UPDATE: The following article on the Essex County Bar Advocate Program being named this year’s recipient of the American Bar Association’s Harrison Tweed Award appeared in The Salem News on June 28, 2017: http://www.salemnews.com/news/local_news/local-legal-assistance-program-receives-national-award/article_825265e8-c83e-5c41-9873-f47c655446ed.html
On Tuesday, April 25, 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 many Committee members. The evening was aptly described by Committee Member Arnold Rosenfeld, “an outstanding demonstration of the spirit, diversity, and extraordinary competence of the full time staff and the members of the private bar who carry out the responsibilities of CPCS. Those who received awards … all demonstrated an exceptional commitment to justice. They all had remarkable stories to tell.”
The 2017 CPCS Award Recipients:
DEREGE B. DEMISSIE, 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.
Derege Demissie began his law career at the firm of Grayer & Dilday, where he concen-trated in immigration, civil rights and other civil litigation. Derege joined CPCS in 1998 as (continue reading here)
SARAH E. SCHOOLEY, Margaret Winchester Child Welfare 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.
Since 1990, Sarah Schooley has been providing high-quality representation to parents and (continue reading here)
LISA M. KAVANAUGH, 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.
After a stellar academic career (Yale, summa cum laude; Harvard Law School, cum laude) (continue reading here)
ANDREW S. CROUCH, 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 (continue reading here)
ANGEL RODRIGUEZ, 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. (continue reading here)
JESSIE ALTAGRACIA BRITO, 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.
Jessie Brito, the consummate dedicated, intelligent, hardworking, collaborative colleague, (continue reading here)
BRANDON L. CAMPBELL, 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.
Brandon Campbell has all the qualities of a stellar legal advocate. Dogged determination (continue reading here)
CYNTHIA NICHOLLS, 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 (continue reading here)
LAURA CHRISMER EDMONDS, 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, in the community, (continue reading here)
JOANNE DALEY, 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 in Massachusetts. (continue reading here)
YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO ATTEND
THE COMMITTEE FOR PUBLIC COUNSEL SERVICES 2017 AWARDS CEREMONY
TO HONOR MEMBERS OF OUR STAFF AND PRIVATE BAR
JOHN ADAMS COURTHOUSE, PEMBERTON SQUARE, BOSTON
TUESDAY, APRIL 25, 2017 — 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Jane Addams Award for Outstanding Social Service Accomplishments
Jay D. Blitzman Award for Youth Advocacy
Laura Chrismer Edmonds
Carol A. Donovan Award for Exceptional Advocacy
Lisa M. Kavanaugh
Edward J. Duggan Private Counsel Award for Outstanding Service
Andrew S. Crouch
Edward J. Duggan Public Counsel Award for Outstanding Service
Paul J. Liacos Mental Health Advocacy Award
Brandon L. Campbell
Thurgood Marshall Award
Derege B. Demissie
Maura Mellen Administrative Professional Award
Jessie Altagracia Brito
Maria Souto-Armand Goyette Investigator Award
Margaret Winchester Child Welfare Advocacy Award
Sarah E. Schooley
RECEPTION TO FOLLOW AWARD CEREMONY — PLEASE RSVP HERE
The Impressive Top-to-Bottom Makeover of the Massachusetts Juvenile Justice System http://nationswell.com/massachusetts-juvenile-criminal-justice-makeover/
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.
A listing of the past award recipients from 1998 through 2016 can be found here: Award Recipients – 1998 – 2016.
Please see the attached link to view the Innocence Program Holiday letter: 2016 Holiday newsletter
All meetings will be held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, except where noted.
- January 25 (4th Wednesday)
- February 15
- March 15
- April 12 (2nd Wednesday)
- May 17
June 21June 20 (Tuesday)
- July 19
- August — NO MEETING
- September 20
- October 18
- November 15
- December 20
Bob Spangenberg – taken in 2011 when he joined the faculty at Boston University Law School
Sad news as another giant from the indigent defense world has passed away. Robert (Bob) Spangenberg, who spent a lifetime working to improve access to counsel for the poor in criminal and civil cases died late last month at age 83.
