About > Staff



YAD Administration

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Erica E. Cushna, Esq., Trial Panel Director
Bessie DiDomenica, Administrative Assistant
Joshua M. Dohan, Esq., Director
Priscilla Duffy, Esq., Assistant Director
Theresa Flaherty, Administrative Assistant
Helen Fremont, Esq., Trial Panel Oversight
Lisa Gigliotti, Sentencing Advocate
Barbara Kaban, Esq., Director of Juvenile Appeals
Rachel Rosenberg, Esq., Skadden Fellow
Michele Scavongelli, Esq., Equal Justice Works Fellow
Holly Smith, Esq., Training Attorney
Marlies Spanjaard, Esq., Director of Education Advocacy
Bryna Williams, Esq., EdLaw Project Staff Attorney
Wendy Wolf, Esq., Director of Training
Huong Vo, Administrative Assistant
Mara Voukydis, Esq., Revocation Advocacy Coordinator

Fall River Office Staff

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Heather Beninati, MSW., Social Service Advocate
Courtney Bradley, Esq., Senior Attorney
Virginia Carter, Esq., Staff Attorney
James Ladino, Esq., Staff Attorney
Filipa Melendez, Administrative Assistant
Joe Mulhern, Esq., Attorney in Charge

Hyannis Office Staff

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Judie Flynn, Administrative Assistant
Mary Kirwin, Esq., Staff Attorney
Nancy McLean, Esq., Attorney in Charge
 

Lowell Office Staff

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Scott Hulgan, Esq., Senior Attorney
Katie Cox, Esq., Staff Attorney
Mona Igram, Esq., Attorney in Charge
Amy Kelso, MSW., Social Service Advocate
Petra Veras-Rizwan, Administrative Assistant

Quincy Office Staff

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Laura Alfring, Esq., Staff Attorney
Dulcinea Goncalves, Esq., Attorney in Charge
Celiana Guante, Administrative Assistant
Rose King, Esq., Senior Attorney
Melanie Roberts, Esq., Staff Attorney
Peter Uzoma, MSW., Social Service Advocate

Roxbury Office Staff

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Jessie Brito, Administrative Assistant
Frances Brickman, Esq., Staff Attorney
La Mer Kyle-Griffiths, Esq., Staff Attorney
Kathryn Ratey, Social Service Advocate
Brian Wiseman, Esq., Staff Attorney

Salem Office Staff

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Harris Krinsky, Esq., Staff Attorney
Susan Oker, Esq., Attorney in Charge
Kira Pullig, MSW., Social Service Advocate
Lidia Reyes, Administrative Assistant
Lauren Russell, Esq., Staff Attorney
Tinia Snow, Esq., Staff Attorney

Somerville Office Staff

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Allyn Carey, MSW., Social Service Advocate
Dean Douglas, Esq., Staff Attorney
Vanessa Hernandez, Esq., Staff Attorney
Scott Rankin, Esq., Senior Attorney
Jeff Richards, Esq., Attorney in Charge

Springfield Office Staff

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Charity Dore, Esq., Staff Attorney
Krista Gale , MSW., Social Service Advocate
Naretha Griffin , Administrative Assistant
Audrey Harrington , Esq., Staff Attorney
Lauren Honigman , MSW., Social Services Advocate
Ami Jackson, Criminal Defense Investigator
Elizabeth LaFrance, Esq., Staff Attorney
Susan Lyman, Esq., Staff Attorney
Stephanie Stolk Ormsby, Esq., Senior Attorney
Patrick Sparks, Esq., Attorney in Charge

Worcester Office Staff

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Melissa A. Dineen, Esq, Attorney In Charge
Lisa Ferigno, Administrative Assistant
Kelsey Haggett, Social Services Advocate
Bri Lacy, Esq., Staff Attorney
Brendan Moran, Esq, Staff Attorney
Josh Reuling, Esq., Staff Attorney



YAD Administration

Erica E. Cushna, Esq., Trial Panel Director
(617) 988-8349
ecushna@publiccounsel.net

Erica E. Cushna is the YAD Trial Panel Director. Prior to her employment at YAD Erica was a Bar Advocate in Hampden County for over 17 years. Erica has successfully defended numerous cases before juries in the Massachusetts superior, district, and juvenile courts and has been a dedicated advocate for hundreds of other indigent clients. She has also appeared before the Massachusetts Appeals Court and Supreme Judicial Court, successfully arguing for the expansion of the right of a juvenile to a hearing prior to detention. Erica was the 2008 Massachusetts Bar Association Access to Justice Defender Award recipient. A regular lecturer at bar association training seminars and panelist at statewide defense trainings, Erica was chosen as the Regional Coordinator for Juvenile Delinquency and Youthful Offender cases in Hampden County in 2002. Since 2003, her role expanded to Juvenile Supervisory Attorney for the private bar in Hampden County. Erica also serves as a Massachusetts team member of the Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network.

