Daniel W. Cronin
Location: Worcester, Massachusetts
Attorney Dan Cronin was an Assistant District Attorney in Worcester County from 1986-1990, and was assigned as a Superior Court prosecutor during his last two years in the office from 1988-1990. He served as a Special Prosecutor in the Worcester District Attorney’s Office since 1990, handling 2 to 4 cases per year on a contract basis, until 2008. Since becoming a solo practitioner in 1990, he has been Superior Court Rule 8 certified and has accepted hundreds of Superior Court appointments. Since 2005 he has also been on the federal court Criminal Justice Act panel, and accepts criminal defense appointments in the Worcester and Boston Federal Courts. He has served as a Resource Attorney for CPCS for approximately the past 10 years, assisting new lawyers in their bar advocate practices.
In 2013, Dan was certified by the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) to accept Murder List appointments in Massachusetts. In 2014, Attorney Cronin was named Supervising Attorney for CPCS in Worcester County, a contract appointment supplementing his continued private practice of law.
In March of 2006, Dan Cronin was nominated by the Massachusetts Judicial Nominating Commission as a finalist to become Associate Justice of the Ayer District Court. In February of 2009, he served as a faculty panelist for the MCLE seminar entitled Applying for and Executing Search Warrants. Dan has also been a featured speaker at many state and federal bar association events. In 2016, he was a faculty panelist and demonstrator in the Advanced Trial Skills Program.
Dan has also trained and supervised attorneys during his time in the District Attorney’s Office from 1986-1990, where he served in a supervisory capacity. He has also supervised and trained attorneys in many years of service as a supervising attorney for CPCS, specifically in the Leominster and Worcester District Courts. He served four years as a Selectman in the Town of Lunenburg, is known to be skilled at municipal law; having hired, trained and supervised town attorneys, department heads and administrators during his tenure as selectman.
- Crimes of Violence: Murder, Homicide, Manslaughter, Domestic Assault & Battery, Rape, Kidnap, Burglary, Breaking & Entering;
- Drugs, Controlled Substance and Narcotics Crimes: Drug Trafficking, Possession of Controlled Substances with Intent to Distribute, School Zone Violations, Cultivation, Manufacturing of narcotics. Conspiracy to Distribute Drugs, Minimum Mandatory Sentences;
- Firearms, Guns & Weapon Charges: Discharging Firearms, Right to bear Arms. Carrying/Possession of Firearms, Armed Career Criminals., Repeat offenders;
- Federal Crimes: Statutory, Constitutional Rights, Narcotics Distribution, Illegal Re-Entry After Deportation, Firearm Charges, Career Offender, Sentencing Guidelines, Minimum Mandatory Sentences, Parole & Probation Violations;
- Computer Crimes: Cyberlaw, Internet Pornography, Illegal Downloading, Copyright Infringement, Trade Secrets, First Amendment Rights, “Sexting”;
- White Collar Crimes: Fraud & Racketeering, Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud, Bank Fraud, Corporate Fraud, Mortgage Fraud, Allegations of money Laundering, Embezzlement, Violations of Fiduciary Duties;
- Public Corruption / Professional Misconduct: Professional Licensure & Administrative Hearings;, Board of Bar Overseers. Board of Medicine, State Ethics Commission;
- Business Litigation: Corporate Disputes and Enforcement of Business Agreements, Restrictive Covenants, Covenants Not to Compete, Patent S Trade Secret infringement; Severance Agreements; ERISA Rights;
- Personal Injury: Wrongful Death, Dram Shop Litigation, Liquor Establishment Liability, Social Host Liability, Industrial Explosions, Workplace Accidents, Motor Vehicle Personal Injury, Rear End Collision, Slip and Fall, Dog bites, Premises Defects and Liability, Homeowner insurance Claims.
