Amherst/ Northampton (CAFL) Directory

Committee for Public Counsel Services
Children and Family Law Division

109 Main Street, First Floor
Northampton, MA 01060
Phone: (413) 355-5210
Fax: (413) 586-0420


Interim Attorney In Charge

Elaine M. Murphy, (Send Email)



Elaine received her Juris Doctorate from Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center in Huntington, NY where she graduated Cum Laude.  She is admitted to the bar in both New York and Massachusetts. Upon graduation, she was employed at Guercio and Guercio a boutique firm located in Farmington, NY whose focus remains Educational Law.  After relocating to Massachusetts she engaged in private practice in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties. Her private practice largely encompassed Child Welfare Law and Guardian ad Litem work – often times being called upon in that capacity as an Educational Advocate/Surrogate. Elaine is certified in Mediation and received JMAP appointments through the Hampden Court to address disrupted guardianships. She joined the Amherst/Northampton CAFL office in February of 2014.

Administrative Assistant

Rebecca Cardenales, (Send Email)

Rebecca Cardenales joined CPCS in 2013 as Secretary for the District Court office in Springfield. In 2014, Rebecca became the Administrative Assistant for the Amherst/Northampton CAFL office. She is responsible for the oversight of office administration. She has worked all of her career in private law sectors as a Paralegal. Rebecca is a graduate of Bay Path University and holds an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Legal Studies and a Paralegal Certificate approved by the American Bar Association.

Staff Attorneys

Barra Cohen, (Send Email)

Attorney Barra L. Cohen is a Staff Attorney at the Amherst-Northampton CAFL office. She joined the CAFL office in April 2018.  She is a graduate of Western New England University School of Law.  Prior to joining this office, Attorney Cohen practiced criminal defense for eight years as a Staff Attorney in the Northampton District Court Office.  She brings her years of her litigation experience and zealous advocacy to her child welfare practice.

Jenny Crabbe,  (Send Email)

A graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Western New England University School of Law, Jenny joined the Amherst/Northampton CAFL Office in 2016. Prior to becoming an attorney she worked for over a decade in the areas of domestic and sexual violence, social services, crisis stabilization and case management in Franklin and Hampshire counties.

David Desrosiers,  (Send Email)

David D

Attorney Desrosiers joined the Amherst/Northampton CAFL office in 2015. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Vermont Law School.  He began his legal career in Pittsfield, Massachusetts and then departed to the New Mexico Public Defenders Office in Las Cruses.  There he served as a Public Defender in the Juvenile Division on cases involving drug offenses, rape, homicide and gang related violence.  He also served as a Law Clerk in Third Judicial District Court in Las Cruces.  David returned to Massachusetts in 2007 where he practiced at the South Coastal Counties Legal Services until 2010 in the areas of family and housing law.  In 2010 he opened his practice in Lenox where he concentrated on children and family law and worked in the Berkshire Juvenile and Probate courts.

Social Worker

        Sarah Berg, (Send Email)

Sarah Berg, MSW, is a Social Worker in the Amherst-Northampton CAFL office.  Prior to joining this office, she was working as a Social Worker in the Springfield CAFL office since March 2014.  Sarah earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from University of New Hampshire and her Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work from Simmons College.  After earning her MSW, she moved to Denver, Colorado and spent four years working as an ongoing caseworker at the Denver Department of Human Services and then worked at a nonprofit law firm, Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center, working with staff attorneys who were court-appointed to represent children and adolescents.

Social Worker

In Memory of Margaret Higgins 

Margaret Higgins, LICSW, previously served as the Social Worker for the Amherst/Northampton CAFL office. Prior to joining this office, Margaret served as the Social Worker for the Springfield CAFL office beginning her CPCS career in 1999. Margaret received a Master of Social Work degree from Adelphi University and was a member of The Academy of Certified Social Workers. In 2014, Margaret was honored with the inaugural Jane Addams Award for Outstanding Social Services Accomplishments. Margaret retired from CPCS in 2017 and passed away in 2018.


*Serving Franklin and Hampshire Counties


The Amherst/Northampton Children and Family Law office established in 2011 serves Franklin/Hampshire county Juvenile Courts. Located in Western Massachusetts these counties are distinguished by differing topography and diverse populations. From vibrant Northampton and the Five College area to some of the most rural communities in the Commonwealth, our office sits in the heart of Northampton, Massachusetts.

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