Dear MACDL Champions

The Board is in the process of filling four vacancies through an election. When we announced these openings two months ago, we received applications from many excellent candidates, and are grateful to all who applied. Because our by-laws require that Board Members be re-elected every three years (unless serving on the Executive Committee), Board Members with the most longevity are also on the slate and will be up for re-election. They are all very active on the board and their respective committees, and we hope that you will re-elect them to their positions.

Voting will begin on June 10th and close on June 14th. In order to vote, you must be up-to-date on your membership. Please go to one of these links on the website if you need to join of renew.

On behalf of the Board and entire membership of MACDL, I want to thank Laura Mannion, Ruth O’Meara-Costello, and Austin Tzeng, our departing Board Members, for their hard work and commitment to the goals of the organization.

Victoria Kelleher
MACDL President

Candidate Profiles

There are four seats on the Board subject to annual election. All of the candidates listed below applied to serve on the Board, including three who are up for re-election. Pursuant to the by-laws, a committee of the Board nominated the following candidates, and the Board voted unanimously to endorse the nominees.

Alyssa Hackett

Committee for Public Counsel Services


I have been a staff attorney in the public defender division of C.P.C.S. since 2009. I started in the Fall River office, transferred to Boston in 2011, and then transferred to Brockton a couple years ago. I have recently been added to the murder list. I am interested in becoming a board member of MACDL because I believe that MACDL is an important resource that supports the work of criminal defense lawyers in various ways and, by extension, improves the quality of representation for people facing a racist and coercive criminal justice system. I recently took part in the 21 day A.B.A. challenge organized by MACDL and was forever changed by some of the readings and discussions during that program. I was impressed with the speed and dedication of the MACDL members that organized the program. At that time C.P.C.S. with all its resources, was not offering anything comparable in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. I thought the program was inspiring and prompted me to look at my own biases and practices. Many criminal defense lawyers operate on an island, without the collaboration that can be invaluable. I have tried to push progressive change in the criminal law. MACDL seems like an opportunity to harness the collective wisdom of a wide variety of criminal defense lawyers so that we can collectively litigate the bigger issues and make progressive changes to the law.

ENDORSED

Jennifer Sunderland

Sunderland Fleming LLC


I began my legal career as a law clerk in the Superior Court in 2008. I also clerk for Robert J. Cordy of the Supreme Judicial from 2009 to 2010. I began working as a staff attorney for CPCS in the Brockton trial court office in 2010. I left CPCS for private (primarily civil) practice in 2014 and started my own practice with my partner (Sarah Fleming) in January, 2020. I am an avid MACDL supporter as the organization is responsible for the most enriching professional connections that I have made since becoming an attorney. MACDL plays a unique and fundamental role in providing the members of the criminal defense bar with a voice so that we can focus on our day jobs: fighting to protect the rights of our clients. More importantly, it provides us with a compassionate community of like-minded individuals with whom to commiserate when injustice (as it often does) prevails. I am a member of the judicial nominating committee and have assisted in organizing all of the WACDL events to date. If selected as a Board member, I promise to continue to advance MACDL’s mission and ensure the organization’s continued success. In my view, that means supporting MACDL by taking on unglamorous tasks and making sure that I am committed and available to assist in whatever ways might be required to ensure the organization’s continued vitality and relevance.

ENDORSED

Keren Goldenberg

Law Offices of Keren Goldenberg


MACDL serves an important role as an independent advocacy group for criminal defense lawyers and our clients. Unlike CPCS, MACDL can move for change with less political constraints. I have benefited personally from MACDL’s work and my clients have as well. If I were selected as a board member I would be interested in working with court leaders to address flaws in court practices and processes. One issue of interest to me that I would hope to address as a board member is the issuance of bench warrants for people failing to appear for arraignment with insufficient proof of service. This is a critical issue for the board to address because indigent court-involved people tend to be transient and courts regularly have incorrect or incomplete records that result in the accused not receiving notice. Issuing a warrant with no formal proof that the intended recipient has been served is not only unfair and disruptive to their lives, but can also result in tragic encounters with the police. Earlier this month, Duante Wright was shot by a police officer while police attempted to apprehend him on a warrant. As a board member, I would like to harness the full force of MACDL to bring this to the attention of the leaders of the BMC and the District Courts to make changes that will hopefully save lives.

ENDORSED

Alicia McNeil

McNeil Law


Over the past several years, the negative political rhetoric has emboldened people to show up very differently. Given the temperature of this country, as well as the palpable racial strain, addressing issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and racism in the criminal justice system are of most importance. Consequently, I am interested in serving as a member of the MACDL Board to bring awareness, unity and change to our corner of the world. As a member of the MADCL Board, I will bring a personal perspective as a black woman who has served criminal defendants for the past 25 years and have seen and experienced systemic racism. Moreover, from my lens, I believe that I can make a significant contribution to this Board in supporting my colleagues in challenging racism and other inequities in our legal system. I would be honored to serve as a member of the MACDL Board of Directors.

ENDORSED

Chauncey Wood

Wood & Nathanson, LLP

(Re-Elect)


ENDORSED

Emily Schulman

WilmerHale

(Re-Elect)


ENDORSED

Jane Peachy

Federal Defender Office

(Re-Elect)


ENDORSED