Tulane Law School, New Orleans, Louisiana
J.D. – 1985
College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts
B.A. – 1982
Honors: Dean’s List
Major: Political Philosophy
Recent Criminal Cases:
U.S.A. v. Yvonne Lugo, United States District Court, Worcester, Judge: Hon. F. Dennis Saylor, IV, Docket No. 4:09-cr-40019-FDS
I was lead trial counsel representing a 23 year old Worcester woman charged in a two (2) count federal indictment alleging: 1. Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, more than 500 grams, and, 2. Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine. It was alleged that this single mother had conspired with two men to sell 1,161 grams of methamphetamine, calling for a mandatory minimum jail term of 10 years if convicted. The two men waived their rights to trial, pleading guilty and were sentenced to prison terms of 11 years and 10 years, respectively. On November 1, 2010, a federal jury of 12 was impaneled and sworn at the U.S. District Court in Worcester before Judge F. Dennis Saylor, IV. On day 3 of her jury trial, after the Court had ruled in favor of the defendant on pivotal evidentiary issues and motions under seal, the government substantially reduced their pre-trial plea demand of 10 years and offered to enter into a capped plea agreement under Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(c)(1)(c), proposing to the Court an agreed disposition with a range of disparate recommendations; where the government recommended 36 months imprisonment and the defendant could argue for 4 days credit time served and 3 years supervised release on the single count of conspiracy (with the government requesting dismissal of the distribution count). The client had no prior criminal record and was “safety valve eligible” for an imprisonment range between 51 to 63 months. I successfully argued for a downward departure from the advisory sentencing guidelines, in light of the defendant’s lack of prior record and acceptance of responsibility. Judge F. Dennis Saylor, IV, imposed a sentence that committed the defendant for a term of 12 months and 1 day, with 3 years of supervised release thereafter. The defendant served 10 months imprisonment before being released. Her co-defendants did not exercise their jury trial rights and instead plead guilty to mandatory minimum 10 year jail terms. The prosecutor has since been named U.S. Magistrate Judge in Worcester.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Christopher Belsito, Court: Worcester Superior Court, Judge: Hon. David Ricciardone, Docket No. WOCR 2010-0472 Length: 7 days Jury/Bench: Jury
Defendant was charged with (1) Kidnapping, (2) Aggravated Assault and Battery, and (3) Impersonating a Police Officer. The case was tried before a 12 person jury for 7 days, and after 2 days of deliberations a compromise verdict was reached. Defendant was found Not Guilty of Impersonating a Police Officer and Aggravated Assault and Battery. Defendant was found guilty of Kidnapping and the lesser included offense of Assault and Battery. Client was sentenced to 4 to 5 years in state prison.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Angel Martinez, Court: Worcester Superior Court Judge: Hon. David Ricciardone, Docket No. WOCR2010-0538 Length: 3 days Jury/Bench: Jury
The defendant was found Not Guilty by a Worcester Superior Court jury of all nine (9) indictments, alleging: Felon in Possession of a Firearm, (3 counts), Possession of a Firearm without an FID Card, (3 counts), and, Receiving Stolen Property Valued over $250., (3 counts). After a three day jury trial, a jury acquitted the client, who the prosecutor had offered a plea to a sentence of 3 to 5 years in state prison. The client risked a maximum state prison sentence of 15 years in state prison if convicted. At trial the government introduced Worcester Police and State Police testimony that at the time that an arrest warrant was executed upon the client’s brother, the client was found sleeping in a bed where 3 rifles were found in bags underneath the box-spring. One of the three rifles had a positive fingerprint from the client’s left thumb, which print was stipulated to by the defense as belonging to the client. This was not a case calling for dueling fingerprint experts. Instead, I caused the client’s brother to be brought in on a writ of habeas corpus from the jail where he was serving a sentence for possession of the same rifles. The incarcerated brother waived his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and testified that his sleeping brother knew nothing about the rifles being under the bed. My closing argument to the jury began with the question: “When was the last time that you looked under your bed?”
Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Jacinto Figueroa, Court: Worcester Superior Court, Judge: Hon. Richard T. Tucker, Docket No. WOCR 2010-0735 Length: 2 day Jury/Bench: Bench
