- Massachusetts District Attorney Association
Cape & Islands District
After prosecuting cases for over thirty years, Michael O’Keefe brings the professionalism and experience needed as District Attorney of the Cape and Islands District. The son of an Irish immigrant, Michael O’Keefe grew up in Waltham, Massachusetts, and attended Boston College. While attending the New England School of Law at night, Mr. O’Keefe worked as a Dennis police officer, and was awarded a Medal of Merit for Bravery.
Upon his graduation from law school, Mr. O’Keefe was hired by a local law firm where he gained criminal, civil and probate experience. In 1982, he was appointed Assistant District Attorney for the Cape and Islands District by District Attorney Philip A. Rollins. Mr. O’Keefe has served the people of the Cape & Islands as District Attorney since January, 2003.
He began his career in the District Attorney’s office in the District Court prosecuting all types of criminal cases, Mr. O’Keefe has tried to conclusion over 250 jury trials. While successfully prosecuting 19 homicide trials, he has also represented the Commonwealth before the Massachusetts Appeals Court and the Supreme Judicial Court. Such professionalism and experience have earned Michael O’Keefe numerous awards in the legal field. In 1994, he was named Prosecutor of the Year for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and in 2002, he was named a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers.
Aside from Mr. O’Keefe’s professional history in the District Attorney’s office, he has also been heavily involved in the community. He has been honored by Independence House for his fight against domestic violence and was a Founding Partner of Employers Against Domestic Violence. He developed a truancy program to keep children in school. And he is also the sponsor for the annual Children’s Cove, Champions for Children Conference. Mr. O’Keefe also was also a member of the Federal-State Anti-Terrorism Task Force, an Executive Board Member of the Workforce Investment Board’s Youth Council and was a member of the Attorney General’s Racial Profiling Task Force.
Mr. O’Keefe is currently the President of the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, and serves on the Board of Directors of the National District Attorneys Association. He is also a member of the Commission on Medicolegal Investigations.
As District Attorney he has been elected to the presidency of the Massachusetts District Attorney’s Association three times. In that capacity he has been in the forefront of debate over criminal justice policy. He has worked tirelessly to improve the delivery of forensic science in the Commonwealth. Mr. O’Keefe authored the legislation which created an undersecretaryship within the governor’s EOPSS, dedicated to forensic science to ensure that the Commonwealth would move forward to improve the State Police Crime Lab and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
Combating the opiate crisis – A tireless effort supporting innovative early prevention, education and treatment programs.
Expansion of the “Keep Them Coming” truancy prevention program – Currently all school districts are participants.
Created a Mental Health notification initiative to help recognize and better treat individuals in the court system with mental health issues.
Developed Depression & Substance Screening procedure for all youth (7-21) diverted from the regular court process.
The Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts – Board Member of the official opposition effort against Question 4, which would legalize recreational pot.