Monthly Archives: May 2018

Press Release

In response to call for the removal of Judge Timothy Feeley, CPCS and the MBA issued a joint statement in support of the Judge and highlighting the importance of an independent and impartial judiciary.  See statement below:

CPCS and MBA: Support Impartial Courts

– Agree Attacks against Judge Feeley Detrimental to Fair Judiciary –

  Boston – In support of fair and impartial courts, the Committee for Public Counsel Services, joined by the Massachusetts Bar Association, today released a statement about efforts by some who are calling to remove Judge Timothy Feeley because of a recent sentencing decision.

“Our forefathers were careful in crafting both our nation’s tenets and in Article 29 of the Bill of Rights of the Massachusetts Constitution. If we begin to remove judges because we don’t like their decisions, then we begin to undermine our judicial system and the judicial impartiality that is so vital in maintaining a fair judiciary,” said Anthony J. Benedetti, chief counsel for the Committee for Public Counsel Services.

“An independent judiciary is a cornerstone upon which this country was founded. Our citizens are entitled to no less than a free and independent judiciary bound by the rule of law and not the vagaries of public opinion and political consequence,” said Christopher P. Sullivan, president of the Massachusetts Bar Association. “Individual attacks and overly broad intrusions will have a chilling effect on the judiciary and will erode public confidence in the judicial system,” said Sullivan.



2018 Awards Ceremony – CPCS Honors Outstanding Achievements in Client Centered Advocacy

On Thursday, April 26, CPCS had the pleasure of honoring exceptional members of our community – attorneys from the public and private counsel divisions, as well as a social worker, investigator and administrative professional – who work tirelessly to insure that CPCS meets our mission:  to fight for equal justice and human dignity by supporting our clients in achieving their legal and life goals; to zealously advocate for the rights of individuals; and to promote just public policy to protect the rights of all.

Gathered at the John Adams Courthouse were honorees, members of the staff and private bar, friends, family and clients of the honorees, as well as Committee members. The ceremony was a moment to pause and to celebrate the outstanding work of colleagues on behalf of their clients, not just over the course of the last year, but for their perseverance over the course of their careers.

The 2018 honorees:

Anthony Benedetti presenting the Thurgood Marshall Award to Nancy Bennett at the CPCS Annual Conference

NANCY T. BENNETT, Thurgood Marshall Award. The Thurgood Marshall Award honors a person or persons who champion the cause of zealous representation for the poor, and the right to effective assistance of counsel for all.

Nancy T. Bennett devoted almost four decades of her professional life to championing and advancing the cause of zealous representation for the poor. She was relentless, dedicated and effective in vindicating the right of the indigent not only to receive legal representation, but to receive zealous and effective assistance of counsel.  (continue reading here)


Norma Wassel presenting the Jane Addams Award to Norman Beach

NORMAN BEACH, Jane Addams Award for Outstanding Social Service Accomplishments. The Jane Addams Award for Outstanding Social Service Accomplishments honors a staff social worker or social service advocate who exemplifies a commitment to clients through his or her advocacy, support and dedication. The Addams Award recognizes the profound impact of social workers and social service advocates serving as members of a legal team. It is named for Jane Addams, a pioneer in establishing the field of social work and the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  (continue reading here)


Randy Gioia presenting the Carol Donovan Award to Wendy S. Wayne

WENDY S. WAYNE, Carol Donovan Exceptional Advocacy Award. The Carol A. Donovan Award for Exceptional Advocacy is presented to the lawyer, public or private, whose representation of poor people facing the awesome power of the state is most reminiscent of Carol’s fierce commitment to their vigorous and effective representation, and the cause of equal justice for all.

