Legal 04

Honorable Albert H. Burns

July 20, 1932 ~ February 21, 2020 (age 87)


The Honorable Albert H. Burns was a Justice of the Massachusetts Trial Court from 1980 until his retirement in 1998, serving as the Presiding Justice of the Brighton Division of the Massachusetts District Court Department and Regional Justice of several other courts.

Al loved the Red Sox, grilling on the BBQ, listening to music, planting his summer garden and spending time with his family in Marshfield. For much of his life, Al jogged the streets of Belmont and the beaches of Marshfield. 

Licensed to practice law in Massachusetts since 1968, he served in the East Cambridge District Court for 18 years. He was appointed First Assistant Clerk/Magistrate and was responsible for the day-to-day overview of criminal, civil and jury procedures and for magisterial superintendence. He was selected as the primary Magistrate to review and issue applications and affidavits for warrants to search, and was responsible for personnel management. He was also a member of the Executive Committee of the statewide Clerk/Magistrate’s Association.

As a Trial Court Justice, he was appointed by various Chief Justices to serve on important developmental task forces. He assisted in developing rules for operating the Juvenile Court System and for processing civil cases in District Court. He was appointed to the District Court Criminal Language Committee, where he helped produce legally precise, uniform language for criminal complaints. As a working participant in the District Court Recording Committee, he assisted in developing equipment and procedures to capture a reliable, official record of District Court proceedings.

As the First Justice of the Brighton Division, he heard criminal and civil cases, conducted jury trials and was responsible for the operation of the court and its staff. As Regional Administrative Justice of Region II of the District Court System, he supervised 13 District Court Divisions and assigned 40 judges to courts in Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk counties. As a member of the District Court Administrative Committee, he advised the court on its direction, its mission and its daily operation.

Al was a college instructor for over 30 years, including more than 20 years at the graduate level. He was appointed Site Supervisor by Anna Maria College. A member of various bar associations, he served as president of the Cambridge-Arlington-Belmont Bar Association.

He was been an active member of the Board of Directors of Granada House, a residential treatment facility dedicated to treating and housing those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction

Beloved husband of Elizabeth (Grainger). Loving father of Albert of Marshfield and John of Los Angeles CA. Brother of the late John, William, Thomas, Francis, Robert, George and Mary Burns. Much loved friend and uncle to many. 

Funeral from the Brown & Hickey Funeral Home 36 Trapelo Rd  Belmont Thursday at 9:30 AM  Funeral mass in St. Joseph Church 128 Common St  Belmont at 10:30AM  Relatives and friends kindly invited.  Visiting hours Wednesday 4-7PM  Interment Mt  Auburn Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers please send donations in Al’s memory to the Granada House 70 Adamson Street Allston, MA 02134  Late U.S. Army Veteran, Korean Conflict.




To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Honorable Albert H. Burns, please visit our floral store.


February 26, 2020

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Brown & Hickey Funeral Home
36 Trapelo Rd.
Belmont, MA 02478

Funeral Mass
February 27, 2020

10:30 AM
St Joseph Church
128 Common St
Belmont, MA 02478

February 27, 2020

11:45 AM
Mt Auburn Cemetery
580 Mt Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

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