Nominations Accepted for Duggan, Marshall, Donovan, Blitzman, Winchester, Liacos, Mellen, Addams and Goyette Awards

Nomination Process

The Committee will present the awards at an Awards Ceremony on May 24, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. at the John Adams Courthouse in Boston.

All nominations should be submitted to Ms. Denise Simonini, Executive Assistant to the Chief Counsel, Committee for Public Counsel Services, 44 Bromfield Street, Boston, MA 02108, by fax to 617-988-8495 or email to [email protected].

Nominations must be submitted no later than March 4, 2016. All nominations must include a written explanation of why the nominee should be honored.


In 1988, the Committee for Public Counsel Services established the Edward J. Duggan Award for Outstanding Service. This award is given to both a Public Defender and Private Counsel attorney and is named for Edward J. Duggan (1915-2004), 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 is presented each year to the public defender and private attorney who best represent the zealous advocacy which is the central principle governing the representation of indigents in Massachusetts. Selections are made by the elected officers and senior staff of the Committee for Public Counsel Services.   

In 1994, CPCS established the Thurgood Marshall Award. This award is intended to recognize a person who has made significant contributions to the quality of the representation we provide to our clients.

In 2008, CPCS established the Carol A. Donovan Award for Exceptional Advocacy. The Donovan award is presented by CPCS to a lawyer, public or private, whose representation of poor people facing the awesome power of the state is most reminiscent of Carol’s fierce commitment to their vigorous and effective representation, and the cause of equal justice for all.

In 1996, CPCS established the Jay D. Blitzman Award for Youth Advocacy. This award is intended to honor a person, who need not be an attorney, who has demonstrated extraordinary dedication to the principle that children accused of crime, or otherwise at risk, are treated fairly and with dignity.

This year CPCS established the Margaret Winchester Award for Child Welfare Advocacy. Margaret provided the highest quality representation to children and indigent parents and made it her mission to help others do the same. The Margaret Winchester Award honors a staff member or a private attorney who, through his or her zealous advocacy and extraordinary commitment to children and parents in care and protection and other child welfare cases in which there is a right to counsel, is a model for other advocates seeking to protect the rights of children and parents in Massachusetts.

In 1998, CPCS also created the Paul J. Liacos Mental Health Advocacy Award to recognize a public defender or private attorney whose legal advocacy on behalf of indigent persons involved in civil and/or criminal mental health proceedings best exemplifies zealous advocacy in furtherance of all clients’ legal interests.

In 2015, CPCS created the Maura Mellen Administrative Professional Award to honor an administrative staff member who has made an outstanding contribution to the delivery of zealous and effective advocacy for CPCS clients.  The award recognizes that administrative staff perform many critical roles in the provision of zealous representation to CPCS clients. 

In 2015, CPCS also created the Jane Addams Award for Outstanding Social Service Accomplishments to honor a staff social worker or social service advocate who exemplifies a commitment to clients through his or her advocacy, support, and dedication.  The Addams Award recognizes the profound impact of social workers and social service advocates serving as members of a legal team. It is named for Jane Addams, a pioneer in establishing the field of social work and the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace prize.

In 2015, CPCS also created the Armand Goyette Investigator Award to honor a staff investigator for outstanding investigative work. The award is named for Armand Goyette, the first investigator at the Massachusetts Defenders Committee. Mr. Goyette, recognized as the consummate criminal defense investigator, provided outstanding service for over 25 years. 

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