Perhaps, this year, more than any other year, the awesome power of the state is being felt  (continue reading here)



Priscilla Duffy presenting the Edward Duggan Award-Private Counsel, to Jeanne Earley (right)

JEANNE EARLEY, Edward J. Duggan Award for Outstanding Service-Private Counsel. The Edward J. Duggan Award for Outstanding Service, Private Counsel is given to an Assigned Private Counsel and is named for Edward J. Duggan, who served continuously from 1940 to 1997 as a member of the Voluntary Defenders Committee, the Massachusetts Defenders Committee, and the Committee for Public Counsel Services.  The award has been presented each year since 1988 to the private attorney who best represents zealous advocacy   (continue reading here)



Debra Krupp presenting the Maura Mellen Award to Bonnie E. Mullen (left)

BONNIE E.MULLEN, Maura Mellen Administrative Professional Award.  The Maura Mellen Administrative Professional Award honors an administrative staff member who has made an outstanding contribution to the delivery of zealous and effective advocacy for CPCS clients. The award recognizes that administrative staff members perform many critical roles in the provision of zealous representation to CPCS clients.

Bonnie Mullen has been an outstanding member of the CPCS staff for 39 years.  She is the consummate Administrative Assistant – smart, professional, highly organized, dedicated,  (continue reading here)



Karen Owen Talley being presented with the Liacos Award by Mark Larsen

KAREN OWEN TALLEY, Paul J. Liacos Mental Health Advocacy Award. The Paul J. Liacos Mental Health Advocacy Award recognizes a public defender or private attorney whose legal advocacy on behalf of persons involved in civil and/or criminal mental health proceedings best exemplifies zealous advocacy in furtherance of all clients’ legal interests.

Since her graduation from New York Law School in 1995, Karen Talley has dedicated her career to representing people with mental and or physical disabilities and has zealously advocated for their right to self-determination and  (continue reading here)



Michael Dsida presenting the Margaret Winchester Award to Ann Balmelli O’Connor

ANN BALMELLI O’CONNOR, Margaret Winchester Child Welfare Advocacy Award. The Margaret Winchester Child Welfare Advocacy Award honors a staff member or a private attorney who, through his or her zealous advocacy and extraordinary commitment to children and parents in care and protection and other Massachusetts child welfare cases, is a model for other advocates seeking to protect the rights of children and parents.

Ann O’Connor started her career in 1991 as a DSS trial lawyer.  She quickly transitioned to (continue reading here)



Ryan M. Schiff (right) being presented the Jay D. Blitzman Award by Josh Dohan

RYAN M. SCHIFF, Jay D. Blitzman Youth Advocacy Award. The Jay D. Blitzman Award for Youth Advocacy is presented to a person who has demonstrated a commitment to juvenile rights, which is the hallmark of Judge Blitzman’s long career as an advocate.  The award honors an advocate who has exhibited both extraordinary dedication and excellent performance to assure that children accused of criminal conduct, or otherwise at risk, are treated fairly and with dignity in the courtroom,  (continue reading here)



Richard D. LeBlanc (right) receiving the Edward Duggan Award-Public Defender from Randy Gioia

RICHARD D. LeBLANC, Edward J. Duggan Award for Outstanding Service-Public Defender. The Edward J. Duggan Award for Outstanding Service, Public Defender is given to a Public Defender and is named for Edward J. Duggan, who served continuously from 1940 to 1997 as a member of the Voluntary Defenders Committee, the Massachusetts Defenders Committee, and the Committee for Public Counsel Services. The award has been presented each year since 1988 to the public defender who best represents zealous advocacy — the central principle governing the representation of indigents   (continue reading here)


Eddie Coren, Jr. (right) receiving the Maria Souto-Armand Goyette Award from Richard Slowe

EDDIE COREN, JR., Maria Souto-Armand Goyette Investigator Award. The Maria Souto-Armand Goyette Award honors a staff investigator for outstanding investigative work. Maria Souto was an indefatigable CPCS investigator in the Boston office. Armand Goyette, the first investigator at the Massachusetts Defenders Committee, was recognized as a consummate criminal defense investigator who provided outstanding service for over 25 years.

This year’s recipient is Eddie Coren Jr. For the past five years, Eddie has worked as a criminal (continue reading here)