Today, Attorney Wood and a team of lawyers filed an amicus brief on behalf of MACDL, Hampden Lawyers for Justice and the ACLU in Carrasquillo v. Hampden County District Court, an appeal pending before the SJC and scheduled to be argued in November.
In this case, CPCS is challenging the order of the Hampden County District Court requiring Hampden County staff public defenders to accept all appointments in the Springfield District Court for which bar advocates could not be found. The appeal is a vehicle to discuss the growing shortage of bar advocates across the Commonwealth. Like CPCS, MACDL et al. assert that the source of the problem is the Legislature's failure to increase rates paid to bar advocates over the past 15 years since the SJC instructed the Legislature to address this issue in its 2005 decision, Lavallee. Unlike CPCS, MACDL et al. urge the Court to increase rates on its own authority. Because the legislature has failed to act and that failure is now causing a breakdown in the criminal justice system, MACDL et al. argue that the only solution to this constitutional crisis is an increase in rates paid to bar advocates and the SJC has the authority to order this increase effective immediately.
The legal team is:
- Chauncey Wood: MACDL amicus director
- Matt Segal: ACLUM Legal Director
- Jessica Lewis: ACLUM staff attorney
- Robert McDonnell: Partner, Morgan Lewis
- Timothy Burke:- Partner, Morgan Lewis
- Matthew Bohenek: associate, Morgan Lewis
- David Hoose: Hampden President, Lawyers for Justice