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3 Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly B3 WILLIAM J. BARABINO In this special section, Lawyers Weekly highlights 20 rising stars Massachusetts lawyers who have been members of the bar for 10 years or less, but who have already distinguished themselves in some manner and appear poised for even greater accomplishments. Wakefield criminal defense lawyer William J. Barabino started his career with two high-profile cases and hasn t slowed down since. On his very first day of practice, he walked into Salem District Court only to be greeted by a pool of cameras and a reporter from The Boston Globe. It turned out they were covering the bail hearing of a man accused of indecent assault and battery. It also turned out the man was Barabino s client. But instead of being distracted by the media, Barabino did what he was trained to do: focus on his client s case. And the defendant was released on personal recognizance instead of the $50,000 bail the district attorney was requesting. I realized I was there for my client and not the media, says Barabino, who was an Army paratrooper before going to law school. But the real key to my success was that I was prepared. Less than a year later, after leaving a small firm and going solo, Barabino found himself before the Supreme Judicial Court as co-counsel in a criminal appeal. Though he didnot argue the matter, he played a key research role. The case resulted in a new rule allowing judges to instruct juries to view with great caution any confession that is not recorded by police. I m representing the people who need it the most. AGE: 38 GRADUATED: Massachusetts School of Law, 2003 POSITION: Sole practitioner, Wakefield One thing about him that might surprise people: I ve been authorized to represent Guantanamo prisoners since August Since then, Barabino s solo practice has grown as he s obtained dozens of acquittals and dismissals in everything from drunk-driving and probation-violation cases to rape and murder. But he s especially proud of representing youthful offenders. It s such a big responsibility, because juveniles are only charged as adults for the most serious crimes, Barabino says. I m representing the people who need it the most. The case that stands out most for him involved a 15- year-old charged with assault with intent to murder. The defendant was found not competent to stand trial but still was held on $50,000 bail until Barabino successfully challenged the constitutionality of the youth s confession. The charges were ultimately dismissed. He would have otherwise sat in jail or a locked facility for years [awaiting trial], Barabino says. I remember driving him home from court and having his mother bow to me in what looked like a vow of appreciation. She was a Cambodian immigrant who had been a victim of the Khmer Rouge [in the 1970s], and in a way she felt re-victimized not being with her son. We brought them back togeth- er. It was very emotional. Eric T. Berkman, an attorney and formerly a reporter for Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, is a freelance writer. ELLEN SHUB
4 B4 Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly SARAH R. BOONIN By Jeannie Greeley Sarah R. Boonin is the type of attorney you thank at the end of an interview, not out of courtesy or necessity, but because you honestly believe her work may affect you or someone you love in a profound way. She is one part philanthropist, several parts activist, and a few more parts feminist, in an equation that makes her a total powerhouse attorney. Hailed as one of the most accomplished attorneys in her field by superiors, Boonin is a trailblazer in holistic legal work, combining her experiences in equal rights work with her legal aid interests to serve victims of domestic violence. I have always had a passion for social justice and an interest in particular in issues of equality and women s rights, Boonin says. For me, there was never a question about whether I would go into the public versus the private sector. During a clerkship with the Supreme Judicial Court, Boonin was awarded the prestigious Skadden fellowship, which allowed her to join the Harvard Law School Legal Services Center. There, she designed and implemented the Passageway Health-Law Collaborative with Brigham & Women s Hospital. It connects low-income victims of domestic violence to a trusted network of doctors, social workers and lawyers in an effort to provide direct legal services. Most of these people would never make it through the door of a legal services center, Boonin says. These are people who are still very much in I have always had a passion for social justice. AGE: 34 GRADUATED: Harvard Law School, 2004 POSITION:Visiting assistant clinical professor of law, Suffolk University Law School; senior clinical fellow, Harvard Law School Legal Services Center One thing about her that might surprise people: I have a very highly developed sense of humor, and I love to laugh. Laughter is usually what gets me through the most difficult cases and the most intense moments. I m a big goof. the midst of the violence. Inequality is no stranger to Boonin. She got her first taste of it as a Duke University undergrad with the Center for Global Education, traveling to Mexico and Nicaragua to examine gender equality and social justice. Her experiences were later deepened when she worked as a program director for the Feminist Majority Foundation. With each step, Boonin grew closer to the law. Given my interest in equality, I felt I had to really understand the basis of inequality, from a legal perspective, before I could make change, she says. Focusing on family law has allowed Boonin to effect that change, calling that area the ground zero for economic equality for women. Family law is about providing financial security and safety to women and children so that they can break this cycle and move on in their lives, she says. Currently, the Passageway Health-Law Collaborative is at full capacity, Boonin says, noting that she hopes to expand the model to other facilities. Though the work can be emotionally taxing at times, she says the Harvard students she supervises keep her enthusiastic. But her biggest inspiration often comes from her clients. My clients may come to me and they re traumatized and have little hope, she says. By the end of the case, they re sitting up straight, and they re able to look their batterers in the eye. They have hope. Jeannie Greeley, formerly a reporter for Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, is a freelance writer. THOMAS A. BROWN By Andrew Clark With a computer-programmer father and a pair of lawyers for grandparents, one might say Thomas A. Brown was destined to work in intellectual property. And, in fact, the former Microsoft software developer has found the IP field to be the perfect fit for his inquisitive personality. I love the fact that you can get knee deep in the technical world, says Brown, a native of Queens, N.Y. Everything you work with is like an interesting puzzle, and you get to see how a lot of different things work. This really makes you [use] both parts of the brain. Each case has its own steep learning curve, and it makes the job always interesting. In his still relatively short career as a lawyer, Brown has already been involved in several highprofile cases. He was part of a team that successfully opposed a preliminary injunction to stop three Massachusetts Institute of Technology students from sharing their research about vulnerabilities in the MBTA s Charlie Card system. Everything you work with is like an interesting puzzle. AGE: 33 GRADUATED: Harvard Law School, 2003 POSITION: Associate, Fish & Richardson, Boston One thing about him that might surprise people: My wife s GPS is directly rigged to our home s thermostat in order to save energy. And, in 2009, Brown and two other Fish & Richardson attorneys were counsel for a Boston College student embroiled in a controversy over an unsavory and managed to secure a ruling that found an illegal search and seizure had occurred because no probable cause for a crime existed. But equally impressive is Brown s desire to give back to the legal community in the form of pro bono work. For the past four years, he has taken part in the Housing Court s Lawyer-for-a-Day program, representing tenants facing eviction. And through his pro bono work with the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project, Brown helped attain asylum for two Armenian journalists who were being oppressed by their homeland for reporting on an anti-government political demonstration. Brown estimates that he takes on roughly 10 pro bono cases per year. The best cases are really the pro bono ones, Brown says. You get to interact with people who really need help. You might be helping someone who is in danger of getting evicted. It s really an important way to help make a difference. Andrew Clark is a freelance writer.
