Attorney Michelle Cruz
With over nineteen years of experience in litigation, Attorney Cruz is well versed in all aspects of the legal system. She draws from her experience as an Assistant District Attorney, and her work in the field of victims' rights, family law and civil litigation for the betterment of her clients. As a pioneer, with numerous years of trial experience, both in misdemeanor and felony courts, Attorney Cruz is able to utilized her knowledge and experience to the legal advocacy of her clients. As a small law firm, Attorney Cruz will deliver a personable and attentive focus to each and every client.
As a young single mother, while attending college, Attorney Cruz was employed at the Amherst Health Department where she worked with the Health Director on licensing, public meetings and assisted low income families to facilitate their needs. While in law school she served on the Public Interest Law Journal and she participated in the year long Criminal Defense Clinic, working with defendants in Connecticut. During her final year in law school, Atty Cruz started her career as a prosecutor through 3.03 certification as student practitioner at the Northwestern District Attorney's Office in 2001.
In August of 2001, Attorney Cruz was hired as an Assistant District Attorney (ADA). As an ADA she handled thousands of criminal matters and, was the lead prosecutor in over a hundred criminal trials. During her tenure she litigated numerous OUI/DUI trials, as well as misdemeanor and felony cases in the District Court.
In 2004, she transferred to the Hampden County District Attorney's Office. She was recognized for her work ethic and promoted to Superior Court where she specialized in prosecution of domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault cases. With her extensive trial experience she's able to provided cutting edge legal advocacy for her clients while still maintaining a personable approach.
In November of 2007, Governor M. Jodi Rell appointed Atty Cruz as Connecticut’s 2nd State Victim Advocate to head the Office of the Victim Advocate, an independent crime victims’ rights agency. In this role, Atty Cruz argued numerous motions on behalf of CT crime victims, fought for legislation to enhance the rights of crime victims and worked on the creation of a State Missing Persons Unit within the CT’s Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.
In 2013, Attorney Cruz, with her years of experience and vast litigation, Atty Cruz opened The Law Offices of Attorney Michelle Cruz. Serving both Connecticut and Massachusetts' clients, in the area of civil rights, criminal law, victims' rights and family law. She has had record success in settling cases against state municipalities, including the largest police brutality settlement case in Springfield's history. Additionally Attorney Cruz has conducted numerous Title IX investigations at various institutions.
Attorney Cruz has published numerous articles and has made countless appearances on both radio and television. Atty Cruz has served as Lecturer at Law at the University of Connecticut, School of Law, and as an Adjunct Instructor at Bay Path College and Capital Community College.
Attorney Cruz successfully argued to allow Dr. William Petit, the surviving family member of the Cheshire, CT triple homicide, to attend the entire capital felony murder trial. She was also successful in advocating for the missing persons involving adults, to be prioritized and investigated.
Attorney Cruz successfully litigated on behalf of family of Amanda Plaas. During the subsequent murder investigation, the family learned that the investigating officers passed around pictures to unrelated officers not assigned to the case of the murder victim taken from the scene.
Attorney Cruz filed a lawsuit against the City of Springfield, for Civil Rights Violations and was able to successfully settled the matter for $750K.
Credentials and Licensing
Napa Valley College, A.S. Criminal Justice Administration and Paralegal Certificate
Mount Holyoke College, BA Philosophy 1998
University of Connecticut, School of Law, J.D.,2001
MA BAR 2002
CT BAR 2008
Federal Massachusetts District Court 2005
Federal Connecticut District Court 2013