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 and eloquent prose underlie Brandon’s appellate successes championing the rights of the under privileged and mentally ill. There is no better example than his exemplary work on behalf of individuals with sex offense convictions or adjudications.

Along with his amicus partners, Brandon changed the landscape in 2015 for every single former offender, when they convinced the SJC to raise the burden of proof in classification proceedings before the Sex Offender Registry Board (“SORB”) from a preponderance of the evidence to clear and convincing evidence.  To do this, the SJC took the unusual and rare step to reconsider a decision it had made nearly two decades earlier.  Raising the burden of proof was not just significant; it was a seismic shift for thousands of persons classified as “sex offenders.”

Brandon is habitually humble about his accomplishments.  Perhaps humility is a by-product of the Chinese martial arts he has practiced since his youth.  Perhaps it is nature.  Either way, but for the published decisions of our state’s highest court, we might never know Brandon’s extraordinary legal feats, such as securing the right of indigent registrants to expert funds in SORB proceedings.

After graduating cum laude from New England School of Law, Brandon clerked for the Superior Court and then Appeals Court Justice Fernande Duffly.  Following a one year stint at a private law firm, Brandon hung out his shingle where it has been dangling for the past 13 years, near to where he lives with his wife, Jen.