5 Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly B5 COLBY BRUNO By Andrew Clark In the fifth grade, she argued with her elementary school principal over allowing girls on the wrestling team. After It s very rewarding, and it can be very frustrating. truth. We re not just fighting against the perpetrator; we are also fighting society s perception. Bruno recently saw what she calls her biggest career highlight come to fruition when Gov. Deval L. Patrick graduating college, she signed into law a new worked as an advocate for measure designed to extend tenants living in squalid protections to victims conditions. For Colby of harassment. Previously, Bruno, fighting for justice only victims with some has always come naturally. kind of relationship to the At the Victim Rights Law perpetrator were eligible Center, which provides free for protection. Now, victims legal help for victims of sexual of criminal stalking, assault, Bruno wears various hats as the organiza- AGE: 35 harassment who don t sexual abuse and criminal tion s managing attorney. know their assailants are eligible for protection as well. GRADUATED: Northeastern She oversees staff attorneys, University School of Law, represents sexual assault Bruno was part of a team survivors, collaborates on issues 2002 that worked on getting the with the local commu- POSITION: Managing at- legislation which had nity, and helps secure funding for the center. years passed. The group s been in the works for 10 torney, Victim Rights Law Center, Boston Before coming to the effort was a tireless one but VRLC in 2004, Bruno practiced law at a firm and might surprise people: One thing about her that paid off in the end. This was a real grassroots fight, Bruno says. clerked for a Superior Court I ve always wanted my judge. But according to This was a huge one to get Bruno, there is nothing as own cooking show on the passed and was the single challenging and gratifying as Food Network. biggest highlight for me in standing up for rape victims. all of my years as a lawyer. It s very rewarding, and it There were so many people can be very frustrating, working on this for so many Bruno says. People don t understand the rape years and for something that was such an obvious paradigm. People in society tend to think that gap in the law. unless someone is raped by a stranger, then it is L D.qxp 3/31/10 8:21 AM Page 1 the victim s fault. But that s absolutely not the Andrew Clark is a freelance writer. TRY CASES, NOT YOUR PATIENCE. Introducing a new Westlaw. Legal research goes human. Discover more at WestlawNext.com 2010 Thomson Reuters L /2-10 Thomson Reuters and the Kinesis logo are trademarks of Thomson Reuters. Get advance notice of Lawyers Weekly networking events. Go to.
6 B6 Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly JUAN A. CONCEPCION By David E. Frank Growing up in New York City, Juan A. Concepcion got an early taste of what it means to practice law. A Dominican native who was raised in the same Washington Heights development as his former classmate and ex-red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez, Concepcion was called into service by his mother while he was still in grade school. I was one of the few people in my building that could speak English fluently, so my mom used to loan me out to my neighbors so they could go to administrative agencies in New York City to argue their cases, whether it be an eviction notice or a denial of Social Security benefits, he says. I didn t realize it at the time, but I was already acting as an attorney for people in my community for the underdogs. As a senior associate in Nixon Peabody s commercial litigation group, Concepcion represents global businesses and Fortune 500 companies. But the former school teacher has hardly turned his back on those in need of his help. Not too many people make it out of Washington Heights, and I have made it. AGE: 35 GRADUATED: Boston College Law School, 2003 POSITION: Senior associate, Nixon Peabody, Boston One thing about him that might surprise people: I am a member of the board of trustees at Boston College and a quadruple Eagle. I have a B.A., J.D., M.B.A. and M.Ed. from BC. As part of a pro bono case, Concepcion represented a Guatemalan teen swept up in the infamous New Bedford raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in He also serves as a board member for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and is co-chair of Associates for Civil Rights. Not too many people make it out of Washington Heights, and I have made it, he says proudly. I d love to make it to partnership status at Nixon Peabody and to be considered one of the premier commercial litigators in Boston. At the same time, Concepcion says he has no plans to cut down on his extracurricular non-billable responsibilities. A lot of my neighbors from Washington Heights use my story because they know I grew up in a single-parent home, which did not have a lot, he says. My mom knew that education was the key to my success, so she pushed that, and people back in New York use my story as a motivational tool for their own children. I find myself almost being put on this pedestal, which I m not always comfortable with. But every day I try my best to live up to that. I don t ever want them to think I m a fraud. KATHLEEN M. CELIO Something clicked in Kathleen M. Celio when she took a civics class in high school. Falling in love with chestnut cases like Marbury v. Madison and Gibbons v. Ogden, she knew immediately that one day she would be a lawyer. She didn t know, however, that she would argue eight cases before the Supreme Judicial Court during her first four years as a member of the bar, obtaining a winning record in the process. I ve just gotten lucky in that they took some cases, says a modest Celio, a prosecutor in the Appellate Division of the Suffolk County District Attorney s Office. I still don t have the experience or wisdom [of others in the department]. Celio s supervisor, John P. Zanini, attributes her success to more than luck, describing her legal work as extraordinary and cutting edge shocking for a fourth-year ADA. The case that stands out most for Celio is Commonwealth v. Sykes, her first time before the SJC. It was a simple seizure case in which the defendant claimed the police lacked sufficient cause to physically detain him when he ignored their request to stop and answer questions and instead fled. The SJC upheld the seizure. But the experience of appearing before the court for the first time is what Celio cherishes most. You train, you train and you train, and then it s your time to bring it and try your best. AGE: 31 GRADUATED: Boston College Law School, 2005 