Bessie DiDomenica, Administrative Assistant
(617) 988-8486
bdidomenica@publiccounsel.net

Bessie joined YAD in early 2014. She transferred from CAFL, another division of CPCS, in which she provided executive level support to a team of lawyers and administrators.  Prior to joining CPCS, Bessie scheduled depositions, prepared and filed legal documents for partners and administrators in local law firms.  She created an award-winning nonprofit, Children's Animated Television, to aid youth in developing critical thinking and problem solving skills.  Bessie is an active member of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee (JJAC) and has a wealth of experience in project management, business development and social media.  Bessie has a B.S. in Biology from the University of Colorado and an MBA from Simmons School of Management. 

Joshua M. Dohan, Esq., Director
(617) 988-8361
jdohan@publiccounsel.net

Joshua Dohan became a public defender in 1988 and joined the Youth Advocacy Division at its inception, as its first staff attorney in 1992 and assumed the role of Director in 1999. Josh is a returned Peace Corps volunteer, Ghana (1982-84). He is a graduate of Harvard College (1980) and Northeastern University School of Law (1988). He was also the 1998 recipient of the Access to Justice Award from the Massachusetts Bar Association. Josh is on the Board of Directors of Citizens for Juvenile Justice and is President of the Board for the Youth Advocacy Foundation. He is a founding Member of the Equal Justice Partnership, a member of the LeadBoston class of 2001, a member of the Institutional Review Board of both Children's Hospital and Tufts University, and a member of the Community Advisory Board of the Institute on Race and Justice. In 2001, the Youth Advocacy Department became the first Juvenile Defender organization to win the Clara Shortridge Foltz award for outstanding achievement from the National Legal Aid and Defender Association.

Priscilla Duffy, Esq., Assistant Director
(617) 988-8397
pduffy@publiccounsel.net

Priscilla joined YAD in 2003 as Program Manager, became Director of Communications in 2008, and Assistant Director in 2010. In 2008, Priscilla was recognized by Lawyers Weekly as one of its inaugural "Women of Justice." Previously, she was a trial attorney for seven years in the Brockton Office of the Committee for Public Counsel Services. While there, she specialized in Youthful Offender cases. In addition, Priscilla has marketing and development experience at both a nonprofit company and a major corporation. Priscilla graduated from Brown University in 1983 and received her J.D., with honors, from Boston College Law School in 1992.

Lisa Gigliotti, Statewide Coordinator for Sentencing Advocacy
(508) 443-5507
lgigliotti@publiccounsel.net

Lisa joined YAD in 2007 as a Social Service Advocate in the Worcester YAD office.  Her role has since expanded and Lisa now serves as the Statewide Coordinator for Sentencing Advocacy.  Lisa received her Bachelors in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and her Masters in Counseling Psychology from Anna Maria College. 

Theresa Flaherty, Administrative Assistant
(617) 988-8339
tflaherty@publiccounsel.net

Theresa joined YAD in 2007 as an Administrative Assistant to the Roxbury Trial Team, there she provided administrative support to attorneys, social workers and administrators. In 2012 her role expanded, leaving the trail team and focusing on supporting the Director and other senior management with YAD.  Prior to YAD, Theresa worked for the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office. There she provided administrative and paralegal support to the ADA’s and Regional and Juvenile Court Supervisors. She graduated with a B.A. from Boston University majoring in Sociology.

Helen Fremont, Esq., Trial Panel Oversight
(617) 988-8342
hfremont@publiccounsel.net

Helen Fremont is the YAD Trial Panel Oversight Attorney with CPCS. A Peace Corps Volunteer in Lesotho from 1982-1983, she became a CPCS trial attorney in 1985. Since 1987, she has worked in the Private Counsel Division of CPCS in various capacities, including Acting Deputy Chief Counsel and Director of the Audit and Oversight Department. Prior to her work at CPCS, she was a Staff Attorney with the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers. Fremont is a 1978 graduate of Wellesley College, a 1982 graduate of Boston University School of Law, and a 1991 graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

Barbara Kaban, Esq., Director of Juvenile Appeals
(617) 988-8351
bkaban@publiccounsel.net

Barbara Kaban is the Director of Juvenile Appeals for YAD (2012 - present). In this newly created position, Kaban is establishing a specialized appellate panel whose mission is to enforce and enhance the constitutional and statutory rights of Massachusetts' juveniles. In addition, Kaban is administering and litigating the implementation of the 2012 Miller v. Alabama Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts that held mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles violates the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. See Commonwealth v. Marquise Brown, 466 Mass 676 (2013).

Prior to joining CPCS, Kaban was the Deputy Director and Director of Research and Policy at the Children's Law Center of Massachusetts, (2000-2012). As part of her appellate practice, Kaban successfully advocated for the cessation of extension of commitments for youth committed to the Department of Youth Services (Kenniston v. Department of Youth Services, 453 Mass 179 (2009)(declaring the statute void for vagueness) and challenged the duration and circumstances under which an incompetent juvenile may be detained pre-trial. Abbott A. v. Commonwealth, 458 Mass. 24 (2010).

