Jessica Hedges is widely respected for her courtroom presence, creative legal arguments, and tireless commitment to clients. Working for more than fifteen years in both federal and state court, Jessica has successfully represented clients in numerous criminal and civil rights cases. Jessica has a thriving federal criminal practice and has achieved excellent results in serious cases. She has helped her clients confront a wide variety of investigations and charges, including wire fraud, terrorism/national security, child pornography distribution, international money laundering, firearms possession and sales, sex trafficking, and drug distribution. As a member of the Criminal Justice Act panel, she is one of a limited number of attorneys in the Boston area certified to accept appointed federal criminal cases in the United States District Court in Boston. In July 2015, Jessica had the honor of being selected by the Judges of the United States District Court of Massachusetts to be the Chair of the Criminal Justice Act Board. In this capacity, she assists the court in the selection and administration of the Criminal Justice Act Panel, an experienced group of attorneys who are authorized to accept federal criminal appointments. The Board acts as a liaison between the Court and the defense bar, proposes policy changes where needed, and advises the Court on matters pertaining to the practices and procedures of the Court.
Jessica also has brought numerous civil lawsuits in state and federal courts seeking compensation for individuals whose constitutional rights have been violated by police and other government agents. She has handled cases involving excessive force and police brutality, illegal arrest, prisoner abuse, illegal strip searches, illegal searches of homes, and First Amendment violations. She has also represented police officers who break the “code of silence” and speak out against constitutional violations by other officers. She has successfully tried and settled numerous civil rights cases, securing significant monetary compensation for her clients.
In addition to her role as a litigator, Jessica is a committed educator. Jessica taught the Criminal Advocacy Clinic at Northeastern University School of Law for several years, where she instructed students in trial advocacy skills, and supervised them in actual representations in district courts. In addition, she has taught the course “Studies in Crime and Social Justice” at Boston College for the past thirteen years, and developed and teaches the course “Restoration and Resistance, International Innovations in Criminal Justice” at Boston College. She also assists in teaching criminal trial advocacy skills to law students at Harvard Law School through the Criminal Justice Institute, Trial Advocacy Workshop. She is frequently asked to lecture at professional trainings on topics related to criminal defense, civil rights, and courtroom advocacy skills.
Jessica devotes significant professional energy to supporting, developing, and teaching about meaningful alternatives to incarceration. For instance, at the request of the Court, Jessica represents all participants in the Court Assisted Recovery Effort (“CARE”), a program promoting the development of sober, employed and law abiding lives by individuals recently released from federal prison. Jessica is an active member of multiple professional and advocacy organizations including the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the National Police Accountability Project, and the American Civil Liberties Union.