POSITION: Assistant district attorney, Suffolk County District Attorney s Office, Boston One thing about her that might surprise people: I played Division I soccer at Santa Clara University. I was just hoping I d say the right things. It was exciting, too. I d equate it with sports, where you train, you train and you train, and then it s your time to bring it and try your best, says Celio, a former college soccer player. Celio also argued Commonwealth v. Porter P., in which the SJC held in March that the director of a homeless shelter lacked authority to consent to a warrantless police search of a resident s room. Though the commonwealth did not prevail on the facts, Celio convinced the SJC to recognize the legality of warrantless searches when the person consenting has apparent authority to do so. She says Porter is particularly memorable because it required her to grapple with the difficult balance of maintaining the dignity of homeless individuals while enforcing safety in a shelter. There are a lot of internal issues [that the case] brought up in me because I care so much about how we treat homeless people, she says. Such concern motivates Celio to volunteer at a charity supper on a weekly basis. It keeps me aware of my surroundings, she says. As a prosecutor, we see people at their worst, so I try to do things that soften me and continually provide perspective. Eric T. Berkman, an attorney and formerly a reporter for Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, is a freelance writer.
7 Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly B7 SCOTT J. CONNOLLY By David E. Frank Though he s been practicing only since 2004, Scott J. Connolly has already found himself in the middle of some high-stakes employment disputes in state and federal court. After serving five years of active duty as an infantry officer in the U.S. Marines, where he attained the rank of captain, Connolly turned his attention to representing corporations, financial institutions and non-profit organizations. He and his colleague, Robert M. Shea, are currently in the middle of a federal suit in Maryland in which their Massachusetts-based client has been accused of violating the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The company is alleged by the plaintiff, a former employee, to have terminated his employment because he blew the whistle on them, he says. Our client s position is that they terminated the employee for performance reasons, and ultimately the case is going to come down to what constitutes protected activity under Sarbanes-Oxley. Connolly has already argued a set of issues of first impression before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the case and is currently drafting summary judgment papers to file in U.S. District Court. What I really enjoy doing is preventing litigation. AGE: 40 GRADUATED: Boston College Law School, 2004 POSITION: Senior attorney, Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, Waltham One thing about him that might surprise people: When I am not working or playing with my kids, I enjoy finished carpentry and can install crown moldings with hand-cut inside corners. The question of what is protected activity under the statute is a rather new issue, so the case has given me the chance to get involved in a developing area of the law, he says. A few months ago, Connolly and Shea successfully represented a technology staffing company accused of luring a systems administrator away from another employer. The pair convinced U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young that the company could not be sued for aiding and abetting an employee s breach of fiduciary duty because the employee owed no fiduciary duty of loyalty to his former employer. The judge held that the duty only applies to certain types of employees and does not generally apply to rank-and-file employees, unless there is something special in the circumstance, like they have had access to trade secrets or confidential information, he says. The decision was hailed by employment lawyers for significantly clarifying the employee duty of loyalty doctrine under Massachusetts law. I have a split practice: counseling and litigation, Connolly comments. What I really enjoy doing is preventing litigation by counseling business clients on how to comply with the web of overlapping state and federal laws. LAW OFFICE OF WILLIAM J. BARABINO The experience, skill and knowledge to achieve the best possible results Congratulations to Jim Kennedy a Rising Star! House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo Criminal Defense Practice: Clerk Magistrate's Hearings Drug Charges Probation Violations Domestic Assault and Battery Juvenile Offenses Sex Offenses and SORB Hearings Property Offenses Driving Offenses Violations of Restraining Orders OUI/DUI/DWI 599 NorthAve, Suite Seven 2nd Floor Wakefield, MA Phone: Toll Free: kly Advertising Lawyers Weekly Advertising The space you purchased has been reserved and the above copy must be approved by The space you purchased has been reserved and the above copy must be appro
8 B8 Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly ELIZA Z. COX By Jack Dew It was during an internship while at Northeastern University School of Law that Eliza Z. Cox fell in love with land use law. As a student, she worked with Patrick M. Butler, a lawyer with Nutter, McClennen & Fish who was based in Hyannis. Butler introduced her to land law on Cape Cod, where real estate comes at a premium and any development is greeted with a skeptical eye. I adored him and adored working with him. He was one of the seminal land use lawyers on the Cape, Cox says. I like the sort of tangible, practical aspects of the practice; seeing a project on paper and going through the permitting process; seeing the construction and then going to the grand opening. You feel like you are making an impact. Butler died unexpectedly in January 2009, but Cox is following his example. She was elevated to partner in January and has become immersed in the civic life of the Cape. She sits on the board of trustees for the Sturgis Library and is actively involved with the YMCA of Cape Cod, the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod and the Hyannis Area Chamber of Commerce. For her role in helping the Cape I like the sort of tangible, practical aspects of the practice. AGE: 37 GRADUATED: Northeastern University School of Law, 2001 POSITION: Partner, Nutter, McClennen & Fish, Boston One thing about her that might surprise people: I began learning how to surf last year. Now I own two boards and am totally addicted. Cod Commission a regional planning authority develop a new policy plan, she