In 2011, the Governor appointed Kaban to the federally mandated state advisory group which is charged with coordinating juvenile justice and delinquency prevention efforts in the Commonwealth. In 2009, Kaban was appointed by the Governor to the Massachusetts' Child Advocacy Advisory Board. A recipient of a 1998 Soros Justice Fellowship, Kaban graduated Magna Cum Laude from Boston College Law School, has an M.B.A. from Boston University and a M.Ed. in educational psychology from Harvard University. Kaban's recent publications include: "Revitalizing the Infancy Defense in the Contemporary Juvenile Court, Rutgers Law Review (Fall 2007); "Do You Know Where the Children Are? A Report on Massachusetts Youth Unlawfully Held Without Bail," (2006) http://www.prisonpolicy.org/kidsbail; "Rethinking a Knowing, Intelligent and Voluntary Waiver in Massachusetts Juvenile Courts, "Journal of the Center for Children and the Courts, v.5 (2004); "When Police Question Children: Are Protections Adequate?"Journal of the Center for Children and the Courts, vol. 1, 151 (1999); reprinted Michigan Child Welfare Law Journal, vol. IV, 12 (Summer 2000); reprinted Massachusetts Bar Association Section Review, vol. 4, 1 (Winter 2002); and "An Overview of Disposition Process in Delinquency Cases" in the 1999 Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education publication entitled Juvenile Law Basics. Further, she initiated and supervised the Juvenile Life Without Parole project at the CLCM that resulted in the 2009 publication "Until They Die A Natural Death: Youth Sentenced to Life Without Parole in Massachusetts." Kaban regularly serves as a faculty member at Massachusetts continuing legal education seminars and has been recognized for outstanding public interest service by the Massachusetts Bar Association (2009) and by Boston College Law School (2013).

Rachel Rosenberg, Esq., Skadden Fellow
(617) 988-8461
rrosenberg@publiccounsel.net

Rachel joined the EdLaw Project as a Skadden Fellow in September 2012. Rachel graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2012. During law school, Rachel gained valuable education advocacy experience as a student clinician in the Special Education Clinic/Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative, collaboration between Harvard Law School and Massachusetts Advocates for Children. Rachel also interned at Citizens for Juvenile Justice for a semester while participating in her school’s Child Advocacy Clinic. She additionally spent one summer as an intern at the San Francisco Juvenile Public Defender and another at the Children’s Law Center of Washington, D.C. Rachel earned her B.A. at Emory University. She is an experienced bluegrass and old-time fiddler.

Michele Scavongelli, Esq., Equal Justice Works Fellow
(617) 988-8462
mscavongelli@publiccounsel.net

Michele Scavongelli joined the EdLaw Project as an Equal Justice Works Fellow, sponsored by Bingham McCutchen, LLP in September 2012. Michele graduated Northeastern University School of Law in 2012. During law school, Ms. Scavongelli was a recipient of a Rappaport Fellowship at the Massachusetts Office of the Child Advocate and a recipient of a Hennessey Fellowship at the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee. She interned at the Lowell Juvenile Court as well as at the law firm of Kotin, Crabtree & Strong, LLP with a particular focus on special education law. Ms. Scavongelli also assisted victims of domestic violence at the Dorchester and Roxbury Municipal Courts and at Boston Medical Center and St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. She has served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and as a Special Education Surrogate Parent. Prior to attending law school she spent 29 years as an executive in the life insurance industry. She is on the board of Bottom Line, an organization that is dedicated to helping disadvantaged students get in to college, graduate from college, and go far in life, and on the board of Boston CASA, an organization that recruits, trains, and supports volunteers who advocate for abused and neglected children before the Suffolk County. She earned her S.B. in Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1979.

Holly Smith, Esq., Training Attorney
(617) 988-8344
hsmith@publiccounsel.net

Marlies Spanjaard, Esq., Director of Education Advocacy
(617) 988-8347
mspanjaard@publiccounsel.net

Marlies Spanjaard is the Director of Education Advocacy for The Edlaw Project, an initiative of the Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts and the Youth Advocacy Division. EdLaw advocates for the education rights of Massachusetts’ highest risk children. As the Director of Education Advocacy, Ms. Spanjaard is responsible for supervising staff attorneys and interns, making program-wide policy decisions, and conducting state-wide trainings on education-related issues with a specific focus on representing court-involved youth. Prior to serving as coordinator Ms. Spanjaard was a staff attorney at the Edlaw Project and, in that role, represented students in school disciplinary hearings, special education team meetings, and administrative hearings before the Bureau of Special Education Appeals. Ms. Spanjaard has trained a wide variety of audiences including parents, youth workers, students, and lawyers. Ms. Spanjaard as an adjunct instructor at Wheelock College in the  Juvenile Justice and Youth Advocacy Department.  She earned her J.D. and her M.S.W. at Washington University Law School and George Warren Brown School of Social Work in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Bryna G. Williams, Esq., EdLaw Attorney
(617) 988-8363
bwilliams@publiccounsel.net

Bryna joined the EdLaw Project in August, 2006. As a staff attorney, she represents students in the areas of school discipline, special education rights and access to school. Additionally, she regularly attends community meetings and forums focused on public education and leads trainings about education rights to community groups, child advocates and students throughout the region. During law school, she gained valuable experience in client advocacy through internships with the Public Guardian of Cook County in Chicago and the Citizen Advocacy Center in Elmhurst, Illinois, and as a student clinician at the Loyola Civitas ChildLaw Clinic. Additionally, she served as the managing editor of the Children's Legal Rights Journal, as the president of her law school's Public Interest Law Society and as a volunteer teaching students about their legal rights in the Chicago Public Schools and at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. She earned her A.B. from Washington University in St. Louis in 1998 and her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 2005.

