Representative civil rights cases

Samuel Schwartz, et. al. v. Charles Rascon, director of United States Selective Service, United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts - Five Massachusetts teenagers are challenging the constitutionality of the Selective Service System requirement that 18-year-old men, but not women, have to register for the draft.

Christy Mihos v. Jane Swift, United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Judge Robert Keeton -- First Amendment suit representing Massachusetts Turnpike Authority Board member against Acting Governor Jane Swift for violating Mr. Mihos' First Amendment rights when she removed him from office because of the way he voted on a toll increase. The Court found for Mr. Mihos that the Governor had violated his Free Speech rights.

Mounah Suboh v. Revere, United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Chief Judge William Young -- Representation of mother in civil rights suit against Revere Police Department for taking child from mother and delivering child to mother's parents who then fled the country.

Paul Lopes v. Town of Mattapoisett, United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Chief Judge William Young -- First Amendment jury trial for deputy fire chief against town selectmen for removing him from the fire department after he circulated fliers critical of the town's public safety department. Mr. Lopes received substantial money damages.

Chungche Che v. MBTA, United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Judge Morris Lasker -- Successful jury trial in race discrimination and retaliation case against the MBTA.

Change the Climate v. MBTA and the Church With the Good News v. MBTA, United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Judge Robert Keeton -- Two suits First Amendment challenging the MBTA's advertising policies. Change the Climate wanted to buy advertisements to promote discussion about changing marijuana laws. The Church With the Good News wanted to advertise its religious views. Judge Keeton ordered the MBTA to rewrite its advertising guidelines to comply with the First Amendment.

Zeke Wilson v. Pendergast, United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Chief Judge William Young -- Successful jury trial representing African-American fight promoter against members of the Massachusetts Boxing Commission in race discrimination trial. The jury found Mr. Wilson's civil rights were violated and awarded substantial money damages.

The Nationalist Movement v. City of Boston, United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Judge George O'Toole -- Following a trial, Judge O'Toole ruled that Boston's parade ordinance violated the First Amendment rights of this organization.

Daniel Bogan and Marilyn Roderick v. Janet Scott-Harris, United States Supreme Court No. 96-1569, Oral Argument December 3, 1997 -- This case addresses, for the first time, the question of whether members of local governing bodies, such as city councils, are protected by absolute legislative immunity, as are members of state legislatures.

Robin Bain v. City of Springfield, 424 Mass. 758 -- Wrote successful amicus brief on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union urging the Supreme Judicial Court to hold that the Commonwealth can be held liable for punitive damages

Thomas Grelish v. City of Peabody, Massachusetts -- United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Represented newspaper publisher in successful trial against city for refusing to run legal notices in newspaper in retaliation for newspaper's criticism of city government.

David Miller, et. al. v. Town of Hull, Massachusetts, United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Judge David Nelson, six week jury trial -- First Amendment civil rights action against the Town of Hull for removing members of the Redevelopment Authority because the selectmen opposed the Authority's plan to build a low-income elderly housing project. Large jury verdict and attorneys fee award was affirmed by the First Circuit Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court denied the town's request for review.

Richard Haddocks v. Department of Mental Health, Suffolk Superior Court -- African-American manager employed by the Department of Mental Health prevailed in this race and gender discrimination trial.

Commonwealth v. Harry W. Leno, Jr. and Robert Ingalls, 415 Mass. 835 -- Trial and appeal of two men charged with possession of syringes as part of needle exchange program to prevent the spread of AIDS. This case helped prod the Legislature into enacting pilot needle exchange programs throughout the state.

Rosalie Glanz, executrix of the Estate of Raymond Vadnais v. Dr. David M. Vernick, United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Judge David Mazzone -- This was the first trial in the nation against a doctor who refused to treat a patient infected with the HIV virus. This case established important precedents for the rights of AIDS victims.

Kathleen Pielech, et, al. v. Massasoit Greyhound, Inc., 423 Mass. 534 Lawyers Weekly Top Ten Cases of 1996 -- Plaintiffs were fired because they refused to work on Christmas. The Supreme Judicial Court adopted plaintiffs' argument that the religious discrimination statute, G.L. c. 151B 4(1A), had been incorrectly interpreted in the Court's prior line of cases. The SJC declared the statute unconstitutional and the Massachusetts Legislature enacted remedial legislation. As a direct result of this case similar corrective legislation was introduced in the United States Senate.

Charles Stella v. James Kelley, Charles Stella v. Town of Tewksbury, 63 F.3d 71, 4 F.3d 53 -- First Amendment free speech case by public officials. In successive appeals this case established standards for summary judgment and for legislative immunity interlocutory appeals.

MacMann v. Titus, 819 F.2d 8 -- Tort action against the Navy for wrongful conversion of flying club aircraft by the base commander at South Weymouth Naval Air Station.

Doe v. Town of Framingham, 965 F.Supp. 226, 119 Ed. Law Rep. 109, 23 A.D.D. 255 -- Suit against town for wrongfully expelling special needs student.

Trustees of Boston University v. Professor Abe Korn, d/b/a/ Term Paper School & Business Help Line, et. al., United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts -- First Amendment defense of term paper companies sued by Boston University. This case tests the limits of free speech on the Internet. The case has been reported widely and is being closely watched in the academic community.

Carol Bock, et. al. v. City of Newton, Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination -- Represented six female professional and management employees of the City of Newton who complained about a sexually hostile work environment at City Hall. The case received extensive publicity before it settled and resulted in the termination of the head of the city's Planning Department and significant revisions in the city's sexual harassment policies and procedures.

Joseph Polito v. Town of Bourne, Barnstable Superior Court -- The plaintiff , an American history professor at Cape Cod Community College, was in the practice of putting up large home made plywood signs on his front lawn before elections stating his views on the candidates and issues. When the town made the church next to his house a polling place his front lawn was within 150 feet of the polls and his sign thus violated c. 54 65. He refused to remove the sign on election day and was arrested. The court ruled on summary judgment that the statute, as applied to a sign on private property, violated his free speech rights. The case received significant notoriety on Cape Cod.

Commonwealth v. Michael LaCava and Mohamad Akkawi, Cambridge District Court -- On behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union represented two men charged with lewd and lascivious conduct for performing a dance routine at a gay club in Cambridge.

S.M. Lorusso & Sons, Inc. v. Wrentham Citizens Alliance, Inc., Helen Conti, Mary Dunn, Robert Hughes, James Reed, and Lorraine Metcalf, Norfolk Superior Court -- Represented a group of Wrentham residents in a SLAPP suit against them for opposing a gravel operation in their town. Obtained a summary judgment on their behalf.

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