received the Yarmouth Area Chamber of Commerce s 2009 Public Service Award. One of the things that Pat Butler really influenced me on was the importance of becoming involved in the community, she says. I think giving back to the community by staying involved is important. In her eight years of practice, Cox has never been denied a permit and has become one of the most prominent land use lawyers for commercial development. Given the sensitivity of the Cape s eco-system and its importance as an economic driver of the tourism-rich region, the scrutiny on any large project can be intense. Thanks to those pressures, re-using sites has become a priority, with developers focusing on so-called gray field locations instead of vacant land. Cox has evolved with the changing times and sees more change on the horizon as green design and energy conservation become more prominent. Our resources are really pre- here on the Cape. There cious is not a lot of land; it is a solesource aquifer, so all of our drinking water comes from the Cape, she says. The Cape is a tight community, and people really respect the beauty of the land, and rightfully so. PATIENCE W. CROZIER ELLEN SHUB By Julia Reischel After five years at a firm, most young lawyers are just beginning to sink their teeth into meaty legal matters. Associate Patience W. Crozier, on the other hand, has spent the start of her legal career at a Cambridge law office handling cutting-edge issues in family law. I m amazed at the range of things I ve worked on and the amount of autonomy I ve had in shaping really interesting issues, she says. A dispute between two girlfriends over a piece of real estate had Crozier poring over arcane cases dealing with the seldom-litigated issue of constructive trusts. At trial, Crozier scored a win for her client, but she says the facts were so unusual that she doesn t expect to see another case like it anytime soon. A tortured paternity case had her spending years on a quest to correct a child s birth certificate after the mother mistakenly listed another man as the biological father. Once you acknowledge paternity, it s very difficult to unring that bell, she notes. When I got that birth record fixed, I was delighted. Crozier has handled everything from the routine civil dissolutions and de-facto parentage cases to the unusual. Last fall, she defended a challenge to the ability of anonymous sperm donors to remain anonymous, a right so taken for granted that there was no law on the books to protect it. I m amazed at the range of things I ve worked on. AGE: 35 GRADUATED: Boston College Law School, 2002 POSITION: Associate, Law Office of Joyce Kauffman, Cambridge One thing about her that might surprise people: I live on a boarding school campus, which is a little unusual. Things are moving so quickly on the technology side, and the law is often running, running, running to catch up, she says. This is an area where the law really needs to catch up. Crozier is currently working on setting precedent for interstate custody disputes in a case that will set the tone for how Massachusetts recognizes the legal status of a California registered domestic partnership. The case goes to trial in July. Gay, lesbian and transgender legal issues are Crozier s passion, and she has worked overtime to shape that branch of family law. She is a board member of the Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association and works as the group s outreach coordinator to local law schools. She also advises the Massachusetts Transgender Legal Advocates, a clinic run by local law students that handles legal issues for the transgender community. And she sits on the Joint Alimony Task Force of the Massachusetts and Boston bar associations and volunteers with Senior Partners for Justice in the Probate & Family Court, where she once worked as a law clerk. On top of it all, she raises her 3-year-old daughter, Hannah, with her partner, a faculty member at the private Dana Hall School in Wellesley, where they live in an oncampus house and eat in the school dining hall. Her favorite case? Any one in which the litigants still talk to each other three years later. I love it when people do that, she says.
9 Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly B9 MELISSA NOTT DAVIS Melissa Nott Davis originally set out to be a history teacher. But as much as she loved her time student teaching, she was frustrated by the difficulty of measuring her success something she had valued as a high-school and collegiate All-American swimmer. So Davis became a paralegal at a litigation firm, and during her first trial, she realized she had found her calling. The teamwork, preparation and knowing whether we won or lost was what I loved about being an athlete, and I knew that s what I d love about being a lawyer, she recalls. Now a partner at McDermott,Will & Emery in Boston, Davis is a successful young business litigator. But she hasn t abandoned the kids: Through her pro bono practice, she s become an important child advocate. On the business side, Davis is most proud of her involvement on behalf of Harvard University in a putative class action over a New Hampshire crematory s mishandling of bodies donated to the medical school. The plaintiff alleged that Harvard knew or should have known of the crematory s misconduct, which included misidentifying bodies and cremating multiple bodies together. With Davis help, the suit was dismissed on a good-faith We felt like we hit a home run without swinging for it. AGE: 34 GRADUATED: Boston University School of Law, 2002 POSITION: Partner, McDermott, Will & Emery, Boston One thing about her that might surprise people: I spent three-and-a-half years in Brazil as a child. immunity defense under the Massachusetts Anatomical Gift Act. It was the first time the defense had been applied to a medical school. This case stands out because we won it so early, Davis says. We were not expecting to win at the motion-to-dismiss stage. To have the judge dismiss the case sitting at the bench without waiting three months for a decision, we felt like we hit a home run without swinging for it. Despite Davis competitive nature, she takes greater pride in cases that can be resolved congenially. I love helping think about what a client is looking for in terms of a business result and how to get them there. A [settlement] can be an incredible win, she says. Meanwhile, Davis co-chairs the Pro Bono Committee at McDermott s Boston office and is heavily involved in the effort to abolish life sentences without parole for juvenile offenders. She also represents students in special-education proceedings and recovers attorneys fees for the Children s Law Center of Massachusetts after successful outcomes. Those recoveries have helped CLCM fund many new initiatives. Davis says she loves having the opportunity to be both a business litigator and a child advocate. I m able to indulge both passions, she says. Eric T. Berkman, an attorney and formerly a reporter for Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, is a freelance writer. The Law Office of Joyce Kauffman Compassion - Experience - Results mbbp.com PROTECTING OUR FAMILIES IN EVERY WAY WE CAN We salute our colleague Scott J. Connolly Joyce Kauffman Joyce Kauffman Polly Crozier Polly Crozier named a 2010 Up & Coming Lawyer FAX Third Street, Cambridge, MA Congratulations to all of the honorees. Visit our website at: Reservoir Place, 1601 Trapelo Road, Waltham, MA Business Technology & IP Employment & Immigration Taxation