Wendy Wolf, Esq., Director of Training
(617) 988-8451
wwolf@publiccounsel.net

Wendy Wolf, Esq. has been a trial attorney with the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) since 1985. She began her practice representing adults accused of felonies and was also a Supervising Attorney in the Cambridge office of CPCS. In 1996 Wendy joined the Youth Advocacy Division (YAD) of CPCS as the Supervising Attorney. In 2002 Wendy started the Juvenile Defense Network, an initiative of YAD and CPCS which provides training and support to attorneys in delinquency and youthful offender cases. She is currently the co-chair of the Juvenile and Child Welfare Section of the Massachusetts Bar Association, a board member of the Massachusetts Juvenile Bar Association and the New England Juvenile Defender Center, and on the Juvenile Justice Center Advisory Board of Barry University Law School. She is the 2007 recipient of the Massachusetts Bar Association Defender Award. Ms. Wolf earned her B.S in Social Work from the University of Vermont and her J.D. from Suffolk University Law School.

Huong Vo , Administrative Assistant
(617) 988-8352
hvo@publiccounsel.net

Mara Voukydis , Esq., Revocation Advocacy Coordinator
(617) 988-8354
mvoukydis@publiccounsel.net

Mara joined YAD staff in March of 2011 after representing youth in DYS revocation cases as a solo practitioner. Mara graduated from Northeastern University School of Law in 2008, where she was a recipient of the school’s Public Interest Law Scholarship. During school she worked as a student attorney and clinical teaching assistant for the Prisoners’ Rights Clinic. She also served as a team leader with the Domestic Violence Institute, providing social and legal services to survivors. In addition to her legal focus on post-conviction representation, she worked for four years as a social services advocate. In that role she coordinated services for people living with HIV, addiction, and homelessness, and trained staff on advocating for people with criminal records. Mara is a member of the Juvenile Defense Advisory Committee. She graduated from Wesleyan University in 2001 with a B.A. in Government.

Fall River Office Staff

Heather Beninati, MSW., Social Service Advocate
(508) 484-5785
hbeninati@publiccounsel.net

Heather joined YAD as a Social Service Advocate in October of 2011. Heather has practiced in the field of social work in a variety of settings, including an alternative high school placement, public middle school, DYS secure treatment facility, and an outreach mental health clinic. Heather received her Bachelors in Social Work from Westfield State College and her Masters of Social Work from Boston College with a concentration in clinical studies with children and family.

Courtney Bradley, Esq., Senior Attorney
(508) 484-5781
cbradley@publiccounsel.net

Courtney graduated from the University of Georgia in 2003 with a B.S. in Psychology and then attended Suffolk University Law School where she graduated with a J.D. in 2006. While at Suffolk, Courtney participated in the Suffolk Juvenile Justice Program where she represented juveniles in criminal matters under the third year practice rule in Boston Juvenile Court. After graduating from Suffolk, she returned to Georgia and was a Public Defender for both adults and juveniles in the Enotah Judicial Circuit. After spending four and a half years as a Public Defender in Georgia, Courtney joined YAD in March of 2011.

Virginia Carter, Esq., Staff Attorney
(508) 484-5782
vcarter@publiccounsel.net

Virginia joined YAD as a staff attorney in March 2011. She graduated from Converse College in 2007 with a B.A. in Religious Studies. She received her J.D. from New England School of Law in 2010. While in law school, Virginia was a student attorney in Providence and Lowell representing clients in criminal matters. She also held internships at the New Hampshire Public Defender’s Office and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. She was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in November 2010.

James Ladino, Esq., Staff Attorney
(508) 484-5783
jladino@publiccounsel.net

James joined YAD in March 2011 as a staff attorney. James graduated cum laude from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA in 2006 and from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York, NY in 2009. In his final year of law school, James served as Managing Editor to the Cardozo Journal of Law and Gender, one of the nation’s leading publishers of gender-related legal scholarship. His note, Ianfu: No Comfort Yet for Korean Comfort Women and the Impact of House Resolution 121, was published in 2009. James has been a member of the Massachusetts Bar since 2009 and has been a resident of the Greater New Bedford-Fall River area his entire life.

