A Massachusetts Bar Association report showing the woeful
compensation received by assistant district attorneys, public
defenders and bar advocates in Massachusetts continues to garner
strong media attention two weeks after it was adopted by the MBA's
House of Delegates.
The report, "Blue Ribbon Commission Report: Doing Right by Those Who Labor for Justice: Fair and Equitable Compensation for Attorneys Serving the Commonwealth in its Criminal Courts." was prepared by the MBA Blue Ribbon Commission on
Criminal Justice Attorney Compensation. It is the first study
conducted on this topic since the MBA's groundbreaking "Callahan
Report" in 1994.
First appearing in print in the Boston Globe on May 9
("Criminal justice lawyers are becoming 'working
poor,' study says"), the issue has been covered in print and on
television, and by two leading national online law blogs: The
Wall Street Journal Law Blog and Above the Law. Much
of the coverage has noted the Commission's findings that the lowest
paid person in a Massachusetts courtroom is a new assistant
district attorney, which ranks less than the salary of the
courtroom custodian, and that Massachusetts ranks last in the
nation in public-defender salary.
On Monday, May 19, Commission member Martin Kane appeared on "Broadside" on New England Cable News along
with Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, where they discussed
ADA/defender salaries and the Commission's report with host Jim
Most recently, Boston Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham
examined low ADA/public defender salaries in her May 22 column, "A salary that's hard to defend." Abraham
wrote: "When we shortchange them, we shortchange the entire justice
system. And our vaunted progressive ideals are exposed as
Other media coverage has included:
Thank you to the members of the Blue Ribbon Commission, whose
work over the past few months has brought much-needed attention to
this critical issue: Richard P. Campbell, MBA Past President
(Chair); Denise Squillante, MBA Past President; Randy Chapman,
Chapman & Chapman PC; William D. Delahunt, former Congressman
and Norfolk County DA; Hon. Suzanne V. DelVecchio (ret.) former
Chief Justice Superior Court, mediator, Commonwealth Mediation;
Hon. Charles Johnson, former Chief Justice, Boston Municipal Court;
Martin Kane II, McGrath & Kane; Gerard T. Leone, partner, Nixon
Peabody LLP and former Middlesex County DA; Richard Lord, CEO and
President, Associated Industries of Massachusetts; and Martin W.
Healy, MBA Chief Legal Counsel and Chief Operating Officer, who
served as commission counsel.