Priscilla Duffy presenting the Edward Duggan Award-Private Counsel, to Jeanne Earley

JEANNE EARLEY, 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 since 1988 to the private attorney who best represents zealous advocacy — the central principle governing the representation of indigents in Massachusetts.

Jeanne Earley graduated from the University of Lowell in 1972 with a degree in Business Administration, and went on to receive a MBA from Boston University. But she finally recognized her true calling at New England School of Law and was admitted to practice in 1987.  After opening her own law office in Westford, she became a bar advocate with the Middlesex Defense Attorneys and began her career.

In February 1994, Jeanne tried her first Superior Court case to a not guilty verdict and has not looked back since.  She is revered by her clients and is a wonderful colleague and an integral part of the Lowell legal community.  She has a unique way with jurors who are loath to find her clients guilty.  Jeanne’s skills at trial are well known.  And, on that rare occasion when a jury doesn’t “get it,” her trial records are ready for the next level.  She was the trial attorney in Commonwealth v. Crayton which has dramatically changed the way we approach I.D. cases.  (Crayton also made good law on prior bad acts and verbal completeness.)

Jeanne is a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Lowell Bar Association and active in supporting its many programs.  Her contributions to the community are not limited to her law practice.  She has been providing, cooking and serving food for over 100 people at the Soup Kitchen/Community Table for over 28 years.  Every holiday season she provides not only a steak dinner with all the fixings, but every person who comes in for food is given a gift bag of socks, gloves, hats, candy and other necessities.  No one was surprised to hear that when she was travelling with her daughter in Rome, she and daughter Christine volunteered at a homeless shelter.

She is a mother, grandmother, and favorite aunt.  A world traveler, she makes friends wherever she goes.