Filipa Melendez, Administrative Assistant
(508)484-5777
fmelendez@publiccounsel.net

Filipa joined YAD in November 2011. Prior to joining YAD, Filipa worked as an investigator for CPCS Public Defender Division. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with a B.A. in Political Science. During her time at UMASS Dartmouth she interned with the New Bedford District Court Probation Department, which sparked her interest in the criminal justice system. Filipa is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish and has been a resident of the New Bedford area her entire life. She has been with CPCS since 2007.

Joe Mulhern, Esq., Attorney in Charge
(508) 484-5784
jmulhern@publiccounsel.net

Joe has been working with youth involved in the juvenile justice system since 1999, first as a line staff with the Department of Youth Services, and then as a DYS Caseworker and supervisor of clinicians on a secured treatment unit. Joe is a graduate of Bridgewater State College (1997) and Southern New England School of Law (2003). Prior to joining YAD in January of 2011 as the Attorney In Charge of the Fall River Area office Joe had been a solo practitioner focusing on juvenile and adult criminal defense, care and protection, and family law since 2004. This year he has also been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth School of Law.

Hyannis Office Staff

Judie Flynn, Administrative Assistant
(508) 815-5711
jflynn@publiccounsel.net

Judie began working at CPCS in 1995 as the Administrative Assistant for the Children and Family Law Administrative Unit. After three years Judie became the Administrative Assistant for the Boston Trial Unit providing executive level administrative support to district and superior court attorneys. In 2012 Judie transfered to YAD and supports both a YAD and CAFL Trial Office in Barnstable.

Mary Kirwin, Esq., Staff Attorney
(508) 815-5721
mkirwin@publiccounsel.net

Nancy McLean, Esq., Attorney in Charge
(508) 815-5720
nmclean@publiccounsel.net

 


Lowell Office Staff

Katie Cox, Esq., Staff Attorney
(978) 856-6157
kcox@publiccounsel.net

Katie began working as a Public Defender in 2009 after her graduation from Suffolk University Law School. She gained trial experience in both the Brockton District Court and the Salem Superior Court Office of CPCS prior to joining YAD in 2014. While attending Suffolk Law, Katie represented juveniles charged in delinquency proceedings in the Boston Juvenile Court through the Juvenile Justice Center. She also interned at the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice in Boston in 2007 and with a mentoring program for incarcerated young women at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center in Chicago in 2005. Katie earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2006 from The Colorado College.

Scott Hulgan, Esq., Senior Attorney
(978) 856-6158
shulgan@publiccounsel.net

Scott joined YAD in March 2011. Prior to his employment at YAD, Scott served as a Public Defender in Virginia, from 2007 to 2011. There, Scott represented both juveniles and adults accused of a diverse array of charges. He defended his clients in bench trials, juries, and worked on numerous petitions for appeal. Additionally, Scott argued before panels of the Virginia Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Virginia. He also served as the Public Defender representative on the Richmond and Fairfax Juvenile Drug Courts and worked with two attorneys to start and coach a mock trial team at a Richmond City High School. Before joining YAD, Scott successfully challenged a specific component of a juvenile detention statute and advocated to change the local court atmosphere concerning issues related to Juvenile Competency. He graduated from the University of Richmond School of Law in 2006.

Mona Igram, Esq., Attorney in Charge
(978) 856-6159
migram@publiccounsel.net

Mona Igram is the Attorney in Charge of the YAD Lowell office. She first joined YAD as a consultant to the Juvenile Defense Network (JDN) in 2008. As the JDN Resource Attorney, she assisted the YAD training department in providing advice and support to the private juvenile defense bar, as well as developing trainings and writing practice guides for juvenile defense attorneys. Mona participates regularly in legal education trainings for lawyers, community organizations and youth. Prior to joining YAD she was in private practice with the Law Offices of Aruri & Igram in Lowell, representing youth and adults in delinquency, criminal defense and care and protection matters in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. As a staff attorney with the New Hampshire Public Defender in Nashua, NH from 1993-2001, Mona represented adults and juveniles in criminal cases. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa and the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law.

Amy Kelso, MSW., Social Service Advocate
(978) 856-6160
akelso@publiccounsel.net

Petra Veras-Rizwan, Administrative Assistant
(978) 856-6157
pveras-rizwan@publiccounsel.net

Quincy Office Staff

Laura Alfring, Esq., Staff Attorney
(508) 484-5934
lalfring@publiccounsel.net

Laura joined YAD in September 2010. Prior to joining YAD, she worked as an associate attorney in private practice, and as a Clinical Fellow at Suffolk University Law School’s Juvenile Defender Clinic. She graduated from Suffolk Law School in 2007. She grew up in Colorado and attended college at University of Colorado, Boulder. She has written and published articles on juvenile justice, human trafficking, and the death penalty. She has also served on the Board of Directors at the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild since 2008.