Defendant was found Not Guilty by Reason of Mental Illness after a jury waived trial in Worcester Superior Court. The client was charged with Mayhem, Assault with Intent to Murder and Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, in connection with a high profile attack on a waitress at the Uno Chicago Grill in Worcester in August of 2009. It was alleged that the client, a patron at the restaurant, randomly grabbed the waitress by the hair and cut her face with a box cutter. Initially the client was found not competent to stand trial, but was re-examined one year after the incident and was found to be competent. The Insanity Defense was successfully raised based upon defense expert evidence introduced from a forensic psychologist that the client suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, was actively delusional and was not criminally responsible for the offense. A psychiatrist retained by the prosecution subsequently concurred that at the time of the offense, as a result of mental disease of defect, the defendant lacked the substantial capacity to either appreciate the wrongfulness (criminality) of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of law. Commonwealth v. McHoul (1967). Upon the finding of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity, the client was committed to Bridgewater State Hospital where he remains committed.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Tiffany Toney, Court: Worcester District Court Six Member Jury Session Judge: Hon. Steven Thomas, Docket No. WOCDC No. 1262CR2587 Length: 2 days Jury/Bench: Jury
Defendant, a 35 year old Worcester woman and single mother to 6 children, was found Not Guilty by a jury of six women in Worcester District Court on a Complaint alleging 2 counts: 1. Assault and Battery Dangerous Weapon, and 2. Assault and Battery. The alleged victim was the client’s 10 year old daughter, who testified that she argued with her mother about cleaning her room, and that her mother threw a vacuum cleaner at her, striking her in the back, for which there were no marks, bruises or required medical attention. She said that her mother spit at her and that she left the apartment and went to a neighbor’s house. The Worcester Police were then informed of the young girl’s allegations of abuse and arrested the mother, in view of her other young children, who were thereafter removed from the mother’s custody and placed in foster care by the Department of Children and Families (DCF). The mother testified in her own defense that her daughter was manipulative and defiant and that she never struck her. The alleged victim’s 14 year old brother testified that he was a witness and that the contact as described by his 10 year old sister never took place. If found guilty, the client was facing a likely sentence of 2 and ½ years at the House of Corrections, in view of her prior incarceration for a similar offense. She regained custody of her children after the verdict.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Kevin Gomez, Court: Worcester Superior Court Judge: Hon. James R. Lemire, Docket No. 2012CR1018
Defendant was on from and after Superior Court probation for a 2008 conviction for Armed Assault with Intent to Murder and several firearm offenses, for which he served a 3 to 5 year Walpole sentence. In March of 2012, he was a rear seat passenger in a Jeep Commando stopped by a Fitchburg Police officer, who testified that despite 30 degree outdoor temperatures and his cruiser windows up, he could smell “a strong odor of burnt marijuana” coming from “at least two windows open” of the vehicle. He testified that other than the smell of marijuana he had no reason to believe that the operator was smoking marijuana, and in fact, the operator was not issued any moving violation, and was permitted to leave. However, the 2 rear seat passengers were ordered to exit the vehicle, and a search of the car revealed a firearm and a bag of marijuana located under the front passenger seat. After and evidentiary hearing, Superior Court Judge Lemire allowed the defendant’s Motion to Suppress the Warrantless Search, finding no probable cause or exigent circumstances to justify the search, which was not incident to a lawful arrest. The exit orders were not justified by safety concerns and the subsequent search was illegal, for since the time that small amounts (less than 1 ounce) of marijuana have been decriminalized in Massachusetts, “without at least some additional criminal activity, the odor of burnt marijuana alone cannot reasonably provide suspicion of criminal activity to justify an exit order.” Commonwealth v. Cruz, 459 Mass. 459, 472 (2011). “Here, as there were no additional facts to bolster reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, the exit orders and subsequent search of the vehicle were improper.” Commonwealth v. Damon, 82 Mass. App. Ct. 164, 169 (2012). Despite the fact that the new charges were dismissed, and the Commonwealth did not appeal, the client was sentenced on the probation violation, as the allegation of criminal activity occurred while he was on probation. I recommended to Judge Lemire that the defendant be reprobated and sentenced to 485 days (credit for time served), the Commonwealth recommended 8 to 10 years in Walpole, and the client was sentenced to 2 to 2 ½ years at Walpole (Cedar Junction).
U.S.A. v. Antonio Pena, Court: United States District Court, Worcester Judge: Hon. Timothy S. Hillman, Docket No. 4:11-mj-04121-TSH-1
Defendant was charged in a two count Complaint in Worcester Federal Court with Conspiracy to Distribute and Distribution of Heroin; providing for a maximum jail term of life and a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years imprisonment, if convicted. At an evidentiary Detention Hearing before then U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy Hillman, an officer assigned to the federal Drug Enforcement Agency testified that the defendant was a passenger in a car and was present during a transaction where one kilo of heroin was exchanged for $57,000.00 in cash, delivered to a meet location in Clinton, Massachusetts. There was no evidence that my client had touched either the drugs or money, but the Magistrate Judge found that despite “relatively weak” evidence, it was a “close call” and relied upon the rebuttable presumption to detain the defendant on dangerousness grounds, 18 U.S.C. sec. 3142(e), although the evidence “may not be sufficient to satisfy a reasonable doubt standard.” On June 24, 2011, the U.S. Attorney’s office filed a Dismissal of Criminal Complaint pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 48(a), granted leave by the Magistrate Judge, dismissing the Complaint while stating “that based on a close evaluation of the evidence and the defendant’s role in the offense the dismissal is in the interests of justice.” Defendant was released from the federal charges.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Miguel Feliciano, Court: Worcester Superior Court, Judge: Hon. John McCann, Docket No. WOCR 2010-1007
