Attorneys who wish to be certified to accept trial level state intervention assignments must complete an application for Children and Family Law (CAFL) trial panel certification. Applications are available from the CAFL Certification Coordinator and are published periodically in the MCLE catalogue.
Accepted trial panel applicants must complete a five-day trial panel certification-training course. Thereafter, attorneys must work with a mentor assigned by the CAFL program.
Once certified for the trial panel, attorneys must maintain certification through the annual completion of 8 hours approved continuing legal education on a fiscal year basis. The fiscal year begins on July 1 and concludes on June 30. Newly certified trial panel attorneys are expected to satisfy the continuing education requirement in the fiscal year subsequent to the year certification was received.
Continuing legal education requirements may be satisfied by attendance of 8 hours of legal education at CAFL sponsored trainings, through MCLE or in various regions throughout the Commonwealth, the CPCS Annual Training or equivalent training programs. To obtain credit for attending such an equivalent program, submit a request for approval together with a comprehensive description of the program, including its length and a syllabus describing contents and faculty, to the CAFL Certification Coordinator. Attorneys are urged to seek approval prior to attending programs.
CLE certificates or proofs of attendance must be filed with the CAFL Certification Coordinator on or before June 30 of each fiscal year by mailing certificates or proofs of attendance to Rita Caso, CAFL Certification Coordinator, CPCS, 44 Bromfield Street, Boston, MA 02108.
Attorneys who are fully certified and whose certifications are in good standing may accept assignments of care and protection cases, CHINS cases, termination of parental rights cases, and child custody cases in which there is state intervention.
Attorneys who accept State Intervention/Child Custody and CHINS cases must represent their clients at all trial proceedings. Trial counsel is responsible for appellate proceedings until such time as appellate counsel is assigned by CPCS and enters an appearance. By accepting assignments on these cases attorneys agree to abide by the CPCS Performance Standards Governing Representation of Children and Parents in State Intervention and Parental Rights Termination Cases.
An attorney must be separately certified to receive appellate assignments for these cases.