Duci Goncalves, Esq., Attorney in Charge
(508) 484-5931
dgoncalves@publiccounsel.net

Duci first joined YAD (Roxbury Office) in 2005 where she represented juveniles in delinquency and youthful offender matters in the Dorchester, West Roxbury, and Boston Juvenile Courts. From 2010-2011, while on a leave of absence from YAD, Ms. Goncalves worked as a staff attorney at Suffolk University School of Law’s Juvenile Justice Center (JJC). As a staff attorney with the JJC, Ms. Goncalves supervised law students representing juveniles in the Boston Juvenile Court, assisted in the teaching of the Juvenile Defender Clinical Class, and maintained a small caseload of juvenile delinquency and youthful offender cases. In 2008, Ms. Goncalves was selected as one of fifteen lawyers by the Boston Bar Association to participate in its 2008-2009 Public Interest Leadership Program, a program designed for lawyers who have demonstrated leadership in public service, pro bono and organized bar activities. Ms. Goncalves has participated in numerous CPCS and MCLE trainings as a panelist lecturing in the areas of arraignment/bail, alternatives to detention, and probation. Ms. Goncalves earned her B.S. in Rehabilitation and Human Services from Boston University and her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.

Celiana Guante , Administrative Assistant
(508) 484-5930
cguante@publiccounsel.net

Celiana joined YAD in 2011. Prior to working for YAD, Celiana interned with The Department of Youth Services and earned an Associate's Degree from Bunker Hill Community College in Criminal Justice. She is currently on track to receiving a Paralegal Certificate from Curry College.

Rose King, Esq., Staff Attorney
(617) 445-7581 Ext 20
rking@publiccounsel.net

Rose joined YAD in September of 2012 and has been a practicing attorney for seventeen years with both trial and appellate experience as a bar advocate and as a private attorney. She has appeared before all departments of the Massachusetts Trial Court and the United States District Court and has argued cases before the Massachusetts Appeals Court and the Supreme Judicial Court. Prior to entering private practice Rose worked for a number of years at the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department where she developed an expertise in sentencing and corrections law and in prisoners’ civil rights law. Rose is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Boston, where she received a B.A. in Sociology, and of New England School of Law. Rose was born and raised in Dorchester and has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Dorchester Youth Collaborative (DYC) for many years.

Melanie Roberts, Esq., Staff Attorney
(508) 484-5933
mroberts@publiccounsel.net

Melanie joined YAD as a staff attorney in March 2011. She graduated from magna cum laude from Connecticut College in 2007, with a double major in History and Classics. She graduated from Suffolk University Law School in May of 2010. During her third year of law school, she represented indigent juvenile clients in the Boston Juvenile Court as a certified student attorney with the law school’s Juvenile Defender Clinic. She has interned with Attorney Nan Evans, the law firm of Stern, Shapiro, Weissberg, and Garin, LLP, and with Neighborhood Legal Services in Lawrence. Melanie was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 2010.

Peter Uzoma, MSW., Social Service Advocate
(508) 484-5935
puzoma@publiccounsel.net


Roxbury Office Staff

Jessie Brito, Administrative Assistant
(617) 445-7581 Ext 26
jbrito@publiccounsel.net

Jessie joined YAD in early 2012. She transferred to YAD from the Roxbury Defenders Unit (RD), another division of CPCS. While with RDU Jessie held the position of receptionist and also provided secretarial support to a superior court trail team. In 2011 Jessie earned her Associates Degree in Business Management from Roxbury Community College. Jessie is a Notary of the Public and has worked for CPCS since 2001.

Frances Brickman, Esq., Staff Attorney
(617) 445-7581 Ext 15
abrickman@publiccounsel.net

La Mer Kyle-Griffiths, Esq., Staff Attorney
(617) 445-7581 Ext
lkylegriffiths@publiccounsel.net

Le Mer joined YAD in 2013.  Before that time she was an attorney with the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy (DPA) for 13 years.  With DPA, she worked with both juveniles and adults in several offices across the state including the Capital Trial Branch; she also supervised the Juvenile Post-Disposition Unit as well as a rural trial office.  She has trained for several years in areas of substantive law, juvenile practice and trial skills.  She graduated from he University of Dayton School of Law and the University of Kentucky with a B.A. in Sociology.  La Mer speaks Spanish and is starting down the long road of attempting to learn Haitian Creole. 

Kathryn Ratey, Social Service Advocate
(617) 445-7581 Ext 19
kratey@publiccounsel.net

Brian Wiseman, Esq., Senior Attorney
(617) 445-7581 Ext 13
bwiseman@publiccounsel.net

Brian joined YAD in March of 2011. After graduating from Northeastern University School of Law in 1988, Brian worked as a bar advocate, accepting court appointments in both the district and juvenile courts, as well as in care and protection proceedings. Once the Youthful Offender statute became law in 1996, Brian’s practice focused almost exclusively on delinquency and youthful offender representation. Each fall Brian teaches “Representing Juveniles and Youthful Offenders” at the Massachusetts School of Law.