Defendant, an 18 year old Worcester man, was indicted for Assault & Battery on a Correctional Officer that occurred while he was previously in jail serving another sentence. I had represented the client in a jury waived trial in September of 2012, and he had been placed on probation after trial. The client was one of three Hispanics charged with joint venture mayhem upon a white inmate in a cell at the Worcester County House of Correction. The inmate-victim had a high blood alcohol level from an orange juice concoction produced by inmates. The episode was video-taped and brutal. The client’s 2 co-defendants were each awaiting trial on charges of murder and cared little for what sentence they might receive on the mayhem case. They each pleaded guilty, waived their further Fifth Amendment rights and testified at the jury waived trial before Judge John McCann that my client did not participate in the beating. The 2 co-defendants were sentenced to state prison. The victim refused to testify at trial but his medical records and the testimony of percipient witnesses was admitted into evidence. My client was found Not Guilty by a Superior Court Judge McCann without a jury of the following indictments: 1. Mayhem (a 20 year felony), 2. Assault with Intent to Maim (10 year), 3. Assault & Battery Dangerous Weapon (10 year). The client was found Guilty on the single misdemeanor charge of Assault & Battery, and received a suspended sentence of 2½ years to the House of Correction, with three years of probation. The prosecutor recommended a committed sentence to the maximum 2½ years, but the judge adopted my recommendation to place the young man on probation, with conditions that he remain in school and work. He had successfully completed the first 6 months of probation before this second sentencing. In view of the chronology that the assault & battery correctional officer took place before the time that the client was placed on probation, on an unagreed plea of guilty, where the prosecution recommended 2½ years to the House committed, another Superior Court Judge sentenced the client to 4 years concurrent probation.
Commonwealth v. E. V. , (June 15, 2009) Worcester District Court, Lead Defense Counsel, Judge David Ricciardone allows defense Motion to Suppress Search of Automobile Trunk, as not pertaining to instrumentalities of any suspected crime, a search conducted in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article 14 of the Massachusetts Declarations of Rights. Firearm Charges Dismissed.
Commonwealth v. Richard Mierzejewski, (April 29, 2009), Worcester CDC Jury Trial, Judge David Ricciardone, Assault &Battery/Dangerous Weapon: To-Wit: Motor Vehicle (2 counts). Road Rage Alleged against Defendant: Jury Verdict: Not Guilty.
Commonwealth v. Bernard Agyekum, (2008) Fitchburg Jury Trial. Judge Elliot Zide, OUI Liquor 2nd Offense, Verdict: Not Guilty.
Commonwealth v. Shawn Legere, (2008) Fitchburg Jury Trial, Judge Andrew Mandell, OUI Liquor, Jury Verdict: Not Guilty.
Commonwealth v. Ken Crowley, (2007) Fitchburg Jury Trial, Judge Elliot Zide, OUI Liquor, Jury Verdict Not Guilty.
Commonwealth v. Jeremy LaViolette (2006) Fitchburg Jury Trial, Judge Andrew Mandell, Assault & Battery/Dangerous Weapon, Jury Verdict Not Guilty.
Commonwealth v. Tanya Jackson, (2006) Fitchburg Jury Trial, Judge Edward Reynolds, ADA David Ferracco, Assault & Battery/Dangerous Weapon, To-Wit: Chair: Jury Verdict: Not Guilty.
Commonwealth v. Julio Machado, (2004), Fitchburg Jury Trial, Judge Andre Gelinas, Assault & Battery, Jury Verdict Not Guilty.
Civil Actions and Personal Injury Recoveries:
James McMaster v. ChemDesign Industries: (1997) Worcester Superior Court, Lead Counsel for Plaintiff, a burned welder, $500,000.00 settlement in industrial accident, chemical explosion case.
William Alleva v. Viking Motorcrafts, (1999), Worcester Federal Court, Admiralty Personal Injury Case, Lead Counsel for Plaintiff, $250,000.00 settlement in product liability and negligence action, arising out of a boating accident on navigable ocean waters at Cape Cod.
Bruce Rellstab et als. v. John Hancock Life Insurance Company, Charter financial Services, et als, (2004) Worcester Superior Court, Lead Counsel for Plaintiffs, $400,000.00 settlement for unfair insurance practices, tortuous interference with advantageous business relations.
Estate of Rocheleau v. Choice Insurance Agency, Allain, et als, (1998)Worcester Superior Court, Lead Defense Counsel for Insurance Agency sued for fraud, misrepresentation and embezzlement of insurance trust funds, representing successor principal after prior corporate president imprisoned. Successful motion for summary judgment was allowed exonerating individual successor, and then initiated third party action for declaratory judgment as against errors and omissions insurer, who ultimately provided coverage for the $1.3 Million Jury Verdict against the corporation.
