Attorney in Charge

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Job location
6 Pleasant Street, Suite 417
Malden, MA 02148
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Committee for Public Counsel Services
Street address: 
44 Bromfield Street
Job type: 
Legal - Defender
Position Description: 

The Public Defender Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services, the Massachusetts public defender agency, is seeking a full-time attorney to serve as Attorney-in-Charge of its Alternative Commitment Unit office in Malden, Massachusetts.

The ACU is comprised of an Attorney-in-Charge, three staff attorneys, a paralegal, and an administrative assistant. The ACU represents clients subject to Sexually Dangerous Persons proceedings pursuant to G.L. c. 123A. The ACU represents indigent clients previously convicted of sex crimes for whom the Commonwealth is seeking initial civil commitment or continued confinement at the Nemansket Correctional Center (a.k.a. “Massachusetts Treatment Center”) in Bridgewater. SDP trials are week-long Superior Court jury trials involving multiple expert witnesses. Most cases end in trial and attorneys in the ACU quickly become deeply experienced trial advocates. The ACU’s attorneys represent their clients in opposing the commitment petitions, and they appear primarily in Suffolk Superior Court as well as other Superior Court divisions in eastern Massachusetts from Salem to Fall River, but may be required to appear in Superior Court divisions elsewhere in Massachusetts as necessary.


The Attorney-in-Charge must be able to supervise and assist staff attorneys in the development of trial strategies, motions practice, and myriad other tasks that trial lawyers must undertake. The Attorney-in-Charge is also expected to ensure that cases are assigned appropriately; attorneys’ schedules and caseloads are reasonable and in conformance with CPCS guidelines; files are properly maintained and scanned at the conclusion of the case; cases are promptly opened and closed; detailed running sheets for each case are electronically maintained; monthly case statistics are maintained;, conflicts of interest are promptly discovered and reassigned; ongoing in-house training is provided to attorneys; information about cases, law and other relevant matters is disseminated to attorneys in a timely manner; and annual performance evaluations are completed in a timely and comprehensive manner. The Attorney-in-Charge must be thoroughly knowledgeable with the CPCS case management system, and able to generate and interpret case statistics and reports. The Attorney-in-Charge is also expected to provide direct representation to his/her own clients in proceedings under G.L. c. 123A The Attorney-in-Charge is also responsible for the office’s non-attorney support staff. The Attorney-in-Charge must be familiar with the Committee’s personnel policies, communicate the provisions of those policies to staff, and ensure compliance with the personnel policies. The Attorney-in-Charge must also attend regular meetings with other office heads, Managing Directors and the Deputy Chief Counsel to discuss management and policy issues. The Attorney-in-Charge will be directly supervised by a Public Defender Division Managing Director. The Attorney-in-Charge is expected to foster positive relationships within the community and the courthouses and maintain a professional relationship and leadership role with the assigned private bar in the county.

The following attributes are required for the position of Attorney-in-Charge:

- Eligible to practice law in Massachusetts;
- Minimum of seven years’ experience handling criminal cases, at least four of which were as assigned counsel for indigent persons in criminal cases;
- Ability to combine administrative and managerial skills with significant trial experience and supervisory capability;
- Significant Superior Court or equivalent jury trial experience to be able to assist attorney staff in the development of trial strategies and skills, motions practice, and the myriad other tasks that trial lawyers undertake;
- Administrative ability to ensure that cases are assigned appropriately, attorneys' schedules and caseloads are reasonable, and files and monthly case statistics are properly maintained;
- Ability to supervise attorneys, provide in-house training, and disseminate information about developments in the law and other relevant matters;
- Ability to complete annual staff performance evaluations in a timely and comprehensive manner; and
- Familiarity with CPCS personnel policies, and the ability to ensure staff compliance with the provisions of those policies.

Previous experience defending persons in SDP proceedings is strongly preferred.

Equal Opportunity Employer
Salary range: 
Commensurate with experience. Not to exceed $111,285.00
Submission deadline: 
Monday, March 28, 2016