Position Information

Position Information Message
Deputy Chief Counsel, Mental Health Litigation Division

The Committee for Public Counsel Services, the Massachusetts public defender agency, is seeking a dynamic and experienced leader to serve as Deputy Chief Counsel of the Mental Health Litigation Division.

 

We fight for equal justice and human dignity by supporting our clients in achieving their legal and life goals. We zealously advocate

for the rights of individuals and promote just public policy to protect the rights of all.

 

Our Values

  •  Courage   •   Accountability   •   Respect   •  Excellence

 

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION MISSION STATEMENT

 

CPCS is committed to protecting the fundamental constitutional and human rights of our assigned clients through zealous advocacy, community-oriented defense, and the fullness of excellent legal representation.  We are dedicated to building and maintaining strong professional relationships, while striving to accept, listen to and respect the diverse circumstances of each client, as we dedicate ourselves to meeting their individual needs.  It is our CPCS mission to achieve these goals, and in furtherance thereof, we embrace and endorse diversity, equity and inclusion as our core values as we maintain a steadfast commitment to: (1) Ensure that CPCS management and staff members represent a broad range of human differences and experience; (2) Provide a work climate that is respectful and supports success; and (3) Promote the dignity and well-being of all staff members. CPCS leadership is responsible for ensuring equity, diversity, and inclusion. The ability to achieve these goals with any level of certainty is ultimately the responsibility each member of the CPCS community.

 

THE AGENCY

 

The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) is the state agency in Massachusetts responsible for providing an attorney when the state or federal constitution or a state statute requires the appointment of an attorney for a person who cannot afford to retain one.  The agency provides representation in criminal, delinquency, youthful offender, child welfare, guardianship, mental health, sexually dangerous person, and sex offender registry cases, as well as in appeals and post-conviction and post-judgment proceedings related to those matters.

  

DIVISION OVERVIEW

 

The Mental Health Litigation Division (MHLD) provides trial and appellate representation to indigent persons when petitions seeking commitment to public or private psychiatric facilities and petitions seeking to impose guardianships, including authorization to administer or terminate "extraordinary" medical treatment, are filed against them. In commitment proceedings, representation is provided either by MHLD staff attorneys or by private attorneys certified by MHLD to accept such assignments. Most of the representation in guardianship proceedings is provided by MHLD-certified private attorneys.

 

The Division consists of an Administrative Office, which is responsible for certification, oversight, and training of panel attorneys, the assignment of commitment cases, and effective administration of the Division; an Appellate Unit that certifies, oversees, and trains a panel of appellate attorneys and represents individuals in appeals; and four trial offices that represent indigent clients facing involuntary commitment to both public and private psychiatric facilities throughout the Commonwealth.

 

The Mental Health Litigation Division also trains, and is available to assist, other CPCS attorneys regarding mental health issues that arise in the criminal justice context (e.g., competency to stand trial, criminal responsibility, etc.).

 

The clients we represent are diverse across every context imaginable and bring many unique cultural dimensions to the matters we address. This reality creates a critical need for CPCS attorneys to be culturally competent and able to work well with people of different races, ethnicities, gender and/or gender preferences, abilities and limited English proficiency, among other protected characteristics.

 

POSITION OVERVIEW

 

CPCS seeks applications for the position of Deputy Chief Counsel of the Mental Health Litigation Division.  The Deputy Chief Counsel must have the vision and perseverance to lead a dedicated, experienced, and skilled group of defenders, social workers, and administrative personnel in achieving an ever-improving quality of advocacy, deeper engagement with clients and their communities, and steadily improving outcomes for clients. 

 

The Deputy Chief Counsel will oversee all aspects of the Mental Health Litigation Division including the selection, certification, and, working with the Training Chief, training of panel attorneys, the Administration staff, and the staff Commitment Units. The Deputy Chief Counsel will directly oversee the management team of the MHLD, including the Trial Panel Director, Director of Mental Health Appeals, Managing Director, and director of Social Service Advocacy. 

