Position Information

Position Information Message
Staff Counsel I - Innocence Program

The Innocence Program is accepting applications for an experienced trial attorney to serve as the Innocence Program Staff Counsel I. The Staff Counsel I will work closely with the program director, paralegal, and investigator to review and litigate postconviction innocence claims across Massachusetts. This position offers a unique opportunity to apply forensic and investigation trial skills to complex, serious post-conviction felony cases, to support the work of private counsel panel members who are litigating these cases, and to play a leadership role in shaping how trial judges and the appellate courts evaluate post-conviction innocence law ("Chapter 278A").

 

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.

 

POSITION OVERVIEW

 

The Innocence Program is accepting applications for an experienced trial attorney to serve as the Innocence Program Staff Counsel I. The Staff Counsel I will work closely with the program director, paralegal, and investigator to review and litigate postconviction innocence claims across Massachusetts. The Staff Counsel I will advise and train post-conviction panel attorneys who are assigned to handle innocence cases, particularly those involving complex forensic issues, as well as oversee assignment of counsel decisions in cases brought under our state’s post-conviction forensic analysis law, “Chapter 278A,” and advise and support panel attorneys who are litigating motions under that statute. Additionally, the Staff Counsel I will partner with outside stakeholders on grant-funded projects related to evidence handling, conviction integrity, and wrongful conviction work.

 

The Innocence Program is a unit within the Private Counsel Division of CPCS that is responsible for identifying, litigating, and overseeing counsel assignments in all post-conviction cases in which an indigent Massachusetts defendant asserts factual innocence of the underlying crime and/or seeks post-conviction forensic analysis to support a claim of factual innocence.

 

This position offers a unique opportunity to apply forensic and investigation trial skills to complex, serious post-conviction felony cases, to support the work of private counsel panel members who are litigating these cases, and to play a leadership role in shaping how trial judges and the appellate courts evaluate post-conviction innocence law ("Chapter 278A"). It also offers the opportunity for cross-agency collaboration with a working group that includes the New England Innocence Project, Boston College Innocence Program, Middlesex and Suffolk County conviction integrity units, and the crime laboratories at the Massachusetts State Police and Boston Police.

 

RESPONSIBILITIES:

 

The duties of the Innocence Program Staff Counsel I include, but are not limited to:               

  • Collaborating with the Innocence Program staff, rotation attorney, and grant partners to create a prioritized list of cases that would most benefit from the assistance of an experienced trial litigator to support assigned post-conviction panel attorneys in case investigation and litigation;
  • Partnering with assigned panel attorneys on all aspects of investigation and litigation of assigned innocence cases;
  • Representing clients in innocence cases, including consulting with forensic experts; developing and implementing fact investigation by staff or appointed investigators; drafting written motions, expert affidavits, and other attendant written pleadings to support the trial court litigation of motions for a new trial; preparing and conducting evidentiary hearings where granted;
  • Evaluating and overseeing requests for counsel in innocence cases and cases brought under Chapter 278A, and litigating/ co-counseling these cases where appropriate;
  • Collaborating with the IP Director and staff to develop and give presentations at training programs on litigating Chapter 278A motions and on evaluating and litigating claims of innocence;
  • Identifying key cases on appeal that will aid in the development of caselaw pertaining to Chapter 278A and to the evaluation of wrongful conviction claims, and authoring amicus briefs to support the litigation of these cases in the SJC where approved by the Committee; and,
  • Other duties as assigned.

Position: Staff Counsel I - Innocence Program
Organization: Committee for Public Counsel Services
Location: Boston,  MA 
United States
Salary: $61,000 - $103,500
Posting Start Date: 3/17/2021
Date Posted: 4/23/2021
Requirements

MINIMUM ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS:

  • Eligible to practice law in this jurisdiction as a member of the Massachusetts bar in good standing;
  • Minimum of four years’ experience representing indigent clients in criminal, juvenile or civil trials, and/or handling evidentiary hearings in post-conviction litigation arising out of criminal or juvenile matters;
  • Access to an automobile in order to travel to courts, clients, and investigation locations that are not easily accessible by public transportation; and,
  • Access to a personal computer with home internet access sufficient to work remotely.

 

QUALIFICATIONS/ SKILLS: 

 

A successful candidate will have substantial experience and/or training in some or all of the following areas:

 

  • Jury trials and/or evidentiary hearings;
  • Examining witnesses on direct and cross-examination;
  • Working with expert witnesses and forensic evidence issues (including consultation with and in-court testimony of experts);
  • Evaluating and litigating cases involving DNA evidence;
  • Identifying and litigating motions to suppress/motions in limine regarding common causes of wrongful convictions (e.g. eyewitness evidence, false confessions, jailhouse informants);
  • Appellate writing and/or substantial motion practice;
  • Preference will be given to candidates who have experience handling evidentiary hearings in criminal or civil court trial litigation; and
  • Candidates are expected to have excellent litigation, writing, oral presentation, organizational, and interpersonal skills.

 

An attorney interested in the position should submit a resume, writing sample of no more than fifteen pages which has not been substantially edited by anyone other than the applicant, and a letter of interest that describes how the applicant’s qualifications are pertinent to this position.

 

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 Director of Human Resources Management, Lisa Bacon, at lbacon@publiccounsel.net.

Status: This listing expires on: 7/22/2021
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Organization Information
Name:
Committee for Public Counsel Services
Address:
100 Cambridge Street

Boston,  MA 02114
United States
Email:
kruderman@publiccounsel.net
Phone:
Fax:
Contact:
Kevin Ruderman