CAFL Trial Panel info. session set for Jan. 30 in Springfield
The Children and Family Law Division (CAFL) of the Committee for
Public Counsel Services (CPCS) is looking for attorneys interested
in representing parents and children in child welfare cases in
western Massachusetts. In the past year, Hampden County alone has
seen a 16 percent increase in care and protection filings; a
process where the state removes children from their parents'
custody and places them in foster care.
Parents and children are each entitled to an attorney in these
proceedings to protect their constitutional and statutory rights.
CPCS must increase the number of attorneys handling these cases in
order to ensure that everyone is provided zealous and timely
Members of the bar are invited to apply for admission to the
CAFL Trial Panel by contacting Dawn M. Messier, CPCS. A seven-day training is
scheduled for April 3-6, 12, 13 and a one day mock hearing either
April 26, 27 or 28.
An information session will be held at the Hampden County Bar
Association (50 State Street, Springfield - Commissioner's Room) on
Monday, Jan. 30, from 1-2 p.m. Individuals attending the
information session will be permitted to submit their application
despite the passing of the Jan. 17 deadline.
CPCS seeks nominations for nine awards
The Committee for Public Counsel Services is seeking nominations
for nine awards which will be presented at an awards ceremony on
April 25 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
Nominations must be submitted no later than Feb. 24. All
nominations must include a written explanation of why the nominee
should be honored.
For a list of past award recipients, please click here.
The Jane Addams Award for Outstanding Social Service
Accomplishments honors 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
The Jay D. Blitzman Award for Youth Advocacy is
presented to a person who has demonstrated a commitment to juvenile
rights, which is the hallmark of Judge Blitzman's long career as an
advocate. The award honors an advocate who has exhibited both
extraordinary dedication and excellent performance to assure that
children accused of criminal conduct, or otherwise at risk, are
treated fairly and with dignity in the courtroom, in the community,
and in the custody of the state.
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.
The Edward J. Duggan Award for Outstanding
Service is given to both a Public Defender and Private
Counsel attorney 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 is presented
each year to the public defender and private attorney who best
represent the zealous advocacy - the central principle governing
the representation of indigents in Massachusetts.
The Paul J. Liacos Mental Health Advocacy Award
recognizes a public defender or private attorney whose legal
advocacy on behalf of persons involved in civil and/or criminal
mental health proceedings best exemplifies zealous advocacy in
furtherance of all clients' legal interests.
The Thurgood Marshall Award honors a person or
persons who champion the cause of zealous representation for the
poor and the right to effective assistance of counsel for
The Maura Mellen Administrative Professional
Award honors 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 members perform many critical roles in
the provision of zealous representation to CPCS clients.
The Maria Souto-Armand Goyette Investigator Award
honors a staff investigator for outstanding investigative
work. Maria Souto was an indefatigable CPCS investigator in
the Boston office. Armand Goyette, the first investigator at
the Massachusetts Defenders Committee, was recognized as a
consummate criminal defense investigator who provided outstanding
service for over 25 years.
The Margaret Winchester Award for Child Welfare
Advocacy 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 Massachusetts
child welfare cases is a model for other advocates seeking to
protect the rights of children and parents.