Chief Judge Raymond C. Coia
Senior Associate Judge Michael B. Forte
Michael B. Forte, Jr., was first appointed to the court in January,
2019. In January of 2021 he was elevated to the position of Senior
Judge Forte is the co-founder of a law firm based in Warwick, an
Assistant Professor of Accounting and Business Law at Nichols College in
Dudley, MA, and legal counsel to the Rhode Island Senate Committee on
Finance. Judge Forte’s legal practice has included representing
lawyers, judges and public officials accused of malpractice and civil
rights violations, public employment and benefits cases and complex
business matters. He has served as certified class counsel in
government pension matters, and his civil practice at the trial and
appellate level has been varied and diverse.
Judge Forte also serves as a bail commissioner for the Rhode Island
District and Family Courts and as a Panel Member on the Labor and
Employment Panels for the American Arbitration Association. He has been
a Certified Fraud Examiner since 2011. He is a member of the Rhode
Island Bar Association and serves on the Editorial Board of the Rhode
Island Bar Journal. Judge Forte is also a panelist on the Rhode Island
Superior Court Receivership Panel. He was previously a municipal budget
committee chairman and he has been a member of the adjunct faculty at
Roger Williams University. He is also involved in youth sports serving
as a referee assignor for the state youth soccer league.
Judge Forte resides in Cranston with his wife Tricia and his son Mikey (III).
Associate Judge Angelyne E. Cooper
In January of 2021, by a
unanimous vote of the Cranston City Council, Angelyne E. Cooper became
the first attorney of color nominated and appointed to serve as a judge
on the Cranston Municipal Court.
Currently, she serves as
Legal Counsel for the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, a
role she previously held from 2013 to 2018. In 2015, while with the
Department, she was appointed State Level Equal Opportunity Officer. In
this position, she was responsible for conducting investigations into
external discrimination complaints filed against the Department, oversaw
the Department’s compliance with state and federal civil rights law,
and served as the liaison with community groups on issues related to
equal opportunity and diversity.
Her prior legal
experience includes prison litigation monitoring to ensure that
incarcerated individuals with mental health illness received
constitutionally adequate mental health care and providing advice and
counsel on a wide range of legal issues as an attorney for Rhode Island
Legal Services and the City of Providence. She also served as a Law
Clerk for the Honorable O. Rogeriee Thompson on the First Circuit Court
of Appeals -- one of twelve federal circuit courts of appeals directly underneath the Supreme Court of the United States.
She earned her J.D. from
Roger Williams University School of Law, cum laude, and served as
President of the Black Law Students Association and a member of the
Multi-Cultural Law Students Association. She graduated summa cum laude
with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Utica College of
Syracuse University, where she served as Chief Justice of the Student
Senate and President of the Criminal Justice Student Association.
She is a member of the
Rules Advisory Committee for the First Circuit Court of Appeals, Rhode
Island Women’s Bar Association, the Rhode Island Thurgood Marshall Law
Society, the Rhode Island Hispanic Bar Association, and the Greater
Providence RI Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. She also serves as a
City Year Providence AmeriCorps mentor. In 2014, she was appointed by
Governor Lincoln D. Chafee as a Commissioner for the Rhode Island
Commission for Human Rights and continues that work present day. She is
also a member of the Board of Directors for the Rhode Island Center for
Justice and Genesis Center, and a former board member for the Rhode
Island Urban Debate League, where she held several leadership positions.
Judge Cooper resides in Cranston with her husband, Collin Bailey, and their two children, Lena and CJ Bailey.
Associate Judge Matthew B. Smith