Borocsky v. EBK Corp., (1997) Barnstable Superior Court, Lead Counsel for Plaintiffs in Motor Vehicle Personal Injury Action, $350,000.00 settlement.
Estate of Mitchell v. Borowsky (1995) Springfield Superior Court, Represented Estate in Wrongful Death Action alleging negligent security, $100,000.00 settlement.
Significant Municipal Law Cases:
City of Fitchburg v. City of Leominster, (Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, 1992) Served as Special Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Fitchburg, in municipal litigation regarding water rights and environmental issues at the Notown Reservoir in Fitchburg. Also served as Special Counsel to the Fitchburg Human Rights Commission.
B. Marple v. Town of Lunenburg, (Worcester Superior Court, 2002) Served as pro bono legal advisor (not counsel of record) to plaintiff initiating lawsuit against the town to force an election for a vacant Selectman seat, as required by Town Charter. In response to petition for injunctive relief, the town held an election for selectman on the same ballot as a debt exclusion proposing a new 5 Million police and fire station in Lunenburg. In this election in October of 2002, Attorney Cronin ran for selectman and was defeated by 13 votes, without recount. The new public safety building passed by 300 votes and was dedicated in 2004. Attorney Cronin served on the Public Safety Building Committee and was later elected a Lunenburg Selectman in 2003, serving two terms until 2007, when he decided not to run again for re-election.
Note: Attorney Cronin has also been involved in Open Meeting Law municipal litigation and has served pro bono to ensure that public officials comply with the state Open Meeting Law.
- 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- Massachusetts, 1986
- U.S. District Court District of Massachusetts, 1990
- U.S. Supreme Court, 2015
- J.D. – 1985
College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts
- B.A. – 1982
- Major: Political Science
- “Applying for & Executing Search Warrants”, MCLE, 2009
- “Jury Trial Skills Practice Program”, January, 2016 – March, 2016, Instructor
- “Bar Advocate Jury Skills Program”, May, 2015, Instructor
- “The Drug Court and Other Specialty Courts in Worcester County”, June, 2015, Program Moderator and Instructor
- “FRE 404: Witness Impeachment in Federal Court with Evidence of Bad Conduct and Bad Character”, January, 2013, Featured Speaker
- “Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs” (GEAR), July, 2012, Panelist Speaker
- “Search and Seizure, With and Without Warrants”, January, 2012, Panel Speaker at MCLE Program
- 2009: MCLE Faculty Panelist: “Applying for and Executing Search Warrants”, topic: “Joint Federal/State Prosecutions”
- Instructor, Committee for Public Counsel (CPCS) Jury Skills Program. Speaker, “First Monday” Worcester County Bar Association Educational programs, 2014 – 2016
Honors and Awards
- 2015: Member, The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyers
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Town of Lunenburg, MA, Selectman, 2003 – 2007
- Fitchburg Human Rights Commission, Counsel, 1991 – 1993
- Northern Worcester County Bar Association, Member
- Worcester County Bar Association, Sustaining Member, 1990 – Present
- Federal Court Criminal Justice Act (CJA), Panel Member, 2005 – Present
Past Employment Positions
- Worcester County District Attorney’s Office, Assistant District Attorney, 1986 – 1990
- Worcester County District Attorney’s Office, Special Prosecutor, 1990 – 2008
Pro Bono Activities
- Mental Health Defense, Homeless Shelter Volunteer Community Building & Fundraising
- Chairman, Lunenburg Library Building Committee, 2004 – 2006
- Member, Lunenburg Public Safety Building Committee, 2004 – 2005
- Member, Lunenburg CAFO (Town Manager) Screening Committee
- Member, Lunenburg High School Building Feasibility Committee, 2004 – 2007
- Member, Lunenburg Town Charter Committee, 2005 – 2007
- Founder and Organizer, “Citizens for a Safer Lunenburg”, Successful Ballot Question Committee for new Lunenburg Public Safety Facility, 2002
- Chairman, Saint Boniface Catholic Church Steering Committee, Property Acquisition and Development, 1998 – 2002
- Coach, Lunenburg Little League Baseball, 1998 – 2004
- Coach, Twin City Youth Hockey Association, 1997 – 2003
- West Point Parents Club of Massachusetts, 2009 – 2013
- Montachusett Interfaith Hospitality Network (Homeless Shelter Volunteer), 2012 – Present