Monthly Archives: April 2015

CPCS 2015 Award Recipients to be Honored at May 5, 2015 Awards Ceremony

Each year, the Committee for Public Counsel Services recognizes the work of individuals who dedicate their careers to overcoming injustice, and championing the cause of zealous representation and effective assistance of counsel for all. Please join us at the John Adams Courthouse on Tuesday, May 5, 2015, at 5:00 p.m. for the CPCS Awards Ceremony, where we will honor this year’s chosen exemplary attorneys, social workers, investigators, and professional administrative staff.  A reception will follow the presentation of awards. 

CPCS Chief Counsel Anthony J. Benedetti said, “This year’s event honors 11 outstanding members of the CPCS team. They are individuals who have made and continue to make extraordinary contributions to indigent defense. Not all are attorneys because CPCS realizes that zealous advocacy is only attainable through the best efforts of everyone involved in the representation of our clients. The staff and private bar receiving this year’s awards are the people who are the very foundation upon which CPCS has attained nationwide recognition and respect.”

This year’s honorees are:

  • Peg Higgins, who is receiving the Jane Addams Award for Outstanding Social Work for her consistent and superior performance as a social worker who exemplifies a commitment to clients through advocacy, support, and dedication.
  • Atty. David B. Paradis, who is receiving the Jay Blitzman Youth Advocacy Award for extraordinary work and dedication in ensuring that children accused of criminal conduct, or who are otherwise at risk, are treated fairly and with dignity.
  • Atty. John “Jack” Cunha, who is receiving the Edward J. Duggan for Outstanding Service Private Counsel Award for his incredible service to zealous advocacy, which has made him one of Massachusetts’ most respected attorneys.
  • Atty. Denise Regan, who is receiving the Edward J. Duggan for Outstanding Service Public Counsel Award for her unwavering commitment to the zealous advocacy of her clients and her dedication to the pursuit of justice.
  • Atty. Jeannie M. Rhinehart, Atty. Kally Walsh, and Atty. L. Mark Watkins, who are receiving this year’s Mary C. Fitzpatrick Children and Family Law Award for being steadfast in their efforts and success in representing the child, the grandparents, and the mother in a case in which the Department of Children and Families tried to terminate the mother’s parental rights because of her developmental disabilities.
  • Kerrie Antunes, who is receiving the Armand Goyette Investigator Award for outstanding investigative work in the furtherance of zealous advocacy on behalf of CPCS clients.
  • Atty. Antoinette “Toni” Hall, who is receiving the Paul J. Liacos Mental Health Advocacy Award for exceptional legal advocacy on behalf of indigent persons involved in civil and/or criminal mental health proceedings.
  • Atty. Andrew L. Cohen, who is receiving the Thurgood Marshall Award for championing the cause of zealous representation for the poor and the right to effective assistance of counsel for all.
  • Dorothy “Dolly” Mele, who is receiving the Maura Mellen Administrative Professional Award for her limitless dedication and selfless contributions to the delivery of zealous and effective advocacy of CPCS clients.

 Please RSVP to Awards2015@publiccounsel.net.  

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Nancy Hathaway Receives Juvenile Bar Association Award

Nancy Hathaway, a supervising attorney in CPCS’s Children and Family Law Division office in Boston, was honored by the Juvenile Bar Association (JBA) with the Leo J. Lydon award at its annual conference on March 20.  The JBA is a statewide bar association dedicated to engaging and connecting attorneys who represent clients in abuse and neglect, delinquency, youthful offender and status offender cases.  This award, named for the late Juvenile Court Judge Leo J. Lydon, honors an attorney who has demonstrated the utmost integrity, sound judgment, and perseverance in zealous advocacy and who has elevated the standard of Juvenile Court practice through example.

While Nancy is being honored for her overall work on behalf of her clients, one particular recent case exemplifies her personal and professional qualities that inspired this award.  In a case that became quite high-profile, garnering local and national headlines and spawning extensive discussion on social media, Nancy represented a teenaged girl whose parents brought her to Boston for treatment of a controversial mitochondrial disease, were accused of neglect, and became embroiled in a complex custody dispute involving the state and medical providers.  Throughout the lengthy proceedings, Nancy was charged with representing the interests of her endearing, but very sick teenaged client.  In the end, Nancy was able to obtain the legal outcome that her client desired. 

CPCS thanks the JBA for its ongoing support of attorneys doing this most important work on behalf of children and parents in our communities and appreciates this generous and well-deserved tribute to Nancy.