Case Law

MASSACHUSETTS STATE AND FEDERAL APPEALS:

Challenging the Validity of Final Judgment Through Appeal

Our appellate practice ranges over the legal spectrum.  More than 60 of our cases have been reported.  Among the appellate cases that have raised important legal issues are:

In the United States Supreme Court:

  • Rendell-Baker v. Kohn, 457 U.S. 830 (1982) – discussion of state action requirement in civil rights suit against private school deriving most of its income from public sources and regulated by public authorities
  • In Re: Walter Roche, 448 U.S. 1312 (1980) – opinion of J. Brennan, Circuit Justice, ordering stay of execution of jail sentence imposed on television investigative reporter cited for contempt by Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
  • Smith v. Goguen, 415 U.S. 566 1974) – successful challenge to Massachusetts flag desecration statute on grounds of vagueness (on brief)
  • Johnson v. Robison, 415 U.S. 361 (1974) – conscientious objector’s equal protection claim that his completion of alternative service entitled him to veteran’s educational benefits (on brief)

Federal Cases:

  • United States v. Dewire, 271 F. 3d 333 (1st, 2001) – raising question of right to appeal a denial of a motion for downward departure under the sentencing guidelines, where the denial was based on a clearly erroneous mistake of fact
  • Rossetti v Curran, 80 F. 3d 1 (1st, 1996) – writ of habeas corpus granted; discussion of whether use of evidence of acquitted conduct violates double jeopardy
  • United States v. Olbres, 61 F. 3d 967 (1st, 1995) – government appeal of trial judge’s order of acquittal on charges of income tax evasion
  • United States v. Gregorio, 956 F. 2d 341 (1st, 1992) – sentencing appeal raising issue of multiple causation for financial loss, under federal sentencing guidelines
  • United States v. Yefsky, No. 90-1222 (1st, 1991) – government confessed error upon the filing of appellant’s brief, resulting in reversal of mail fraud and tax offenses
  • United States v. The Larouche Campaign, 866 F. 2d 512 (1989) – double jeopardy challenge to retrial where trial judge declared mistrial following discharge of jurors due to hardship
  • Lovett v. Butterworth, 610 F. 2nd 1002 (1979) – petition for habeas corpus granted on grounds of prosecutorial misconduct
  • United States v. Hunt, 503 F. 3d 34 (1st, 2007) – sentencing appeal raising issue of safety valve eligibility, where defendant was sentenced to mandatory minimum sentence

State Cases:

  • Commonwealth v. Juan Pagan, 73 Mass. App. Ct. 369 (2008) – degree of murder reduced after trial
  • Commonwealth v. Malone, 65 Mass. App. 285 (2005) – murder indictment dismissed following successful challenge to denial of speedy trial rights
  • Commonwealth v. Sim, 39 Mass. App. Ct. 212 (1995) – appeal of second-degree murder conviction, raising double jeopardy challenge to sufficiency of evidence at first trial, which resulted in a mistrial
  • Commonwealth v. Burrell, 389 Mass. 804 (1983) – first degree murder conviction reversed and judgment of acquittal entered, on grounds that Commonwealth failed to prove joint venture
  • Commonwealth v. Meech, 380 Mass. 490 (1980) – discussing defendant’s attempt to admit recorded testimony of unavailable grand jury witness to support insanity defense
  • “Big Dig” Criminal Investigation (2007 – 2009) – representation of multiple grand jury witnesses

Civil Litigation Appeals

  • Perry v. Blum, et al., 629 F. 3d 1 (1st, 2010) – complex real estate/commercial paper dispute; equitable principles
  • Van Brode Group v. Bowditch & Dewey, 36 Mass. App. Ct. 509 (1994) – raising issue of the scope of the duty of a large multi-service law firm to a group of clients composed of a closely-held family of corporations controlled by a single individual
  • In the Matter of Walter F. Roach, Jr., 381 Mass. 624 (1980) – discussion of a reporter’s privilege under the First Amendment to protect a confidential source
  • Inmates of Suffolk County Jail v. Eisenstadt, 494 F. 2d 1196 (1st, 1974) – civil rights action challenging unconstitutional conditions of confinement at county jail
  • Adams v. Adams, 459 Mass. 361 (2011) – business valuation of financial partnership in divorce proceedings (co-counsel at trial; on brief on appeal)