The Committee is a 15-member body appointed by the Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate, and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. It oversees the provision of legal representation to indigent persons in criminal and civil cases and administrative proceedings in which there is a right to counsel.

Mia Alvarado (Secretary) has been the Executive Directory of Roxbury Youthworks, Inc since 2008.  She is responsible for a $3.5M annual budget, a 40 member staff and manages all of the agency’s contracts with the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Youth Services and the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance ensuring that adequate funds are available to permit the agency to carry out its work.

 A Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, Mia has worked extensively in the field of child welfare and juvenile justice.  Prior to her current position, Mia was a Special Assistant to the DCF Commissioner’s Office and Chief of Staff to former DSS Commissioner Harry Spence.

Mia has a Master of Social Work from Salem State College and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Wheelock College

David Apfel is a partner in Goodwin’s Complex Business Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department.  Mr. Apfel is a former federal prosecutor who specializes in white collar criminal defense, SEC and other government investigations, internal corporate investigations, and bet-the-company civil business litigation.  He is also the founder and chair of the firm’s Gaming & Gambling practice, and the founder and co-chair of the firm’s Cannabis practice. He has been regularly recognized by Chambers USA as a leading white collar criminal defense attorney, and he is perennially recognized in The Best Lawyers in America and as a “Super Lawyer” by Boston Magazine.  He is a trial lawyer who represents corporations and individuals in an array of criminal and civil cases, ranging from Medicaid fraud to first degree murder, and insider trading to multi-billion-dollar mortgage-backed securities litigation.  He is also a trusted adviser to gaming and gambling companies, and to investors, banks, and others involved or considering involvement in state-legalized cannabis markets.  Mr. Apfel also has an active pro bono practice in which he represents indigents in federal criminal cases and state murder prosecutions.

The Hon. Carol S. Ball (Retired) was an associate justice of the Suffolk County Superior Court in Massachusetts.  She was appointed to the bench by former Governor Bill Weld in 1996.  She retired in 2015.  She received a bachelor’s degree from Smith College in 1973.  She went on to complete a J.D. at Northeastern University School of Law in 1976.  After law school, she began her legal career as a law clerk to the justices of the Massachusetts Superior Court.  Then, in 1977, she joined the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office, where she worked as an assistant district attorney for several years.  In 1985, she left the public arena to enter private practice, where she tried civil cases as well as represented criminal defendants until joining the judiciary in 1995.  She also taught trial advocacy as an instructor at Northeastern University School of Law, Boston University School of Law, and Harvard Law School.  She is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers.  Her other memberships included the Women’s Bar Association, the Massachusetts Bar Association, and the Boston Bar Association.

Miriam Conrad recently retired from her position as the Federal Public Defender for the Districts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. She joined the office in 1992 as an Assistant Federal Public Defender, representing indigent clients at trial and on appeal. She served as head of the office from 2005 until her retirement in March 2022. She now is a member of the CJA panel for the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, accepting appointments to represent indigent defendants in federal district court. She began her career in criminal defense as a trial lawyer at the Committee for Public Counsel Services, after clerking for Hon. Rya W. Zobel in the federal district court for Massachusetts. She is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. She graduated from Northwestern University and Harvard Law School.

Lael Elizabeth Hiam Chester, JD, is the Director of the Emerging Adult Justice Project at the Columbia University Justice Lab. A graduate of Barnard College and Harvard Law School, she worked as the Albert Martin Sacks Clinical Fellow at the Criminal Justice Institute at Harvard and then was an Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. For 12 years, she served as Executive Director of Citizens for Juvenile Justice (CfJJ), a statewide non-profit dedicated to improving the juvenile justice system.  She then served as a Research Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management, where she focused her research on emerging adults (ages 18 – 25) and has continued this work at Columbia University’s Justice Lab since 2017. In addition to conducting cutting-edge research and supporting states with systemic reform, she organizes the Emerging Adult Justice Learning Community, a first-of-its-kind, carefully orchestrated collaborative learning environment that brings together researchers, practitioners, policy makers and advocates from around the country to increase learning and policy innovation in this new field.

Jack Cinquegrana is a nationally recognized trial lawyer and bar leader, with over 30 years of experience in public service, government enforcement defense, and litigation. As head of Choate’s Government Enforcement practice for two decades, Jack has represented scores of companies and their officers in DOJ investigations and prosecutions, SEC and private securities fraud litigation, False Claims Act litigation, and high stakes internal investigations.  Jack is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has served as Special Counsel to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, President of the Boston Bar Association, and a member of the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission. He is a former Assistant United States Attorney and Chief Trial Counsel in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.  In 2017 he was selected as a Fellow in Harvard University’s Advanced Leadership Initiative.  Jack teaches Federal White Collar practice at New England Law/Boston; serves as a member and former Chair of the Committee for Public Counsel Services, the governing board of Massachusetts’ public defender agency; and is a Director of the Pine Street Inn, New England’s largest organization serving homeless men and women.