10 B10 Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly JUSTIN H. DION By Julia Reischel Justin H. Dion was in graduate school studying to be a psychologist when a lawyer came to speak to his class one day. The moment the attorney started talking, something clicked. The thing that fascinated me about law was that I could have an immediate impact, instead of having to see a patient for four years, he says. So, on a last-minute whim, Dion withdrew his application for psychology doctoral programs and applied to law school instead. It was really a life-altering change, says the Bacon Wilson attorney, who has been making a name for himself as a bankruptcy lawyer in western Massachusetts. Dion credits his psychology training for allowing him to not just treat the problem, but treat the person. I think how I have distinguished myself a little bit as a practitioner by having that background of being able to really counsel, he says. I try to understand where people are coming from and to get at the heart of their issues and problems, and I do a little handholding to help them through the process. Understanding where people are coming from led Dion in 2008 to organize attorneys in western Massachusetts to offer free legal services to those facing foreclosures. All of a sudden, all of these loans reset with new adjustable rates, and the wave of foreclosures started to I try to understand where people are coming from. AGE: 36 GRADUATED: Western New England College School of Law, 2000 POSITION: Associate, Bacon Wilson, Springfield; adjunct professor; Western New England College School of Law; assistant professor, Bay Path College One thing about him that might surprise people: I m a videogame nut. I grew up playing videogames as a kid, and I ve got a son who s into the Xbox. I am a Halo nut, and my son s a big Guitar Hero fan. occur, Dion says. The big thing that really got me, and got me motivated to step up and do something, was that, for the first time, I saw hopelessness. Working with fellow legal aid attorneys and the Hampden County Bar Association, of which he is chairman of the Bankruptcy Section, Dion organized the Alliance Providers of Legal Services to Individuals Facing Foreclosure. The group operated phone banks and personally visited with debtors, and Dion himself gave dozens of homeowners free legal advice. In 2009, the Supreme Judicial Court recognized Dion for his efforts by awarding him one of its annual Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards. On top of his charity work, his full-time bankruptcy practice and his bar association duties, Dion also holds down professorships at two local colleges, teaching a full course load of law classes. Those activities, he says, help him hone his abilities as a counselor as well as a lawyer. There are some attorneys who do not have any bedside manner, he says. I have a very different phi- Some people would dis- losophy. agree and say, That s not the right way to practice, but I almost feel an obligation to do so. It s trying to help people. That s really what it boils down to. TIMOTHY V. DOOLING When Timothy V. Dooling started law school, he was committed to public service. He has certainly followed through, already making a mark in multiple settings during his eightyear legal career. Dooling first distinguished himself as an assistant district attorney in Essex County, which he credits for setting him on the right track. Every new attorney should spend a couple years in the DA s Office, he says. You really get thrown to the wolves right away, so it s just a fantastic opportunity to learn the rules of evidence, to pick a jury, to give an opening statement, to cross-examine a witness and to close. After two years, Dooling took a job as assistant general counsel for the Suffolk County Sheriff s Department, where he incorporated civil cases into his repertoire. He made his biggest impact defending the department against allegations that an inmate at the Nashua Street Jail was viciously beaten by corrections officers because of his epilepsy. It was Dooling s first case in federal court, and he describes the three-week trial as a really intense time. Things happen in the context of correctional facilities, and inmates do get roughed up, he says. But throughout the course of trial, I got to know the officers and truly believe none of them did what was alleged. This added a lot of pressure. Not only am I Type A and hate losing, but I really didn t want to lose for these guys. The defense prevailed. Dooling I really didn t want to lose for these guys. AGE: 38 GRADUATED: New England School of Law, 2001 POSITION: Deputy chief legal counsel, Massachusetts Parole Board, Natick One thing about him that might surprise people: I m interested in architecture and design. says the key to victory was the crossexamination of the other side s experts, in which he poked holes in the plaintiff s theory of the case. The jurors also believed in the officers. They clearly saw what I saw in these guys, he notes. Now deputy chief legal counsel at the Massachusetts Parole Board, Dooling has assumed more of a managerial role, with his biggest project the creation of a comprehensive new training curriculum for parole officers. He s particularly excited about the work because he believes so strongly in the mission of parole. It costs $45,000 a year to house an inmate, and it costs [$2,500] to supervise someone on parole, he says. Post-release supervision is just so vital. Meanwhile, Dooling is active in state and local Democratic Party politics on the side and hasn t ruled out a run for public office himself someday. Nothing is in the works now, but it s definitely something I see myself doing at some point, he says. Eric T. Berkman, an attorney and formerly a reporter for Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, is a freelance writer.
