Unfortunately, I personally have no way to validate or invalidate the statistics I get from either DAs or The Committee for Public Counsel Services. According to the DAs, there are no funds they receive except staff salaries. Right. I got a bridge to sell you in Chelsea if you believe that one.
According to CPCS, the statistics are as follows:
Average number of hours billed: 950.3 = $51,600.00
Median hours billed per case: 5.46
1470 attorneys or 48.6% earned less than $50k
from court appointed work.
502 attorneys or 16.6% earned less than $15k from court appointed work.
A total of 15 attorneys (less than 1/2 a percent) earned more than 150k – and 14 of them were attorneys on the murder list who earn $100.00 per hour.
The DAs claim their poor minions toil for $37,500k a year. Leaving out health insurance and other overhead, the “Your Tax Dollars at Work” site at the Boston Herald shows a far different picture. For example, if I go to The Bristol County DAs payroll at Your Tax Dollars at workI counted 17 Assistant DAs earning about $100k or more, and quite a few in the 60k – 80k range. This is true of every county DA. Why not save money by consolidating DAs under the Attorney General and just having satelite offices instead of county DAs who earn more than the Attorney General, and have two to six full time press people each?
A very strange juxtaposition on the front page of the Boston Globe on February 14, 2011.
Both stories cannot be true – but as a small business owner myself, I will go with the real costs of new employees, not the toxic fairy tale being peddled by the DAs association.
Similary, the multi-million dollar Massachusetts District Attorney Association pretends to tremble at a “3000 strong” defense attorney lobbying machine. The idea that there is any such strong lobby from attorneys who do indigent defense is a fairy tale – and both Dan Conley and Samuel Sutter, as well as every other DA know that is a sham. Between them, the 12 DAs have more than 30 full time public relations flaks, six for Dan Conley alone.
The attorneys who contract to do indigent defense are independent professionals, spread across the Commonwealth, are the backbone of their small communities, but not wealthy and not in the habit of working as a team or lobby. On the other hand, maybe the Big Lie being repeated for three years as part of the DA’s deivide and conquer ploy will scare these folks into working together.
The Governor being sold this sham bill of goods by the DAs PR machine may just be the last straw. Maybe the DAs are creating a defense bar lobby by their onslaught against the defense bar.
As anyone who has ever done a court appointed case (criminal or child welfare or mental health) or dealt with a CPCS audit knows, there is no blank check – to see what I mean, just browse the Assigned Counsel Manual