Posts tagged "Counsel"

Committee for Public Counsel Services, et al. v. Attorney General of Massachusetts, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-051-18)

SUFFOLK, ss. COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT FOR SUFFOLK COUNTY No. SJ-2017-347 COMMITTEE FOR PUBLIC COUNSEL SERVICES, HAMPDEN COUNTY LAWYERS FOR JUSTICE, INC., HERSCHELLE REAVES, and NICOLE WESTCOTT vs. ATTORNEY GENERAL of MASSACHUSETTS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY for BERKSHIRE COUNTY, DISTRICT ATTORNEY for BRISTOL COUNTY, DISTRICT ATTORNEY for the CAPE and ISLANDS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY for ESSEX COUNTY, DISTRICT ATTORNEY for HAMPDEN COUNTY, DISTRICT ATTORNEY for MIDDLESEX COUNTY, DISTRICT ATTORNEY for NORFOLK COUNTY, DISTRICT ATTORNEY for the NORTHWESTERN DISTRICT, DISTRICT ATTORNEY for PLYMOUTH COUNTY, DISTRICT ATTORNEY for SUFFOLK COUNTY, and DISTRICT ATTORNEY for WORCESTER COUNTY DECLARATORY JUDGMENT This matter came before the court, Gaziano, J., on a petition pursuant to G L. c. 211, § 3, seeking relief for defendants affected by the misconduct of state chemist Sonja Farak. As an initial matter, the respondents — the Attorney General and the offices of the Massachusetts District Attorneys — have agreed to vacate certain convictions obtained using drug certificates signed by Sonja Farak. The respondents have filed with the court, and served on the petitioners, formatted interim lists identifying the defendants and their convictions, delinquency or youthful offender adjudications, or other adverse dispositions that the respondents agree should be vacated and dismissed with prejudice. The convictions, adjudications, or other dispositions of those cases are addressed in this orcler. Final lists are to be provided by the respondents and filed with this court no later than April 30, 2018. Those lists may result in additional dismissals. Accordingly, it is ORDERED that the convictions of drug offenses under G. L. 94C that have been so identified by the respondents in the interim lists filed with this court on or before March 30,2018, shall be and are hereby VACATED AND DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE, and any outstanding warrants associated with those convictions are recalled. The clerk shall provide copies of the formatted lists to the Judicial Information Services Department of the trial comi fmihwith in order to effectuate the dismissals. Entered: April 5, 2018 ~ Comi (Gaz.·ia./n.o, J.), fiJ1{y- , ‘\ (‘ – . f;} – /8 r. ;/ . I !f~{A /1 2~U lriaura S. Doy~~re~J I /~ ‘4 Full-text Opinions

Read more...

Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 6, 2018 at 12:09 am

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Deputy Chief Counsel for the Public Defender Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services, et al. v. Acting First Justice of the Lowell Division of the District Court Department (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-084-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-12121   DEPUTY CHIEF COUNSEL FOR THE PUBLIC DEFENDER DIVISION OF THE COMMITTEE FOR PUBLIC COUNSEL SERVICES & another[1]  vs.  ACTING FIRST JUSTICE OF THE LOWELL DIVISION OF THE DISTRICT COURT DEPARTMENT.       Suffolk.     November 9, 2016. – May 24, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Hines, Gaziano, Lowy, & Budd, JJ.     Committee for Public Counsel Services.  District Court, Drug court session.       Civil action commenced in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk on February 23, 2016.   The case was reported by Duffly, J.     Paul R. Rudof, Committee for Public Counsel Services (Ryan M. Schiff, Committee for Public Counsel Services, also present) for the plaintiffs. Bethany L. Stevens for the defendant.     HINES, J.  This matter is before us on a reservation and report, by a single justice of this court, of a petition for relief under G. L. c. 211, § 3.  The petition, brought by the Deputy Chief Counsel for the Public Defender Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services and the Deputy Chief Counsel for the Private Counsel Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (collectively CPCS), sought an order affirming CPCS’s independent authority under G. L. c. 211D to select and supervise attorneys for indigent defendants in the pilot program it had launched in the drug court session of the Lowell Division of the District Court Department (drug court).  The issue arose after the Acting First Justice of the Lowell District Court (Justice), citing the need for a “team” approach to cases in the drug Court, removed CPCS attorneys from drug court cases to which they had been assigned and excluded CPCS attorneys from assignment to any new case in the drug court. The single justice, in her reservation and report, observed that “the matter raises some important legal questions that ought to be decided by the full court, concerning specialty courts in general and adult drug courts in particular, and the respective roles and responsibilities of judges, [CPCS], and individual defense attorneys.”  The issue highlights the tension that may arise between an attorney’s duty to zealously advocate for the rights of the drug court defendant and a drug court model that favors a collaborative and nonadversarial approach to supervision of the drug court defendant.  We recognize that the success of drug court outcomes depends in large part […]

Read more...

Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 24, 2017 at 7:41 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Schubert v. Committee for Public Counsel Services (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-117-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-12044   GREG T. SCHUBERT   vs.  COMMITTEE FOR PUBLIC COUNSEL SERVICES.     August 9, 2016.     Supreme Judicial Court, Superintendence of inferior courts.       The petitioner, attorney Greg T. Schubert, filed papers in the county court entitled “writ of mandamus” and “writ of certiorari” that a single justice treated as a petition pursuant to G. L. c. 211, § 3, and denied.  Schubert appeals, and we  affirm.   The matter stems from a billing dispute between Schubert and the respondent, the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS).  Essentially, CPCS conducted an audit of bills that Schubert submitted for payment to CPCS in connection with legal services that he provided for an indigent defendant.  Pursuant to the CPCS Assigned Counsel Manual, certain administrative proceedings followed the audit, culminating in a hearing.  The hearing officer ultimately rendered a decision adverse to Schubert, after which Schubert filed two separate complaints in the Hampden County Superior Court:  one in the nature of certiorari (HDCV2013-00881) and one for a declaratory judgment (HDCV2014-00141).  CPCS filed a motion to dismiss in each action.  A judge denied the motion in the certiorari action because, at the hearing on the motion, CPCS agreed to give Schubert additional time to file a motion for judgment on the pleadings, as required by Superior Court Standing Order 1-96.  Schubert had not filed such a motion because he did not believe that the standing order applied to his case.  In the declaratory judgment action, the judge did allow CPCS’s motion to dismiss, on the bases that CPCS cannot be sued under G. L. c. 231A, § 2, for a declaratory judgment, and that the individual defendants named in that action were immune from suit.   Schubert then filed his pleadings in this court, which a single justice denied without a hearing.  After the single justice denied his request for relief, Schubert filed several motions to supplement his pleadings with additional documents, which the single justice treated as motions for reconsideration and denied.  Additionally, CPCS again moved to dismiss the certiorari action in the trial court, this time for failure to prosecute.  The motion was allowed.   It is incumbent on Schubert, as the petitioner, to demonstrate that “review of the trial court decision[s] cannot adequately be obtained on appeal from any final adverse judgment in the trial court or by other available means.”  S.J.C. Rule 2:21 […]

Read more...

Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 9, 2016 at 3:50 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Bar Counsel v. Farber (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-062-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750;  (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us     SJC‑11171   BAR COUNSEL  vs.  PETER S. FARBER.       Suffolk.     December 4, 2012.  ‑  April 9, 2013. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.       Attorney at Law, Disciplinary proceeding.  Board of Bar Overseers.  Immunity from Suit.  Words, “Board.”       Civil action commenced in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk on December 13, 2011.   The case was reported by Spina, J.     Constance V. Vecchione, Bar Counsel. Peter S. Farber, pro se.       BOTSFORD, J.  Attorney Peter S. Farber filed a civil action against G. Russell Damon in the Superior Court in October of 2011, asserting claims of defamation, “wrongful instigation of civil proceedings,” and violation of G. L. c. 93A.  Each claim was based on allegedly false statements made in a complaint and follow-up communications that Damon had previously filed with bar counsel, and in testimony Damon gave in a public hearing before a hearing committee of the Board of Bar Overseers (board).  Bar counsel thereafter filed this action for declaratory judgment in the county court.  At the heart of the declaratory judgment action are questions concerning the scope of immunity from civil liability afforded to bar discipline complainants by S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 9 (§ 9), as appearing in 425 Mass. 1312 (1997).   Background.  The pertinent underlying facts are essentially undisputed.  Damon is a licensed real estate broker who works on Cape Cod.  In the fall of 2008, he filed identical complaints with bar counsel and the division of professional licensure, claiming that Farber, an attorney admitted to the Massachusetts bar and a real estate broker, made misrepresentations to induce Damon to split a $ 13,000 real estate commission with him.  The gist of Damon’s complaint was that Farber fraudulently misrepresented certain facts to Damon in connection with a real estate purchase in which Farber was involved on behalf of the actual purchasers, leading Damon to give Farber one-half of the real estate commission he received from the sellers in connection with the sale.  On November 25, 2009, bar counsel filed a petition for discipline against Farber; one of the counts was based on Damon’s complaint and concerned Farber’s conduct in connection with Damon.  A hearing committee of the board heard the matter in May, 2010, and Damon testified as a witness […]

Read more...

Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 9, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,