11 Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly B11 NICOLE MURATI FERRER A decade ago, Nicole Murati Ferrer came to Boston with nothing but a suitcase, some cash and a law firm receptionist job she had landed over the Internet. Today, Murati Ferrer, who had never left her native Puerto Rico before arriving in the Hub, is an accomplished trial attorney in her adopted city s legal department, handling everything from pothole complaints to sexual harassment suits. But she has really distinguished herself defending Boston police against misconduct allegations, including two recent trial victories in U.S. District Court. In the first case, the plaintiff claimed that a group of officers on a construction detail viciously beat and kicked him after he disobeyed their instructions not to park in a restricted zone. In the second suit, the plaintiffs claimed that officers, in executing an arrest warrant, stormed into their home, pointed weapons at their children, and used profanity and excessive force while handcuffing the adults to secure the premises. In both cases, the key to victory was the officers credibility on the stand, and Murati Ferrer finds it particularly gratifying that the jurors could see past the horrifying set of facts being alleged. There are a lot of prejudices out there about cops in general, she says. But I think we don t know what their everyday life is like until we hear and see what they deal with firsthand and One thing this city does well is trust its attorneys and their advice. AGE: 32 GRADUATED: Northeastern University School of Law, 2004 POSITION: Assistant corporation counsel, City of Boston Law Department One thing about her that might surprise people: I love to dance anywhere and to anything. put ourselves in their shoes. The reality of going into a house blind, not knowing what you re facing, is a scary thing, and that doesn t sink in until you relive it with one of these cases. Meanwhile, Murati Ferrer, a woman of color who has often been subjected to stereotyping herself during her time in Boston, says she has no misgivings about defending cases that frequently carry intense racial overtones. When the plaintiff is a person of color, it s sometimes hard to make them see that you re not disgracing your race by representing this white, Irish cop and not being on the right side, as they see it, she concedes. But I ve never defended someone who I thought had been motivated by racial animus. At the same time, when she feels an officer is in the wrong, she will urge him to settle. One thing this city does well is trust its attorneys and their advice, she says. It knows when it s wrong and when its employees are wrong. So in the difficult cases, I know I ll get the support I need to do the JAMES C. KENNEDY right thing. Eric T. Berkman, an attorney and formerly a reporter for Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, is a freelance writer. JOHN MECKLENBURG By Jeannie Greeley Having authored countless pieces of legislation during his role as general counsel on Beacon Hill, James C. Kennedy remembers one standout that earned the praise of another Kennedy the late Lion of the Senate, Edward M. Kennedy. It was the controversial 2005 stemcell research statute, which James Kennedy had written during his tenure as general counsel and research director for the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, kicking off a contentious debate that eventually ended with its landmark passage. Senator [Edward] Kennedy sent the former speaker a letter, and in that he indicated... that he was using the Massachusetts law as the basis of a federal law, recalls Kennedy. That was pretty cool! Throughout his legal career on the Hill, Kennedy has been helping to convert policy decisions into legislation that ranges from life science initiatives and economic stimulus acts to major infrastructure projects and biotechnology developments, paving a path to his current position as chief legal counsel and policy director to House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. A political science graduate of Northeastern University, Kennedy has worked his way up the ranks of state government, beginning in 1999 as a legislative aide to his hometown representative from Milton. Soon after, he became the House of Representatives general counsel and research director for the former Joint Committee on I understand what it is to take an idea, a concept, and to help create that and turn that into legislation. AGE: 35 GRADUATED: Suffolk University Law School, 2003 POSITION: Chief legal counsel and policy director to House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, Boston One thing about him that might surprise people: I ve been told that my knowledge of 1980s TV and movies is unparalleled. Government Regulations. I ve seen it from the ground up, Kennedy says of his career trajectory. I understand what it is to take an idea, a concept, and to help create that and turn that into legislation. It is complex. It s very difficult. But it s also a team effort here that makes it a little easier. Prior to serving DeLeo, Kennedy was general counsel to the House Committee on Ways and Means, helping author the state s landmark $1 billion life sciences initiative and handling the legal and policy issues related to the state s annual $28 billion budget. Kennedy hit the ground running when he came on board for DeLeo last year with the state in the grips of transportation reform, helping the speaker draft a bill in less than four months to solve a decades-old problem. Currently, Kennedy is involved in another high-stakes legislative effort quite literally as he helps DeLeo negotiate casino gambling in Massachusetts. Asked to name his favorite legal role to date, Kennedy says he is happiest right where he is. I would say my entire job is due largely in part to whom it is I m working for, Kennedy says of DeLeo. I feel very proud to walk in and see his name on the door. Jeannie Greeley, formerly a reporter for Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, is a freelance writer.
12 B12 Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly JOSHUA A. LEWIN By Jack Dew Joshua A. Lewin had to come between his clients and their attorney. His clients in Landry v. Haartz had long used a trusted lawyer for their legal needs, so when they decided to sell their share of a family business, they turned to that attorney to represent them in the deal. He responded by drawing up an unprecedented contingency agreement, earning $300,000 for his role in the $20 million transaction. When the couple balked at paying the full fee, the lawyer sued. That s when Lewin and his colleague Richard D. Glovsky entered the scene to defend them. We searched up and down, East Coast to West Coast, and we have been unable to find a circumstance where a lawyer represented a client on a contingency basis in a corporate transaction, Lewin says. The case turned into an ugly piece of litigation. He really dragged these people unfairly through the mud, Lewin says, and this was a case that became, in the end, not about money but AGE: 32 GRADUATED: Boston College Law School, 2003 about principle. Our clients were really motivated by the fact that they had suffered a breach of trust. Lewin and Glovsky were able to win a substantial Every case is very different from the last case. POSITION: Associate, Prince, Lobel, Glovsky & Tye, Boston One thing about him that might surprise people: I am licensed to drive a bus in Massachusetts. amount of money for their clients, convincing the court that the fee agreement violated Chapter 93A. The case embodies what Lewin says he loves about litigation: figuring out the best way to tackle a problem, developing a strategy and then executing it. When you have a client in a case where the issues matter in a very personal way, it is so easy to get motivated to push the client s interests, Lewin says. Outside of court, Lewin volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts. His little brother has shown an interest in the law, and Lewin helped him get a job at Prince Lobel as a file clerk. Meanwhile, over the past seven years, he has helped raise $165,000 for the program. Lewin, a former ski bum who spent a year driving a bus in Vail, Colo., has embraced litigation with zeal and was picked by the Suffolk County district attorney as a special assistant DA in the Special Prosecutions Bureau to try complex white-collar cases on a pro bono basis. Lewin says he hopes the appointment will give him more trial experience. Every case is very different from the last case, Lewin says. For me, that is what makes it fun getting cases with some obscure subject matter and getting totally immersed in some field or industry that I have no previous knowledge about. ELLEN SHUB CHRISTOPHER B. MARSTON After spending a