ERICA E. CUSHNA, ESQ.

TRIAL PANEL DIRECTOR,
YAD PRIVATE COUNSEL

Erica has spent the last 10 years providing supportive leadership to the 300+ private attorneys who make up the juvenile and Youthful Offender, murder and GCL panel(s) across Massachusetts. Erica has practiced for over 27 years, she has developed a unique expertise that includes both criminal and civil litigation, educational advocacy and probate and child welfare experience. Erica also worked nationally to create the National Juvenile Defense Practice Standards and worked collaboratively in Massachusetts to create new indigency rules for Massachusetts with statewide stakeholders.

 

Prior to her employment at YAD Erica was in private practice in Hampden County for 18 years.  Erica was a juvenile supervisory attorney for CPCS for 10 years. Erica served as the Chairperson for the Zoning Board of Appeals and also prosecuted code enforcement cases for the City of Springfield. She also taught Real Estate Law at Baypath University for over a decade. Erica has successfully defended cases before juries in the Massachusetts superior, district, housing and juvenile courts.  She has also appeared before the Massachusetts Appeals Court and Supreme Judicial Court, successfully arguing for the expansion of the right of a juvenile to a hearing prior to detention. Erica was the 2008 Massachusetts Bar Association Access to Justice Defender Award recipient.  Erica was awarded in November 2013, the Massachusetts JDAI Jane Tewksbury Leadership award.