Katherine Craven is the Chief Administrative and Financial Officer of Babson College.  The former Executive Director of the UMass Building Authority, she also served as Massachusetts’ First Deputy State Treasurer, was the founding Executive Director of the Massachusetts School Building Authority and assisted in the writing of ten State budgets for the Massachusetts House of Representatives, with particular focus on hospital and education funding.  Katherine was recently named as the 2020 Chief Financial Officer of the Year in the education sector by the Boston Business Journal.

Committed to community and public service, Katherine currently is the Chairwoman of Massachusetts’ Board of Education and is also the Chairwoman of the Boston Public Facilities Commission and the Chair of the Quincy City Building Committee, in addition to serving as the Treasurer of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable and the MJW Foundation, a private charity affiliated with US Secretary of Labor Martin J. Walsh.  Katherine also serves on the Boards of Directors of Massachusetts’ public defense agency, the Committee for Public Counsel Services, the Dorchester Boys’ and Girls’ Club, the Honorary Board for the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress, and is an associate member of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, the Pioneer Institute’s Shamie Center for Better Government, and is a former member of the Governor’s Commission on Mental Retardation, the Board of Governors of the Harvard Club of Boston, the Board of Incorporators for Partners Healthcare Inc, the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health, and MassDevelopment.

She has lectured on topics such as executive leadership and the state budget process at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Northeastern University, and the Donahue Institute at the University of Massachusetts.  Katherine has been appointed to various government Transition Teams by both Democrats and Republicans, serving as a co-chair for Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s transition team in 2013, as a member of the transition teams for Governor Deval Patrick in 2006, State Treasurer Steven Grossman in 2010, and for both State Treasurer Deb Goldberg and Governor Charlie Baker in 2014. A graduate of Harvard College and Boston Latin School.

Derege Demissie (Vice Chair) is a highly experienced attorney who specializes in criminal defense of major crimes in state and federal courts. He has served as a lead attorney in a number of high-profile cases.  In addition to criminal defense, he handles complex litigation in civil cases.  He has tried numerous cases before a jury in state and federal courts and argued several times before the Massachusetts Appellate Court, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

Attorney Demissie regularly teaches lawyers in many aspects of criminal defense and regularly serves as a panel member on continuing legal education programs designed for practicing attorneys.

He is the former president of the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and past vice-president to of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Martin W. Healy is the Chief Legal Counsel and Chief Operating Officer of the Massachusetts Bar Association.  He was appointed as a National Uniform Law Commissioner for Massachusetts by Gov. Deval L. Patrick.  Mr. Healy was honored with Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s 2014 Lawyer of the Year award for his work in making attorney-conducted voir dire a reality in Massachusetts.  He actively serves as a volunteer juvenile law attorney with the CPCS Youth Advocacy Project.  He previously served as a hearing committee member with the Board of Bar Overseers and as an adjunct professor at Suffolk University in its Masters in Criminal Justice program. The Massachusetts Juvenile Bar Association (MJBA) presented Mr. Healy with its 2015 Chief Justice Francis G. Poitrast Award for his advocacy on behalf of the juvenile justice system, including his efforts to increase compensation for attorneys who handle juvenile cases through CPCS.  He formerly served as a commonwealth of Massachusetts bar examiner for the Supreme Judicial Court.  In 2019, he received the Beacon of Justice Award from the state’s Equal Justice Coalition.  He has been appointed to the Firearm Licensing Review Board by Gov. Charlie D. Baker.  In 2020, Mr. Healy was sworn in by Baker as a commissioner to the governor’s special Supreme Judicial Court Nominating Commission.  Prior to joining the MBA staff, he worked in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office Appellate Division and as a legislative aide in the Massachusetts Senate.

James C. Kennedy, Esquire is the Chief Legal Counsel for the Speaker of the House.  He received his JD from Suffolk Law School in 2003 and in 1998 he received his bachelor’s degree in political science & government from Northeastern.

Joe Kociubes (Chair) has been a member of the Committee for Public Counsel Services since 2004 and currently is its Chair.  Joe previously has served as President of the Boston Bar Association, outside General Counsel to the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation and to the ACLU of Massachusetts and was a long-time board member of Greater Boston Legal Services.  He represented Suffolk Lawyers for Justice in connection with an antitrust investigation the US Department of Justice opened into SLJ.

