Advisory Board for the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, and volunteering with non-profits.
He is a graduate of Cushing Academy, The American University, and Suffolk University Law School. During college and law school, he worked for then U.S. Rep. Michael J. Harrington (Mass. 6th).
As a judge, he was involved in workgroups and continued legal education and public presentations covering the full range of the jurisdiction of the Probate and Family Court and the court system. These workgroups included chairing the Steering Committee on Performance and Accountability which dealt with case management and time standards. He also co-chaired the department’s ADR Committee. He was a member of the Trial Court’s Racial and Ethnic Bias Advisory Committee, the Gender Equality Committee, and the Supreme Judicial Court’s Juvenile Justice Commission’s Custody Committee. He was First Vice President of the Massachusetts Judges Conference.
He has successfully completed trainings to be a Mediator and a Conciliator. He has been a third-party neutral in mediations, conciliations, case evaluations, and arbitrations.
When serving as a Mediator — if the parties so desire — Judge Sacks is always happy to offer case evaluative observations based on his judicial experience.
Judge Sacks believes in providing the Appropriate services to meet the needs of the case. (This position is an outgrowth of the late Professor Frank E.A. Sander’s “Fitting the Forum to the Fuss.”)
In his Forward to the TRIAL COURT STANDING COMMITTEE ON DISPUTE RESOLUTION UNIFORM RULES ON DISPUTE RESOLUTION (Jan. 2020) “Redbook,” Judge Sacks wrote:
“Over the years, the nomenclature has evolved from the term ADR to Dispute Resolution . . . . . I view it in this manner. The “A” once stood for Alternative in ADR. With the availability of multiple dispute resolution options . . . . . , the “A” has become “Appropriate” dispute resolution as the many choices continue to weave themselves into the fabric of the court system for the benefit of litigants and the Bar.”