Randy Gioia presenting the Carol Donovan Award to Wendy S. Wayne

WENDY S. WAYNE, Carol Donovan Exceptional Advocacy Award. The Carol A. Donovan Award for Exceptional Advocacy is presented to the 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.

Perhaps, this year, more than any other year, the awesome power of the state is being felt most by the least powerful people in our community: noncitizens.

Whether it’s because they face the threat of ICE agents entering the hallowed halls of our courthouses to scoop and deport or Massachusetts law enforcement officers holding them without process until ICE agents arrive, our noncitizen clients need a fierce champion. Wendy S. Wayne, the long-time Director of the CPCS Immigration Impact Unit is their champion. This year Wendy will receive the Donovan Award because, as Howard Silverman, a nationally renowned immigration expert has written: “Wendy Wayne is a brilliant champion of the legal rights of immigrants… [and] we are lucky to have her.”

This past year alone, Wendy has been vigorously fighting back against the ever-encroaching power of the state. In 2017 she helped shape the litigation that resulted in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court landmark decision in Lunn v. Commonwealth, 477 Mass. 517 (2017), declaring it unlawful for Massachusetts law enforcement officers to hold noncitizens at the request of federal immigration authorities. And recently, Wendy and several other attorneys filed an unprecedented petition in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, (In the Matter of C. Doe and Others, SJ-2018-0119), asking the Court to issue a historical Writ of Protection to protect their noncitizen clients from arrest while inside a Massachusetts courthouse. A decision is pending.

Wendy graduated from Northeastern University School of Law in 1989 and started working for CPCS as a staff trial attorney the same year. In 2003, Wendy became the Director of the CPCS Immigration Impact Unit, where she and two other attorneys, in addition to their appellate litigation, provide training, advice and litigation support to approximately 3,000 court-appointed criminal defense attorneys throughout Massachusetts.