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Coronavirus Updates

CPCS has assembled a list of important resources for lawyers and clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency has also created an explainer outlining our COVID-19 litigation.


Our Mission Statement

We fight for equal justice and human dignity by supporting our clients in achieving their legal and life goals. We zealously advocate for the rights of individuals and promote just public policy to protect the rights of all.

Our Values

•   Courage   •   Accountability   •   Respect   •   Excellence


What We Do

We provide legal representation in Massachusetts for those unable to afford an attorney in all matters in which the law requires the appointment of counsel. This includes representation in criminal, delinquency, youthful offender, child welfare, mental health, sexually dangerous person and sex offender registry cases, as well as related appeals and post-conviction matters.

Representation is provided by a combination of approximately 500 staff attorneys and 3,000 private attorneys trained and certified to accept appointments. Support for and supervision of these attorneys is provided by the Private Counsel and Public Defender Divisions (for criminal cases and related matters), the Children and Family Law Division (for child welfare cases), the Youth Advocacy Division (for delinquency, youthful offender, and GCL revocation cases), and the Mental Health Litigation Division (for guardianships and mental health/substance abuse commitments). Additionally, the Immigration Impact Unit provides attorneys within all divisions with training, litigation support and advice in individual cases regarding immigration consequences for noncitizens clients.

Learn more about who we are and how we are structured…

CPCS News

To see the latest CPCS news, check out our blog.

Committee Meeting Agenda – September 14, 2021 Meeting September 8, 2021 - The meeting will be held virtually beginning at 5:30 p.m.  Registration is required – details below. Approval of minutes of the July 15, 2021 meeting CLE Reimbursement Request Amicus Request(s) *Commonwealth v.  Daveiga, SJC-13147 *Commonwealth v.  Dufresne, SJC-13123 (Reporting Only – No Vote Required) Murder List Qualifications – Amendment Commitments $10,000 and Over Report Monthly […]
Cuthbert Wins ABA Solo and Small Firm Trainer Award August 5, 2021 - CPCS’s Youth Advocacy Division is so happy to announce that Maryellen Cuthbert has been awarded the ABA Solo and Small Firm Trainer Award. Maryellen’s service to the solo practitioners and children of Middlesex County Massachusetts is heroic and legendary. Maryellen Cuthbert has spent over three decades in private practice as a tireless fighter for the […]
Committee Meeting Agenda – July 15, 2021 Meeting July 9, 2021 - The meeting will be held virtually beginning at 5:30 p.m.  Registration is required – details below. Approval of minutes of the June 17, 2021 meeting Amicus Request(s) *Commonwealth v. Richard Comenzo, SJC-13119 *Rodriguez v.  Massachusetts Parole Board Commitments Report Monthly Financial Overview Report FY 2022 Budget Update Chief Counsel Report Registration is required to join […]
Defenders in the News July 1, 2021 - Hello and welcome to the fourth edition of Defenders in the News.  On the last Friday of every month we will publish a list of news items, awards or big decisions involving anyone under the CPCS banner. If we missed anything, or if you spot an article that needs to be included in the weeks […]
Committee Meeting Agenda – June 17, 2021 Meeting June 11, 2021 - The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m.  Registration is required – details below Approval of minutes of the May 19, 2021 meeting Amicus Recommendation(s) Commonwealth v. Curran, SJC-13093 Commonwealth v. Huang, SJC-11575 Contracts: FY 2022 Bar Advocate Programs FY 2022 Provision of Legal Services to Dukes and Nantucket Counties FY 2022 Supervising Attorneys FY 2022-FY 2023 CAFL […]
Defenders in the News May 28, 2021 - Hello and welcome to the third edition of Defenders in the News.  On the last Friday of every month we will publish a list of news items, awards or big decisions involving anyone under the CPCS banner. If we missed anything, or if you spot an article that needs to be included in the weeks […]