IN THE HEADLINES
► Foley Hoag: Michael B. Keating (bet-the-company litigation; commercial litigation; litigation – intellectual property; litigation – labor and employment, 1987) filed a friend-of-the-Court brief opposing the Berkshire Museum’s efforts to monetize its collection by selling works of art. Keating acts on behalf of artist Tom Patti and other residents of Berkshire County. The proposal being presented to the Supreme Court would allow the museum to sell up to 40 pieces of art to fund renovations, as reported by Rhode Island Public Radio.
► Harvard Law School: Laurence H. Tribe (appellate practice; First Amendment law, 1993) was one of three law professors to submit a brief supporting the Nonhuman Rights Project’s efforts to establish legal personhood in New York for Tommy and Kiko, two captive chimpanzees. Tribe, who has written two previous briefs supporting the NhRP, offered support once more. “Tommy and Kiko are autonomous beings who are currently detained and who are therefore entitled to challenge the lawfulness of their detention by petitioning for the writ, even if that court ultimately concludes that their detention is lawful,” he wrote in the most recent brief.
► Law Offices of Howard Friedman: Howard Friedman (civil rights law, 2008) represented Randy Spearing, 50, in his suit against the city of Lynn, Massachusetts and its police department. In May 2016, a man was slashed with a box-cutter outside an auto repair shop. Police mistakenly focused their investigation at a gas station across the street, leading them to arrest and charge Spearing for assault and intent to commit murder. The victim told police that Spearing was not the man responsible, and after being incarcerated for several days, he was released. Friedman is focusing the suit on improper police action and wrote in his complaint that police “fabricated police reports to conceal the absence of probable cause to arrest and charge Mr. Spearing.”
► Shaheen & Gordon: Steven M. Gordon (bet-the-company litigation; criminal defense: white-collar; litigation – First Amendment, 1989) successfully represented a New Hampshire lottery winner fighting to keep her name anonymous despite a transparency policy that would make her information part of the public record. The woman initially signed her own name to accept the $560 million Powerball jackpot winnings, thus forfeiting her privacy. After the ruling, the woman donated $249,000 to state charities, celebrating her second stroke of good fortune.
► Nutter McClennen & Fish: Jason Cabral is now a partner at the firm in its corporate and transactions department, which Nutter announced March 12. Cabral will also serve as a member of the firm’s banking and financial services group. Managing Partner Deborah J. Manus said of the hire: “Jason brings significant experience with some of the nation’s largest and most diversified financial institutions.” At Nutter, Cabral will offer legal advice to financial institutions dealing with regulations, state banking laws, and mergers and acquisitions.
► Pierce Atwood: Andrea Cianchette Maker (government relations practice, 2013) gave a talk at Maine Live about Focus Maine, a private-sector initiative for stimulating Maine’s economy, of which she is co-chair. Maker told the audience: “I have always believed that when people act on their passion, good things happen.”
► Prisoners Given Access to Hepatitis C Treatments, Testing
Shapiro Weissberg & Garin: Thanks to Jonathan Shapiro (civil rights law; criminal defense: general practice; criminal defense: white-collar) and the advocacy of prisoners’ rights groups, Massachusetts inmates will now have access to lifesaving treatments for hepatitis C.
A class-action lawsuit, filed on behalf of prisoners by attorneys with the National Lawyers Guild and with Prisoners’ Legal Services, claimed fewer inmates were being treated for hepatitis C and fewer were being evaluated for treatment because of a recent increase in the cost of medication. Hepatitis C, which causes liver damage and can be fatal, is common in prisons and spreads quickly through drug use or bodily fluids.
Speaking to The Boston Globe, Shapiro estimated that the disease affects 1,800 prisoners in the state—or 10 percent of the total prison population in Massachusetts. The March 10 settlement with the Massachuset ts Department of Correction now requires prisoners most severely afflicted with hepatitis C to be treated within 12 months and prisoners with less serious cases to be treated within 18 months.
Testing for the disease will be made available to new inmates. The Department of Correction was also made responsible for paying legal fees to the prisoners’ rights groups that brought the lawsuit, amounting to $270,000. “When we sentence people to prison, we don’t sentence them to death, which it would be if you’re not treated for a life-threatening illness,” Shapiro said in an article following the verdict on MassLive.com.