Throughout his career, the Hon. William H. Abrashkin (ret.) has made mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution a central focus of his work. As a member of the Supreme Judicial Court Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution, Judge Abrashkin helped to formulate the standards and rules for court-connected ADR, and also served as civil program co-chair of the Flaschner Judicial Institute Committee on Judicial Involvement in Settlement. As First Justice of the Housing Court, Western Division, he expanded and supervised an ADR program in his court that resolves a high volume of disputes, including many contract, premises liability, discrimination, zoning, and other cases in addition to the court’s landlord/tenant caseload. In 2007 Judge Abrashkin received the Judicial Excellence Award from the Massachusetts Judges Conference, of which he remains a member.
After twenty-two years on the bench, Judge Abrashkin was appointed as Executive Director of the Springfield (MA) Housing Authority, in which position he has served for ten years since 2008. He has taught trial practice at the Western New England School of Law, and has published a number of articles in legal journals and a chapter on the Law of Sales in the Massachusetts Practice series. In 2014, he was named as a Purpose Prize Fellow by the national organization, Encore.org, for his “outstanding contributions to solving challenging problems in the second half of life,” based on his work on education of low-income children.
A graduate of Columbia College and the Western New England University School of Law (cum laude), Judge Abrashkin served as Editor-in-Chief of the Western New England Law Review, and he has served on many boards, including Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and the Massachusetts Law Review.