Salem Office Staff

Kira Pullig, MSW., Social Service Advocate
(978) 825-2081
kpullig@publiccounsel.net

Harris Krinsky, Esq., Staff Attorney
(978) 825-2089
hkrinsky@publiccounsel.net

Harris Krinsky is a graduate of Hobart and William Smith Colleges (1981) and Franklin Pierce Law Center (1984). Harris has been a practicing attorney for over 27 years and has extensive criminal experience, both as a bar advocate and a private attorney, in Essex and Suffolk Counties. Harris has appeared before all departments of the Massachusetts Trial Court, the Federal District Court and has argued cases before the Appeals Court and the Supreme Judicial Court. In addition, Harris is one of the original members of the Revocation Advocacy Panel.

Susan Oker, Esq., Attorney in Charge
(978) 825-2052
soker@publiccounsel.net

Susan Oker joined YAD in February of 2011 as the Attorney In Charge of the Salem office. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College (1978) and Northeastern University School of Law (1984), she has been a public defender since 1985. Susan previously worked as the Director of the Salem District Court Office, as the Special Litigation Unit staff attorney, and as a superior court trial attorney, all at the Committee for Public Counsel Services. She also served as Director of the Harvard Disability Law Clinic for the Center for Public Representation from 1990 until 1993. Susan is the recipient of the 2010 Edward Duggan Award and the 2009 North Shore Women’s Law Association Lawyer of the Year Award. In her distant past she was a community organizer as a VISTA volunteer and an advocate for individuals with mental disabilities.

Lidia Reyes, Administrative Assistant
(978) 825-2081
lreyes@publiccounsel.net

Lidia Reyes joined YAD in June 2011, prior to that she worked as the Administrative Assistant for the Salem District Court Office. Before joining the Salem District Court Office, Lidia came from the Cambridge Superior Court office where she worked as a receptionist in her first position at CPCS.

Lauren Russell, Esq., Staff Attorney
(978) 825-2091
lrussell@publiccounsel.net

Lauren joined YAD as a staff attorney in September 2011, after graduating from Northeastern University School of Law in May. During law school, she completed internships at the EdLaw Project, the Federal Public Defender and the Boston District and Municipal Court Office of CPCS. She also participated in the Prisoners’ Rights Clinic as a student attorney and a teaching assistant. Prior to law school, Lauren worked as a Guardian ad Litem investigator at the Children’s Law Center in Washington, D.C. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Thought and Political Economy from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2006, after completing a year of national service in Boston through Americorps’ City Year. Lauren has volunteered as an educational surrogate parent for children in the custody of the Department of Children and Families since 2009.

Tinia Snow, Esq., Staff Attorney
(978) 825-2094
tsnow@publiccounsel.net

Tinia joined YAD in March of 2011. She received her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law in 2009. Tinia had decided prior to law school that she wanted to pursue a career in public interest law. She graduated cum laude from Northeastern University with a B.S. in criminal justice in 2005. Tinia did outreach work with various nonprofits in Boston, working with youth committed to the Department of Youth Services and the Department of Children and Families while an undergraduate student. During her time in law school, Tinia participated in the Frederick Douglas Moot Court Competition and the Marshall Brennan Teaching Fellowship program. As a Marshall Brennan fellow, Tinia taught First Amendment law to high school students at the Parkway Academy of Technology and Health in West Roxbury, MA. Tinia also received a Massachusetts Bar Association fellowship, in recognition of her interest in pursuing a public interest law career, enabling her to work at the Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts.


Somerville Office Staff

Allyn Carey, MSW., Social Service Advocate
acarey@publiccounsel.net

Dean Douglas, Esq., Staff Attorney
(617) 863-5187
ddouglas@publiccounsel.net

Dean joined YAD as a staff attorney in March 2011. Prior to joining YAD, he worked both as an associate attorney in private practice and as a case manager for a non for profit organization. Dean graduated from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2002, where he received his B.A. in Liberal Arts with concentrations in Political Science and History. He later obtained his J.D. from the Massachusetts School of Law in 2008, where he was also a member of the Thurgood Marshall Trial Advocacy team. While at MSL, he completed a three month juvenile law internship primarily out of the Lowell Juvenile Court where he assisted bar advocates with juvenile law matters. Dean was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 2008.

Vanessa Hernandez, Esq., Staff Attorney
(617) 863-5188
vhernandez@publiccounsel.net

Vanessa joined YAD as a staff attorney in March 2011. She graduated from Union College in 2007 with a B.A. in Modern Languages and Classics. She received her J.D. from Suffolk University Law School in 2010. While in law school, she was a certified student attorney at the Family Advocacy Clinic and represented indigent clients in family matters, including a successful bench trial. Vanessa was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in November 2010 and her admission to the New York State Bar is pending. Vanessa is also fluent in Spanish.

Scott Rankin, Esq., Senior Attorney
(617) 863-5184
srankin@publiccounsel.net

Scott joined YAD as a staff attorney in April 2007. He graduated from New York University School of Law in 2000 where he participated in a year long Juvenile Rights Clinic. Before coming to YAD, Scott was a staff attorney with the New Hampshire Public Defender handling adult and juvenile cases and providing program wide juvenile litigation support. Before law school, Scott worked as a paralegal with the Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn focusing on housing and public benefits matters. He received a B.A. in English from Swarthmore College in 1994.

