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Lissa McKinney

Lissa McKinney

33 Years District and Superior Court throughout Massachusetts
  • Criminal Law, Domestic Violence, Consumer Law...
  • Florida, Massachusetts
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Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&A

Lissa McKinney graduated Suffolk University (1981) and Suffolk University Law School (1984) and started as a trial lawyer with the Committee for Public Counsel Services in Worcester and Boston. Her courtroom and trial experience spans 33 years and more than 1,000 bench or jury trials, probable cause hearings, restraining order hearings and evidentiary hearings. Lissa's practice concentrates on labor and employment law, personal injury, consumer fraud complaints, administrative hearings, and ALL matters of criminal defense.Out of the courtroom, she represent clients at the Registry of Motor Vehicles, Department of Employment and Training, DSS Fair Hearings, disciplinary hearings of licensed occupations, and firearms licensing appeals.

McKinney was an Adjunct Clinical Trial Practice Instructor at Suffolk University Law School where she supervised third year law students providing indigent criminal defense. She served as Staff Attorney for Suffolk Lawyers for Justice (SLJ), the Suffolk County bar advocate program assuring the quality of lawyers representing indigent criminal defendants. McKinney has also been a lecturer at various educational seminars sponsored by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE), the Boston Bar Association, Suffolk County Bar Advocate Program, Suffolk Lawyers for Justice, and the Committee for Public Counsel Services, such as: District Court Bar Advocate Training; Essential Rules of Criminal Procedure; Trying Drug Cases in Massachusetts; Emerging Areas of Criminal Practice; Hot Tips for Trying Criminal Cases, Probation Violation Proceedings; Defending on a Shoestring; Pre-Trial Conference Rules; Evidence-Getting It In and Keeping It Out.

Lissa is a member of the Massachusetts Bar, the U.S. District Court for the First Circuit, & the Florida Bar,
Membership: Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL); Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys (MATA).

Practice Areas
  • Criminal Law
  • Domestic Violence
  • Consumer Law
  • Personal Injury
  • Employment Law
  • Traffic Tickets
  • Free Consultation
    Free consultation for the first 45-60 minutes.Fees for review and assessment beyond consultation are addressed during consultation.
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Contingent Fees
    Contingent fees are accepted for personal injury cases such as motor vehicle accidents, property accident and related torts.
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    Consumer law cases brought under MGL ch. 93A will include a claim for attorney fees. Efforts to recover costs and fees are always made in these cases, but not guaranteed. Accordingly, attorney fees on an hourly basis are billed pending resolution and recovery of fees.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
  • English
Professional Experience
Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys
Suffolk University Law School
J.D. (1984) | Criminal law, student lawyer clinical program, labor and employment
Professional Associations
Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL)
Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorney's
Florida State Bar # 642540
- Current
Massachusetts State Bar # 544172
- Current
Speaking Engagements
Probation Surrenders, Boston
Suffolk Lawyers for Justice (SLJ)
Evidence: Getting it in-Keeping it Out, Boston
Suffolk Lawyers for Justice (SLJ)
Pre-Trial Conference Rules, Boston
Suffolk Lawyers for Justice (SLJ)
Defending on a Shoestring, Boston
Suffolk Lawyers for Justice (SLJ)
Essential Rules of Criminal Procedure, Boston
Boston Bar Association
District Court Bar Advocate Training, Boston
Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education MCLE
Trying Drug Cases in Massachusetts, Boston
Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education MCLE
Hot Tips for Trying Criminal Cases, Boston
Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education MCLE
Emerging Areas of Criminal Practice, Boston
Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education MCLE
Probation Violation Proceedings, Boston
Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education MCLE
Websites & Blogs
social media
Legal Answers
41 Questions Answered