 

The Deputy Chief Counsel of the Mental Health Litigation Division reports to the Chief Counsel and is a member of CPCS Senior Leadership, which develops and implements agency fiscal, operational, human resource, and legislative policies.

 

RESPONSIBILITIES

 

The Deputy Chief Counsel’s duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Overseeing all MHLD staff and all aspects of the Division's operations through managerial supervision, development and implementation of policies, and allocation of financial and other resources;
  • Defining the MHLD vision, priorities, and goals in collaboration with the Chief Counsel;
  • Supervising the Managing Director, Trial Panel Director, Director of Mental Health Appeals and Director of Social Service Advocacy;
  • Overseeing the certification, recertification, and training of private attorneys in mental health proceedings in all courts of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts;
  • Overseeing the performance of MHLD panel members and compliance with performance standards and the requirements of the Assigned Counsel Manual;
  • Consulting regularly with judges, attorneys, non-governmental agencies, clients, client groups, and others regarding mental health matters;
  • Working with the MHLD Directors and CPCS Training Chief to establish training goals for MHLD staff and panel attorneys and supporting other divisions as needed to provide subject matter expertise;
  • Making recommendations for, and consulting with, Human Resources regarding hiring and disciplining Division staff;
  • Representing the MHLD in interactions with courts, staff of psychiatric facilities, and state agencies, including the Department of Mental Health (DMH), Department of Developmental Services, and the Department of Corrections (DOC);
  • Assisting, as necessary, MHLD’s Trial and Appellate Panel Directors, Director of Social Service Advocacy, and the CPCS Audit & Oversight Department in its review of billings in mental health cases;
  • Working with the General Counsel on legislative and policy advocacy, reviewing pending legislation, drafting bills, and testifying on proposed legislation before state legislative committees;
  • Working with the CPCS Communications Director on strategies for communicating information about MHLD issues, clients, and client communities; and,
  • Other duties as assigned.

Position: Deputy Chief Counsel, Mental Health Litigation Division
Organization: The Committee for Public Counsel Services
Location: Boston,  MA 
United States
Salary: $140,000 - $155,000, commensuate with years of experience
Posting Start Date: 9/7/2022
Date Posted: 10/12/2022
Requirements

MINIMUM ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS

  • Be a member in good standing of the Massachusetts bar, or be licensed in another jurisdiction and eligible to practice in Massachusetts under Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:04;
  • Have at least ten (10) years of litigation experience, five (5) years of which must be in the practice of mental health law;
  • Have at least five (5) years of supervision/management experience, including supervision of legal and support staff; and,
  • Access to a personal computer with home internet access sufficient to work remotely. 

QUALIFICATIONS/SKILLS

  • A demonstrated commitment to the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities or other vulnerabilities;
  • A demonstrated commitment to reducing racial and ethnic disparities in the mental health system;
  • Strong leadership qualities, and superior analytical, interpersonal, communication, negotiation, and decision-making skills;
  • Strong written and oral advocacy skills; and,
  • A demonstrated ability to develop, support, and mentor staff; and,
  • Prior experience in a policy-making position which required data analysis.

Familiarity with Massachusetts Department of Mental Health regulations, procedures and practices, and with Massachusetts criminal justice practice strongly preferred.

 

Application process: Candidates should submit a résumé, writing sample, and statement of interest.

 

The position will be posted until filled, however preference will be given to candidates who apply prior to September 28, 2022.

 

EEO Statement

 

The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran or military status, genetic information, gender identity, or sexual orientation as required by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other applicable federal and state statutes and organizational policies.  Applicants who have questions about equal employment opportunity or who need reasonable accommodations can contact the interim Director of Human Resources Management, Mark Conlon, at mconlon@publiccounsel.net

Status: This listing expires on: 1/10/2023
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Organization Information
Name:
The Committee for Public Counsel Services
Address:
75 Federal Street
5th Floor
Boston,  MA 02110
United States
Email:
kruderman@publiccounsel.net
Phone:
Fax:
Contact:
Kevin Ruderman