post-college year as CFO of a small Boston-area technology company, Christopher B. Marston decided to boost his business credentials with dual law and finance degrees at Suffolk University. But he never planned on becoming a revolutionary. When talking to friends at large law firms, however, he was struck by their misery. When he deconstructed their unhappiness, it all came down to the billable hour. Then he had a Eureka moment: Overworked, unfulfilled attorneys paired with clients sick of a running meter would make It all starts with what the customer values. AGE: 33 GRADUATED: Suffolk University Law School, 2004 POSITION: Chief executive officer, Exemplar Law Partners, Boston One thing about him that might surprise people: I m a lifelong writer of pop ballads. for a great business model. So, fresh out of law school, Marston took a leap of faith and established Exemplar Law Partners, reportedly the nation s first full-service business law firm to operate strictly on a value-based, flat-fee model. After five years, his brainchild has legs. Exemplar now boasts 26 professionals, offices in Boston and Los Angeles, and consulting and capital fundraising divisions for clients ranging from start-ups to mid-size corporations. Meanwhile, Marston, who splits his time between executive and legal work, says it s been no problem adapting the flat-fee model typically associated with a volume practice to sophisticated work such as mergers and acquisitions, IPOs and complex litigation. It all starts with what the customer values, says Marston, who rejects the term client, explaining that it was first used by ancient Romans to imply a relationship of dependency. Regardless of [the work s] complexity, most customers value certain things about getting the work done. You have the conversation about pricing before you begin working and agree on a price that s a match for the value you re providing. Despite its success, it s too early to tell whether Exemplar is an outlier or a window into the future. Marston says he s heard a lot of noise about other firms adopting the model, but on closer inspection, they use it on commodity work as a hook, only to switch over to hourly billing for other work. Of course, he never expected industry transformation to happen overnight. He says most traditional firms have their entire systems, from IT infrastructure to the mindset of professionals within their walls, hardwired to the billable hour. And when change does come, he adds, it will have to be from a new generation of big-firm leadership. [Big firms] recognize their model is broken, but the solution can t be done incrementally, Marston says. Meanwhile, the [large-firm] leadership demographic is within five or 10 years of retirement. This is a risk-averse population, so systemic change is not in the cards. Eric T. Berkman, an attorney and formerly a reporter for Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, is a freelance writer.
13 Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly B13 SEJAL H. PATEL By Matt Yas Goal-oriented is a seldom-criticized quality in a future lawyer. A future noble and magistrate with a clearcut destination in mind is most often perceived as driven, focused and mature. Considering her legal beginnings, Sejal H. Patel s more recent successes easily could be seen as the logical fulfillment of just such a goal-oriented, singularly focused attorney. Not surprisingly for an improvisation artist, however, that simply was not the case. While a student at Northwestern Law School, Patel worked with the Center on Wrongful Convictions representing state and federal death-row inmates in the appellate process. A decade later, she took up the highly publicized case of Guy Randolph, an indigent mentally ill man who was wrongfully convicted of indecent assault and battery of a child. Randolph served 10 years in jail and was classified as a high-risk sex offender for another seven. Patel was able to get Randolph exonerated by proving that the child victim had misidentified him. She subsequently sued the state over the wrongful conviction, obtaining the maximum statutory award of $500,000, and partnered with Ropes & Gray to create a special trust for her client. As for the result, she never had a doubt. I knew we d win from the day I got the file, Patel recalls. [The case] had just been forgotten. The work was in assembling everything; tapes had been destroyed, medical records were lost. It took going through eight or nine lawyers for someone to do something about it. You have to accept that there s going to be a lot of improv. AGE: 34 GRADUATED: Northwestern University Law School, 2000 POSITION: Sole practitioner, Boston One thing about her that might surprise people: I choreograph Gorefest every Halloween for the Improv Theater in Boston and Cambridge. But the path that brought Patel from Northwestern to the Randolph case was hardly linear. She relished her time as a prosecutor in the nation s capital, where she served as a U.S. Department of Justice attorney in the Fraud Section, receiving a DOJ Meritorious Award in the process. She also was selected for a stint as a special assistant U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C. I loved it, she says. In many ways, it was much more empowering than being a defense attorney. It was only when her husband landed a new job in Boston that Patel made her way, with their 5-month old in tow, to Massachusetts. It was far from the fulfillment of a master plan. It was fate, she says. When I first arrived here, I found it to be an unfriendly professional environment for someone like me, with no affiliations. So coming in new, I just followed my heart back to [wrongful convictions]. After the Randolph exoneration, Patel served on a 20-member Boston Bar Association Task Force in 2009 that the BBA called the broadest group of major players in the criminal justice system ever assembled to prevent wrongful convictions in the Bay State. Considering her circuitous path to renowned restorer of damaged justice, it is no surprise that one of her key pieces of advice, which she imparts to students in her role as a career adviser at Harvard Law School, is to embrace improvisation while refining your goals. You have to accept that there s going to be a lot of improv, she says. Having a goal is great, but you better make sure that, in the years you spend getting there, you do what you love. You have to let it come to you. ELLEN SHUB MARK C. ROGERS ELLEN SHUB By Andrew Clark From 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., he s at the office working on the legal issues of some of the state s most high-profile health care providers. The hours are long and the work is complex, but Mark C. Rogers wouldn t want to be anywhere else. It s really challenging work in a highly regulated industry. AGE: 34 GRADUATED: Suffolk University Law School, 2000 POSITION: Partner, The Rogers Law Firm, Braintree One thing about him that might surprise people: I m a Civil War buff who travels around the East Coast visiting battle sites. It s really challenging work in a highly regulated industry, Rogers says. Everything tweaks over time, from laws to statutes. You have to constantly commit yourself to learning. Rogers describes his daily work as a mixed bag, from reviewing and revising health care policies to responding to risk management questions from his clients to dealing with corporate contractual matters. Last year, his clients included Hallmark Health and Fallon Ambulance. The Suffolk Law graduate works with his brother and father, the latter founding the firm and inspiring him to pursue a career in law. Rogers credits his success to his upbringing in a family that has a solid legal background. My father is definitely my mentor, the 34-year-old Weymouth native says. I have been really fortunate to have the experiences I had as a kid, where I would follow my father around and be involved with his career. I always wanted to follow in those same footsteps. When he s not handling client matters in the office, Rogers is off working on one of his many other legal ventures. For the past three years, he has been an adjunct professor at New England Law Boston where he teaches health law. He is also co-editor of The Boston Law Health Reporter, and he co-chairs the Communications Committee of the Boston Bar Association s Health Law Section. Rogers says his involvement in Commonwealth v. Maxwell, a case that dealt with the protection of HIV test results, has been the highlight of his career to date. Though he ultimately lost the case before the Supreme Judicial Court, he says working on such a significant issue was an unforgettable experience. It was great to bring attention to such an important issue, Rogers says. This was such an important issue for the health care field. Andrew Clark is a freelance writer.
