Press Releases


Governor Chafee Announces Judicial Nominations for Rhode Island Superior Court, Family Court

District Court Magistrate Joseph A. Montalbano

Nominated for Superior Court

Family Court Magistrate Patricia K. Asquith

Nominated for Family Court

Providence, RI - Governor Lincoln D. Chafee today announced his nomination of District Court Magistrate Joseph A. Montalbano for Associate Justice of the Rhode Island Superior Court, filling the seat vacated by Justice Darigan, and Family Court Magistrate Patricia K. Asquith for Associate Justice of the Rhode Island Family Court, filing the seat vacated by Justice Bedrosian.

"In my ongoing conversations with leaders in the Rhode Island judiciary and legal community, these vacant posts in the Rhode Island Superior Court and Rhode Island Family Court have been identified as among those with the greatest need to be filled," Governor Chafee said. "Both Magistrate Montalbano and Magistrate Asquith have extensive legal and judicial experience in the State of Rhode Island. They will make fine judges, and will aid our efforts to strike a balance through which the judiciary operates with efficiency and effectiveness for the people of our state."

Joseph A. Montalbano

Since 2011, Joseph A. Montalbano has served as Clerk/Magistrate of the Rhode Island District Court. He previously served as a sole legal practitioner, with a concentration in Superior Court equity matters, real estate law, handling evictions, real estate closings, probate and estate planning matters, zoning matters, and tax sales. Montalbano also previously served as Chief Judge of the North Providence Municipal Court and, from 1989-2009, as a member of the Rhode Island Senate. During his tenure in the Senate, Montalbano served as Secretary, Vice Chairman, and Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. He was Senate Majority Leader from January 2002 to January 2004, when his Democratic and Republican colleagues unanimously elected him President of the Senate, a post he held until 2009.

Montalbano has taught Constitutional Law and Criminal Law & the Constitution at the Community College of Rhode Island, and was a Past Grand Knight for the Bouffard Council, Knights of Columbus in North Providence. He has served on the Boards of the Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Authority (1990-1994), the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (1990-1994), and the Narragansett Bay Commission (1993-1998). Awards and honors include the 2003 Charles Dick Medal of Honor and the 2004 Verrazzano Day "Man of the Year" Award. In 2006, Montalbano received the Barbara C. Burlingame Award for Distinguished Public Service, and was named "Legislator of the Year" by the Rhode Island Childhood Lead Action Project. In 2010, he received the Justinian Law Society of Rhode Island's Pro Bono Publico Award.

Montalbano has been admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States (1996), the United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit (1990), the United States District Court, District of Rhode Island (1980), and the State of Rhode Island Bar (1979). He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (cum laude) and the St. John's University School of Law, where he was awarded the American Jurisprudence Award for Excellent Achievement in the Study of Commercial Transactions.

Patricia K. Asquith

Since 2002, Patricia K. Asquith has served as Magistrate of the Rhode Island Family Court. She previously served, from 1993-2002, as an attorney with the firm of Asquith, Mahoney & Robinson. There, she focused on three primary practice areas:

Family Law: representing clients in all aspects of family law, and contested domestic relations matters, including child support, alimony, business evaluation, and expert testimony. Divorce Mediation: assisting and guiding divorcing couples to enable a dignified and equitable marriage dissolution by reducing obstacles to communication, maximizing the exploration of alternatives, encouraging fairness and privacy, as well as fostering the best interest of any children of the marriage. Juvenile Matters: handling truancy hearings and delinquent and wayward petitions. Prior to commencing her career as a practicing attorney, Asquith held internships with the Rhode Island Public Defender's Office, Magistrate Judge Hagopian of the U.S. District Court, District of Rhode Island, and with Associate Justice Henry Gemma of the Rhode Island Superior Court.

Asquith is a graduate of the Community College of Rhode Island, Bryant College (magna cum laude), Suffolk University School of Law (cum laude), and Roger Williams University's Divorce Mediation certification program. She has been admitted to the U.S. District Court, District of Rhode Island (1994) and the State of Rhode Island Bar (1993). Asquith's legal associations include membership in the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the National Association of Women Judges, the Rhode Island Trial Judges Association, the Rhode Island Bar Association and its Family Court Bench/Bar Committee, the Edward P. Gallogly Rhode Island Family Law Inn of Court, the St. Thomas More Society, and the Rhode Island Mediators Association. She also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the East Providence Boys and Girls Club, a volunteer with Newman Congregational Church's Bread of Life Food Pantry, a Senior Project Mentor for East Providence and North Providence High Schools, and a guest speaker and panel member for the Rhode Island Legal/Educational Partnership's Summer Institute.

Related links

Share this: