The Committee will present the Awards at an in-person Awards Ceremony from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 at Suffolk University Law School, 120 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02108. Registration is required, here is the link to register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/awards-ceremony-tickets-566687015117 Friends and families of Award recipients will also have the option to attend remotely.
All nominations should be submitted to Ms. Kerry Batte, Executive Assistant to the Chief Counsel, Committee for Public Counsel Services, 75 Federal Street, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02110, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominations must be submitted no later than March 10, 2023. All nominations must include a written explanation of why the nominee should be honored.
For a list of past award recipients, please check our website at https://www.publiccounsel.net/wp-content/uploads/1998-2022-Award-Recipients.pdf. Biographical sketches of those with an award named in their honor are also on our website at https://www.publiccounsel.net/cpcs-awards/
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 their advocacy, support, and dedication consistent with the CPCS core values of courage, accountability, respect, and excellence. 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.
The Jay D. Blitzman Award for Youth Advocacy is presented to a person who has demonstrated a commitment to courageously advocating for the rights of children and youth, which was the hallmark of Judge Blitzman’s long career. The award honors an advocate who exemplifies the CPCS core values of courage, accountability, respect, and excellence and has exhibited extraordinary dedication, compassion and skill to assure that children accused of criminal conduct, or otherwise at risk, are treated fairly, equitably, and with dignity in the courtroom, in the community, and in the custody of the state.
The Willie J. Davis and Edward J. Duggan Award for Outstanding Criminal Defense Advocacy award is given to both a Public Defender Division and Private Counsel attorney and is named for two extraordinary leaders. The awards are presented to criminal defense attorneys who demonstrate exceptional skill, determination, compassion, and courage while zealously representing indigent clients in the trial courts of the Massachusetts criminal legal system consistent with the CPCS core values of care, accountability, respect, and excellence.
The Carol A. Donovan Award for Exceptional Advocacy recognizes excellence in legal advocacy and is given to attorneys – public or private – whose zealous advocacy has had a lasting impact on the legal and/or life outcomes experienced by our clients. Recipients will demonstrate the CPCS core values of courage, accountability, respect, and excellence through appellate or other strategic litigation while addressing systemic injustice affecting CPCS clients and the communities in which they live.
The Paul J. Liacos Mental Health Advocacy Award recognizes a staff or private attorney whose advocacy on behalf of persons involved in mental health litigation proceedings exemplifies client centered zealous advocacy consistent with the CPCS core values of courage, accountability, respect, and excellence. The award honors a person whose advocacy has made a meaningful impact in furtherance of our clients’ interest in due process of law, personal autonomy, and the ability to live an independent life.
The Thurgood Marshall Award honors those who champion the cause of zealous representation and the right to effective assistance of counsel on behalf of the poor, the oppressed, and the vulnerable and, in so doing, contribute to building a more equitable and healthy community for all. This award is given to an individual or group who pushed for lasting, equitable changes in the legal system and/or the societal structures that affect CPCS clients and client communities. Recipients will embody the CPCS core values of courage, accountability, respect, and excellence.
The Teresa McParland Award for Operational Excellence is presented to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to improving agency operations in service to our clients through enhancing agency performance consistent with the CPCS core values of courage, accountability, respect, and excellence. These attributes were all hallmarks of Terry McParland during her CPCS career. The award honors Operations staff who exhibit extraordinary dedication, action, vision, passion, and creativity in improving the services, systems, quality of life, efficiency, and environment provided to agency staff, clients, and private counsel.
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 consistent with the CPCS core values of courage, accountability, respect, and excellence. The award recognizes that administrative staff members perform many critical roles in the provision of zealous representation to CPCS clients.
The Maria Souto–Armand Goyette Investigator Award honors a staff investigator for outstanding investigative work consistent with the CPCS core values of courage, accountability, respect, and excellence. Maria Souto, an indefatigable CPCS investigator in the Boston Trial office, and Armand Goyette, the first investigator at the Massachusetts Defenders Committee, established a standard for zealous, insightful, and skilled investigation that is still the national gold standard.
The Margaret Winchester Award for Child Welfare Advocacy honors a person who has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the families of Massachusetts by protecting the rights of parents, children, and other parties in care and protection and other child welfare cases, consistent with the CPCS core values of courage, accountability, respect, and excellence. The recipient is someone who, much like Attorney Winchester, is a champion for children, parents, and others, assuring that they are treated equitably and with dignity in the courtroom, in the community, and in their dealings with the Department of Children and Families.
The CPCS Community Leadership Award will go to a person or organization dedicated to the work that we do and the communities that we serve. The winner of this award will have undertaken a forward-looking campaign, or be committed to an ongoing mission, that directly benefits our clients and the communities in which they live and embodies the CPCS core values of courage, accountability, respect, and excellence.
The Emerging Defender Awards will be presented to one or more individuals committed to indigent defense who have gone above and beyond the call of duty, excelled when facing challenging situations, and shown they are highly motivated to continuously learn and improve. Recipients of this award will have been employed with CPCS or worked with CPCS clients for five or fewer years and demonstrated a commitment to the CPCS core values of courage, accountability, respect, and excellence.