Q. My fiance is being charged with murder I have a paper of how much the house is worth I need a lawyer who will fight for
A: You could call 100 lawyers about this and they will all tell you they will fight for you! Finding a solid defense lawyer takes more time than a post- you want to look at more than a webiste too. Look at their years of experience, training, and reviews if they have them. I know some excellent lawyers that arent on the web at all and some that advertise a ton and would not be the right fit. Think of this like you would getting a doctor for a scar on your face or a eye surgery. Do some research and ask questions. You may meet 2 or 3 lawyers that are equally well qualified and then it comes down to who he feels best to work with, or who you like. After all the two of you are going to be working with the lawyer at least 2 years so pick someone you trust and like as well. There are many of us on Justia you could talk too as a starting point. In addition, hiring a lawyer privately for a murder is going to be expensive no matter what, but don't go telling anyone the equity in your house until you knw who you are hiring. In addition, having equity in your home is not as good if you can't borrow against it or support the debt to do so. In addition, MA has some really great court appointed defense lawyers and the CPCS lawyers that would do a murder case are likely to be highly trained and very capable. You will never get someone right out of school as the state requires lawyers to have a minimum of 6 life felony's to verdict and I think 10 years experience just to think about it. Finally, be careful of saying anything on social media that could harm his case or create more problems. Good luck-
Q. Does the domestic violence victim have the right to meet with a judge to file a legal complaint against their spouse?
A: No- he does not have any right to meet with a judge privately if that is what you mean. He also needs to proceed very carefully documenting the wifes abuse and outbursts too as in 2 seconds she will turn it around on him and claim he has abused her. And it is likely when a woman claims abuse that it will be believed. If he has any marks from any abuse he should photograph before they heel. he should write up the date and timee of each aspect of abuse and any text messages between them if she has apologised or 'owned' it in any ay and email them to a friend or two and then get it off his computer especially where the wife is stalking etc. MGL ch 272 sec 99 prohibits secret rercording of private conversations, and marital priveleg also presents problems of conversations just between them. IF he were to record her he is taking the chance that he could possibly be charged with violation of the wiretap statute, but that doing so may be the best means to protect himself from her claims of abuse. he should be sure his divorce lawyer knows everything going on and is involved in the problem resolution too. It seems that there are some situations where protecting yourself from one harm at risk of a less serves the greater good. IF the wife gets a restraining order first or gets wind of his claims she will run in and turn the tables on him claiming she is abused. That will impact him in probate court for getting unsupervised visitation nevermind custody. He can apply for a restraining order but absent some proof he could lose as well. Has he ever reported the abuse to a therapist? primary care physician? texted anyone just after? reported the injury? These are all factors that enhancec his ability to be beleived. There is often marked gender bias in these situations so he needs to be careful. Good luck.
Q. I got a speeding ticket driving someone else’s car. I don’t have insurance. What are the consequences if I pay it?
A: Insurance run's with the car. So long as your friend had insurance on the car then you are OK.You are highly unlikely to be re-issued another ticket anyway. If you don't pay the ticket on time or request a hearing on it then your license will be suspended. If you weren't speeding put in for a hearing before a clerk on it. If you were, pay it and be more careful. In addition, driving an uninsured mv is more serious than you can imagine, and will result in criminal charges rather than a civil ticket. Insurance protects you and every one else on the road with you. Don't drive an uninsured vehicle!
Q. If my child’s mother took him to pa and never told me and I haven’t seen my child in over 2years , how can I go bout it?
A: This is tricky because you waited on all your rights to address it. IF you had taken action she could have been prevented from taking the child out of state. Have you been adjudicated the Father via a signed birth certificate or a paternity action? If not you will have to proceed in the Court with jurisdiction over where she is living now. The circumstances between you might matter. Did she have a restraining order? was she given sole legal and physical custody? were you in jail and not notified where she was going? did she move to be with family or for a job? Now that she has established out of state residence for so long,it will be nearly impossible to get her back here UNLESS there was an open action pending in probate court at the time. Even then you waited so long there may be no way to bring the child back to MA. You can pursue ana ction for visitaiton in PA once you learn where she is. Try using a website called and run her name and age and state through that and see if you can find her. Otherwise, you may need to start with an investigator. Good luck
Q. If someone confesses to drug possession years later but within the statute of limitations, would the case be prosecuted?
A: This entirely depends on context. Possession of what drug? what quantity of it? why are they confessing now? who are they confessing to? the police or a parent or what? You haven't really identified enough information to fairly assess it for you.
Q. Is a R.I Family Court Judge obligated to hear a child abuse case ?
A: Whether RI is required to hear it is a question of RI law and procedure, and you have posted to Massachusetts lawyers. However, if this were a MA case the answer is no- not necessarily. The Court would hear cases brought in front of it by DCF or the District Attorney as a matter of course. If it is a child abuse case or claim being brought up during a divorce or child custody matter they may have jaundiced eyes because this happens so often as a tactic in litigation. If there is some independent agency involvement or proof of child abuse, they will certainly consider any credible evidence.
Q. Is it worthwhile to pursue a criminal complaint after a lawyer or plaintiff lies under oath
A: Probably not. When you say 'worthwhile' do you mean in a financial sense? Then no. Unless the lie impacted you in a manner where you can prove some measure of damages or harm to yourself. While it is a thin standard at the clerk's hearing, it is still 'probable cause'. If it is your word against their word, that is not likely to be enough. IF there is no misunderstanding, and it is a lie that you have any independent information or documentation that is better proof. This could be a tape recording from another proceeding where something directly opposite was stated, or a document filed under oath in a court proceeding. Telling a lie is not a crime unless it was under oath, then it is perjury. Both times must be under oath, and must be intentional without the possibility of error, misunderstanding etc. If it is that kind of a lie,then there are licensing authorities that may be interested as well.
Q. Does everyone get a shot at bail if they are arrested?
A: Absolutely! Everyone gets a shot at bail. However, whether you can get bailed out of a police station vs a Court is a different inquiry. Bail at police stations is set by a clerk magistrate that look sat the offense, your record and pretty much nothing else. No one is there presenting information on your behalf to the magistrate. If you are held at the police station and brought to Court a Judge will set bail and you will have a lawyer or one appointed to you to bring information to the COurt's attention, like employment, education, family etc. Bail is supposed to be set so as to ensure you return to Court. Last year a major case established how bail must be set in MA going forward: If a District COurt sets a bail that is too high, it can be appealed to teh Superior Court for review, and higher up as needed. Thats what happened in the case above, and it impacted existing law in a positive way. Representation by an experienced lawyer can make a difference at arraignment relative to bail as well as on a criminal case. There are many of us here on Justia well qualified in these cases you can talk to. Good luck.
Q. What is a moving violation and is it worse than a regular traffic ticket?
A: Usually they are the same. A moving violation is any offense that happens while the car is being driven.Moving violations contribute to SDIP insurance point and license suspension calculatios. So, speeding, marked lanes, failure to keep right, etc are all moving violations. Some moving violations are also criminal violations like operating to endanger, unregistered motor vehicle, uninspected motor vehicle. See this link for more information.
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Telephone: (781) 329-3373
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Dedham, MA 02026
Telephone: (781) 329-3373