Joe was a long-time partner of Bingham McCutchen’s (and its predecessor’s) trial department.  He has been a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers for more than three decades and has been included on various publications’ best lawyer lists.  Probably his most prominent trial was the successful defense of the Boston Globe in a lawsuit commenced by a former governor of the Commonwealth.

Professor Bruce K. Miller, Adjunct Faculty – Prior to coming to Western New England University in 1980, Professor Miller worked for the National Senior Citizens Law Center, Los Angeles, California, specializing in social security and private pension litigation in the federal courts.  Before that, he was an attorney with the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. He teaches constitutional law and other public law and litigation related subjects.  Professor Miller’s primary areas of interest focus on the challenges to the rule of law that have emerged as a result of the attacks of September 11, 2001, and on legal issues that especially affect poor people.  He is president of No More Guantanamos, a non-profit advocacy group, and serves on the board of the Rosenberg Fund for Children.  Professor Miller retired from the faculty in 2020.

Georgia Petropoulos – Georgia graduated from Suffolk University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1996.  She earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Massachusetts Law School in 1999.

Prior to attending law school, Georgia worked as a legal assistant at the Law Offices of Creedon and Creedon located in Brockton, MA.  While attending Suffolk University, Georgia worked as a legislative assistant for the Office of Senator Michael C. Creedon at the Massachusetts State House.  There she assisted with drafting legislation and assisted constituents with their requests.  While in law school, Georgia was a judicial intern for the Honorable John M. Xifaras in the Fall River Superior Court, Civil Session.  Georgia also worked in the Plymouth County District Attorney’s office as a Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:03 intern before being hired as an Assistant District Attorney.  As a prosecutor, Georgia practiced in both the Superior and District courts in Plymouth County.  In 2004, Georgia opened her own law firm, Law Offices of Georgia Petropoulos located in Brockton, MA with a concentration in criminal defense.   Georgia has represented clients in the Superior, District, Juvenile and Probate and Family Courts throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  She is licensed to practice in both Massachusetts and the United States District Court, District of Massachusetts.

In 2018, Georgia was appointed by Governor Charlie Baker to serve on the Committee for Public Counsel Services.  Georgia also serves on the Board of Directors for the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Brockton, MA.  She is a member of the Plymouth County Bar Association, Plymouth District Bar Association, the Hellenic Bar Association and the Ladies Philoptochos Society, Brockton Chapter.  Georgia is a citizen of Greece, by dissent, as a first generation American.  She is fluent in the Greek language.

Max D. Stern, Esquire joined Todd & Weld LLP as a partner in 2015.  Mr. Stern has more than 40 years of experience litigating both groundbreaking criminal matters and complex civil cases.

Mr. Stern is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Board of Criminal Lawyers.  He has received numerous awards for his legal work, including the American College “Award for Courageous Advocacy” and the Joseph Balliro Award of the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers “in recognition of a lifelong commitment and dedication to the zealous defense of the accused.”  He was named by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as one of the “25 Most Influential Massachusetts Lawyers” of the preceding quarter century in 1995.

Max is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he served as an editor of the law review.  He is a graduate of Dartmouth College.  After law school, Mr. Stern served as a clerk to United States Circuit Judge Simon Sobeloff of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Honorable W. Paul White is a Principal in the Boston government relations firm The Karol Group, Inc. White joined the firm in September 2001 following four years as the Associate Vice President for State and Community Affairs at his alma mater, Boston College and served as a member of the President’s Cabinet.

Prior to his time at Boston College, White served as a Massachusetts State Senator from the Suffolk and Norfolk district for nine years. He has been recognized for his leadership in the Senate by the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Lawyers, The Massachusetts Children’s Trust Fund, Action for Boston Community Development, and others.

Paul White also served for 16 years in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from a district in Boston’s Dorchester section. During his House tenure, White was appointed the first Chair of the Criminal Justice Committee. He was recognized by the Massachusetts Bar Association as Legislator of the Year and received awards from Suffolk University Law School and the Massachusetts Amvets. White pioneered legislation for community health, community development and public transportation.

Paul White has an A.B. in Political Science from Boston College, an M.A. in Political Science from the State University of New York at Albany, a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School, and an M.P.A from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.  For more than 20 years he was a partner in the Boston firm White, Salimbene and Madek.

Paul White has served over the years on numerous community boards and organizations. He served as a board member for many years for the St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, a human services agency affiliated with the Archdiocese of Boston located at the site of the former St. Margaret’s Hospital in Dorchester. He also serves on the board of Family Aid Boston a nonprofit family homeless services agency.