In the 1960’s, as an advisor to the Lyndon Johnson administration, Bob was instrumental in the creation of the Office of Legal Services, the precursor of the Legal Services Corporation. Having helped establish the largest national civil legal aid funder, Bob turned his attention to Boston, where he helped found the organization now known as Greater Boston Legal Services. Before settling in the Commonwealth, Bob was called back to Washington to serve as Special Assistant to the first Director of the National Legal Services Program.
Bob returned to Boston to become the Executive Director of the Boston Bar Association’s Action Plan for Legal Services. During his tenure, The Action Plan conducted in-depth research into the legal needs of the Commonwealth’s indigents. The Action Plan’s findings helped prompt the 1983 legislation which created the Committee for Public Counsel Services. Bob served as a CPCS board member from its inception until 1995 and remained a strong supporter in the years after.
In 1985, Bob formed The Spangenberg Group (TSG). For a quarter of a century TSG conducted research and provided technical assistance to civil and criminal legal systems around the United States and throughout the world. During this period Bob testified before Congress and numerous state legislatures, leading to positive change in the delivery of legal services in many jurisdictions. TSG’s work contributed to a critical rate increase for CPCS private assigned counsel. Bob and TSG provided key information and expertise to CPCS in the Lavallee (Nathaniel Lavallee, et al. vs. The Justices of the Springfield District Court, 442 Mass. 228 (2004)) and the Arianna (Arianna S., et al. v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, et al., SJ-2004-0282 (filed June 28, 2004)) cases. As result of Lavallee and Arianna, the state legislature enacted hourly rate increases in criminal, juvenile and child welfare cases, and instigated the creation of the first CPCS District Court staff offices.
In 2009, Bob received the Champion of Indigent Defense award for outstanding efforts in making positive changes to indigent defense systems from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The National Legal Aid and Defender Association Reginald Heber Smith award, as well as the Texas Task Force on Indigent Defense Robert O. Dawson award were presented to Bob in 2008. In addition, Bob was the recipient of the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants (SCLAID) Lifetime Achievement Award.
Bob was extremely generous with his time and expertise, always willing to answer a call for advice. He maintained a keen interest in CPCS, often calling to check in on the never-ending battle for increased funding, or to get more details about a story he had seen in the press.
Bob Spangenberg will be sorely missed. His work benefitted scores of individuals. Although still inadequate, because of Bob the services available to indigent defendants and civil legal aid clients in the Commonwealth are significantly better than those provided in most other parts of the country.
Anthony J. Benedetti
Committee for Public Counsel Services
44 Bromfield Street
Boston, MA 02108
Attorney Gerry Schaefer, former head of the Massachusetts Defender Committee (MDC), passed away earlier this month at his home in Easthampton, MA. Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Gerry, I’ve heard many heartfelt and remarkable stories from long time and former defenders. They speak of him fondly as they have relayed their stories of what he meant to indigent defense in Massachusetts. I believe the last time Gerry was seen by many was in July 2009 at the Committee for Public Counsel Services 25th Anniversary celebration held at the John Adams Courthouse at which he made a rare appearance. Continue reading
On May 24, 2016, at the John Adams Courthouse, CPCS honored exemplary attorneys – both public and private – social workers, investigators, and professional administrative staff who dedicate their careers to overcoming injustice and championing the cause of zealous representation and effective assistance of counsel.
In describing this year’s event, CPCS Chief Counsel Anthony Benedetti said, “This year we recognized ten outstanding individuals who have made and continue to make extraordinary contributions to indigent defense. Not all of the honorees are attorneys because the best, most effective representation happens when attorneys, investigators, social workers, and other support staff expend a united effort on behalf of our clients. Zealous advocacy is only attainable through the best efforts of a team, a team made up of a variety of individuals.” Continue reading