Lecturer in Law
Janice Bassil is a trial attorney concentrating in the areas of family law and criminal law. After graduating from Boston University School of Law in 1978, Ms. Bassil worked for six years at the Massachusetts Defenders Committee trying major felony cases. She spent the next four years at a law firm concentrating in family law and criminal law. She developed a special expertise in cases concerning sexual abuse allegations during divorce. She has lectured at many seminars on this subject.
In 1989, Ms. Bassil joined with a former colleague, J.W. Carney, Jr. to form the law firm of Carney and Bassil, specializing in civil, criminal and probate litigation. Ms. Bassil has tried a number of murder cases, including two cases with eleven year old defendants.
In 1995, Ms. Bassil and Mr. Carney tried the John Salvi murder case. Mr. Salvi was accused of murdering two clinic workers at abortion clinics and wounding five others. An insanity defense was raised but did not succeed. The case involved complex issues of competency and lack of criminal responsibility as well as the preparation of direct and cross-examination of mental health experts. Ms. Bassil has a particular interest in mental health issues and frequently lectures on this subject and assists other attorneys on these issues as they arise in criminal cases.
Ms. Bassil was president of the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, having served as a member of the Board for many years. She was also the President of the Board of Trustees of Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, a nonprofit agency devoted to the education of lawyers and President of the Board of Trustees for the Friends of the Libraries at Boston University. She is currently on the board of Suffolk Lawyers for Justice and is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers and American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. In 1997, she was awarded the Edward J. Duggan Private Counsel Award for "zealous advocacy and outstanding legal services to the poor” and the Frank J. Murray Award in 1999 for “Making a Significant Contribution to the Development of the Law and The Legal Profession”