Jeffrey T. Richards, Esq., Attorney in Charge
(617) 863-5186
jrichards@publiccounsel.net


Springfield Office Staff

Charity Dore, Esq., Staff Attorney
(413) 750-1644
cdore@publiccounsel.net

Krista Gale, MSW, Social Services Advocate
(413) 750-1644
kgale@publiccounsel.net

Naretha Griffin, Administrative Assistant
(413) 750-1641
ngriffin@publiccounsel.net

Audrey Harrington , Esq., Staff Attorney
(413) 750-1646
aharrington@publiccounsel.net

Lauren Honigman, MSW., Social Service Advocate
(413) 750-1647
lhonigman@publiccounsel.net

Ami Jackson, Criminal Defense Investigator
(413) 750-1642
ajackson@publiccounsel.net

Ami R. Jackson is the staff Criminal Defense Investigator for the Springfield Office of the Youth Advocacy Department. Ms. Jackson joined YAD in May of 2007. Ms. Jackson received a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Westfield State College. Previously, she worked as an Academic Advisor for Upward Bound, a college preparation program for low-income, first-generation college-bound youth that is funded by the US Department of Education. Additionally, she has worked as a community activist, event coordinator, and outreach worker with Arise for Social Justice W.I.S.E. Committee (Women In Support of Each Other), a grass roots low-income rights, anti-oppression membership organization in western Massachusetts. It’s focus is to educate and support women and children who were/are homeless, drug addicted, incarcerated, in danger of incarceration, or returning to the community from a term of incarceration.

Elizabeth LaFrance, Esq., Staff Attorney
(413) 750-1645
elafrance@publiccounsel.net

Susan Lyman, Esq., Staff Attorney
(413) 750-1666
slyman@publiccounsel.net

Susan joined YAD in January 2012. Prior to working for YAD, Susan had been a trial attorney with the Legal Aid Society in New York City, a prosecutor for the Berkshire County District Attorney, a trial attorney with CPCS Superior Court office in Pittsfield, Massachusetts and a French/Criminal Justice teacher in several Berkshire County high schools. She graduated from Albany Law School where she had been introduced into the National Order of barristers for excellence in trail and appellate advocacy and from St. Lawrence University.

Stephanie Ormsby, Esq., Senior Attorney
(413) 750-1643
sormsby@publiccounsel.net

Patrick Sparks, Esq., Attorney in Charge
(413) 750-1686
psparks@publiccounsel.net


Worcester Office Staff

Melissa Dineen, Attorney in Charge
(508) 443-5506
mdineen@publiccounsel.net

Melissa Dineen began working at the Defender Association of Philadelphia, where she remained for nine years, immediately after law school. At the Defender, she successfully represented thousands of clients through all stages of the criminal process. Melissa was assigned to the Juvenile Special Defense Unit for two years where she represented juveniles, charged as adults with first degree felonies, fostering a particular interest in the rights of juveniles. Melissa left the Defender Association in 2007 to run the Pohnpei State Branch of the Federated States of Micronesia Office of the Public Defender. For two years she led the office and consistently fought for the rights of the accused. She also taught in the Legal Studies Program at the College of Micronesia. Most recently, Ms. Dineen was the Deputy Director of the International Legal Foundation-Nepal. Based in Kathmandu, Nepal, Dineen trained local Nepali lawyers day in and day out on how to advocate on behalf of their clients in an adversarial system. Ms. Dineen left Nepal to return to her home state of Massachusetts to work for the Youth Advocacy Department as the Attorney in Charge of the Worcester Office. She is a 1995 graduate of Boston University and a 1998 graduate of Temple University School of Law.

Lisa Ferigno, Administrative Assistant
(508) 443-5505
lferigno@publiccounsel.net

Lisa Joined the Worcester YAD Office in May of 2007. Originally from Worcester, Lisa graduated from Quinsigamond Community College with an Associates Degree in Secretarial Science. Prior to working at YAD, Lisa worked for the TJX Companies Corporate Offices in Framingham, MA for 6 years as an Administrative Assistant to various departments. She also worked for the Worcester Superior Court Probation Department as a Probation Case Coordinator from 1988 to 2000.

Kelsey Haggett, Social Service Advocate
(508) 443-5511
khaggett@publiccounsel.net

Bri Lacy, Esq., Staff Attorney
(508) 443-5508
blacy@publiccounsel.net

Josh Reuling, Esq., Staff Attorney
(508) 443-5510
jreuling@publiccounsel.net

Josh joined YAD as a staff attorney in December 2011. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 2004 with a B.A. in Political Science. He received his J.D. from the University of Southern California Law School in 2009. While in law school, he was a student-supervisor at the Post-Conviction Justice Clinic and represented inmates serving indeterminate life sentences both at their parole hearings and in their appeals using the habeas process. Josh was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in June 2010 and was also admitted to the California Bar in December 2009.

Brendan Moran, Esq., Staff Attorney
(508) 443-5509
bmoran@publiccounsel.net