For Immediate Release - October 21, 2013

Probation Commissioner Edward Dolan Appoints New Deputy Commissioner for Legal Services

(Boston, MA) - Massachusetts Commissioner of Probation Edward J. Dolan has appointed Crispin Birnbaum as the new Deputy Commissioner for Legal Services in the Office of the Commissioner of Probation (OCP).  In her capacity as Deputy Commissioner,  Ms. Birnbaum will act as the general counsel to the Commissioner and the Massachusetts Probation Service.

Ms. Birnbaum, formerly the General Counsel for the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS), brings three decades of government and legal experience to her new position. She will begin her job at OCP on October 28th. As Deputy Commissioner for Legal Services, Ms. Birnbaum will provide specialized administrative and legal assistance to the Commissioner and the Massachusetts Probation Service. She will supervise the legal unit at OCP, serve as a member of the Probation senior management team, and assist in developing strategic goals, initiatives, and benchmarks. Ms. Birnbaum will also represent the Commissioner in legal matters.

“Crispin Birnbaum brings a significant depth and breadth of legal training, knowledge, and experience--both civil and criminal--to the position of Deputy Commissioner for Legal Services.  Her work as an Assistant Attorney General, an Assistant District Attorney and as General Counsel for the Department of Youth Services will greatly  benefit the work of the Massachusetts Probation Service and the Trial Court,” said Commissioner Dolan.

Ms. Birnbaum began her legal career in state government in 1984 as a Middlesex County assistant district attorney. In the district attorney’s office, she prosecuted cases such as misdemeanors and felonies- including homicide, sexual assault, and white collar crimes. In 1995, she was named chief prosecutor in the Public Protection Bureau of the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General. As chief prosecutor, Ms. Birnbaum both prosecuted and supervised the prosecution of a variety of crimes involving the protection of consumer rights, civil rights, elderly and health care fraud, patient abuse, investment scams, and telemarketing fraud.

After two years as chief prosecutor, Ms. Birnbaum became a member of the Trial Division in the Government Bureau of the Attorney General’s Office where her focus switched to civil litigation. It was in this position that Ms. Birnbaum defended the Commonwealth, its agencies and employees in contract, tort, eminent domain, civil rights and employee matters both defensively and affirmatively. In 2006, Ms. Birnbaum was named DYS General Counsel where she supervised a legal staff of 10, advised the agency on matters of policy, training, investigations, litigation, legislation, regulation, administration, and management.

Throughout her career, Ms. Birnbaum has served as a faculty member on both criminal and civil panels with Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE), Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA), Boston Bar Association (BBA), and the Flaschner Institute. She has also served as an instructor at the Harvard Trial Advocacy Workshop and has spoken at conferences on juvenile justice issues in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Birnbaum earned a bachelor of arts degree in English Literature from Wellesley College in 1977. She graduated from Wayne State University Law School in 1984 and was sworn into the Massachusetts and Federal Bar in January 1985.