Important Resources During COVID-19
The Committee for Public Counsel Services continues to fight for the rights of our clients as we all navigate the difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of our mission to keep attorneys, clients and the public informed, we have created this list of resources:
- COVID-19 Litigation: After the coronavirus struck Massachusetts, CPCS, the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the ACLU of Massachusetts sued the Trial Court to seek the release of incarcerated people held in jails and prisons across the commonwealth. This is an explainer of what the Supreme Judicial Court decided in that case.
- COVID-19 in Prisons and Jails: The ACLU of Massachusetts has created a database where it is tracking testing, positive cases, and releases in prisons and jail during the COVID-19 pandemic, as documented in reports made by Massachusetts prisons and jails to the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC).
- Daily COVID-19 DOC Reports: The Massachusetts Department of Correction provides CPCS with daily COVID-19 data. The daily reports contain systemwide and by-facility testing, infection, and release data for incarcerated people and DOC employees & vendors.
- Court Contact Information: Massachusetts courts are closed to the general public, but the court system continues to handle emergency matters by telephone, videoconference, email, the electronic filing system, and other electronic means. Here is how to contact the courts by phone and email.
- Daily Court Updates: As the court system adjusts to the issues caused by the pandemic, it is providing daily updates at 4:30 pm.
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health: The DPH has created a frequently updated page that is tracking the spread of COVID-19 while also providing links to important information.
- Mass Legal Services: The online poverty law library and collaboration resource for legal services advocates in Massachusetts has created a page that focuses on legal issues related to COVID-19 that are of particular relevance to lower income people.
- Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation: MLAC has compiled a list of legal resources, and it also has contact information for legal aid organizations across the state.
- The Greater Boston Legal Services: GBLS has a page dedicated to informing people of their rights – including individuals facing debt collection, housing issues and unemployment concerns.
- Children and Family Law Division Resource List: CAFL has assembled a list of resources for clients and attorneys, including updates from the courts, CPCS and the Department of Children and Families.
- Youth Advocacy Foundation: YAF has a list of national and statewide resources that are helpful to parents, students and others. It also created a reference guide with answers to frequently asked questions about educational rights during the school closures due to COVID-19.
- LawSites: The legal technology, legal practice and legal ethics site has assembled a list of products and services offered by companies for free to support the work of legal professionals during the coronavirus crisis.
- American Bar Association: The ABA has a list of resources for lawyers dealing with mental health issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Lawyer Well-Being: The SJC Standing Committee on Lawyer Well-Being has launched a TechLine in collaboration with the Boston Bar Association, Mass Bar Association, Starting Out Solo, and MassLOMAP and staffed by volunteer attorneys. Attorneys can call to receive assistance in how to operate a virtual law practice.