14 B14 Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly JOLIE M. SIEGEL Jolie M. Siegel s parents, both lawyers, always pushed her to make her case, even when asking for milk at the dinner table. So becoming an attorney herself was never in doubt. As a private-equity lawyer and partner at Choate, Hall & Stewart, Siegel still relishes a challenge. For example, last year she helped a client buy the market-making business the trading platform and associated technology assets of a bankrupt securities firm. It seemed like an ordinary transaction but for one small detail: it was the market-making business of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. And obviously the stench associated with the Madoff name is enough to make most people run as fast and far in the opposite direction as possible. I had the same reaction anyone else would have:that I didn t want to be connected with what s clearly one of the largest frauds perpetrated in recent memory, Siegel says. But it became clear that the trading business my client wanted to buy was not where the fraud was located. So Siegel helped her client, private-equity firm Surge Trading, produce a bid that not only survived the trustee s selection process but outdid I didn t want to be connected with what s clearly one of the largest frauds perpetrated in recent memory. AGE: 33 GRADUATED: University of Pennsylvania Law School, 2001 POSITION: Partner, Choate, Hall & Stewart, Boston One thing about her that might surprise people: I know as much about the Red Sox as pretty much anyone else in town. much larger competitors at auction. Helping my client, a small shop, structure a deal sufficiently valid to make it through that process was particularly rewarding, she says. Siegel recently helped another client, Summitt Partners, make a growth-stage investment in a Bulgarian maker of web-development tools. To close the deal, she had to navigate the bureaucracy of a former Soviet-bloc country that had seen few similar transactions, had even fewer clear protocols in place, but had more levels of regulation than one would ever encounter in the U.S. We had good English-speaking Bulgarian counsel who helped us figure out what was possible, she says. I d hardly call myself an expert in Bulgarian law, but I now appreciate what s possible there and what s not. Plus, charting new territory is always interesting. Despite her hectic practice, Siegel still finds time to mentor Boston middle-schoolers through her involvement in the Citizen Schools nonprofit. She teaches persuasive writing after school while helping students through the city s highschool selection process. She says being a writing coach has made her a better lawyer and vice versa. And she makes sure to stay in touch with former students. You really get sucked into Facebook because of all the program alumni there, Siegel laughs. Eric T. Berkman, an attorney and formerly a reporter for Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, is a freelance writer. ELLEN SHUB LEFTERIS K. TRAVAYIAKIS When Lefteris K. Travayiakis was studying environmental engineering in college, he never envisioned spending his days engaged in courtroom combat on behalf of accused felons. But when he took an undergrad environmental law course, he fell in love with the law and decided to switch gears. And when he took criminal law as a 1L, he knew he had found his true calling. Today, Travayiakis runs a thriving criminal practice in West Roxbury. He has more than 20 jury trials under his belt and has not received a guilty verdict on a lead charge in six years. All my trials since then have resulted in either an acquittal or a conviction on a reduced charge, which I consider a win, he says. But he hasn t done it the easy way. He went solo less than a year out of law school, forcing him to develop his trial skills and hone his style completely on his own. He hasn t shied away from the tough cases, either. For example, in 2008, he defended a young man facing serious prison time for the alleged attempted armed robbery of a pizza delivery driver. The defendant insisted on going to trial despite overwhelming evidence against him. For one thing, he was arrested at the scene in a sting We re in an adversarial system, and I won t hold [the commonwealth s] hand to help them convict my clients. AGE: 34 GRADUATED: Suffolk University Law School, 2002 POSITION: Sole practitioner, West Roxbury One thing about him that might surprise people: I m a golf fanatic. operation, though he had not yet made an overt move on the driver. Additionally, police obtained the cell phone used to place the delivery order that lured the driver to the building. Not only had that phone been used in at least one other similar robbery, it contained photos of the defendant posing with a gun. However, prosecutors who had never turned on the phone were unaware of the photos. Accordingly, they offered only the cell phone itself as evidence but not its contents. So the jury, which did see the photos when it switched on the phone during deliberations, properly disregarded them, as incriminating as they were. Verdict: Not guilty. Travayiakis, who had not seen the photos either before jury deliberations, readily admits the outcome would have been far different had the commonwealth done its homework. But he has no misgivings about the results in that or any other of his cases. It s not my job to put people away or make them pay for their crimes, he says. My job is to make sure my client gets a fair shake. We re in an adversarial system, and I won t hold [the commonwealth s] hand to help them convict my clients. Eric T. Berkman, an attorney and formerly a reporter for Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, is a freelance writer.
15 Bowling, billiards, appetizers and soft drinks included. Cash bar available. Bowling, appetizers and soft drinks included. Cash bar available.