It’s not often attorneys can do justice while at the same time prevailing on a legal issue, particularly in a breach of privacy/emotional distress case. Recently, Attorney Steven Coren was able to accomplish both when a client was referred to Kerstein Coren & Lichtenstein LLP through the Boston Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral service. The client was a nurse at a major hospital who was hospitalized briefly in 2001 for psychiatric issues relating to her ailing marriage. She told a heart-rending tale that occurred in 2012 when she brought a post-divorce contempt action against her ex-husband over a parenting dispute involving their minor children.
During the contempt action, the sister-in-law of the plaintiff’s ex-husband accessed the plaintiff’s confidential 2001 psychiatric hospitalization records without the plaintiff’s knowledge or authorization and provided the records to the ex-husband. The sister-in-law accessed the records through her employment at a medical clinic.
The ex-husband orally communicated the contents of the plaintiff’s 2001 discharge diagnoses to a guardian ad litem (GAL), a psychotherapist appointed to investigate the parenting issue in the contempt proceeding. The ex-husband did not have the plaintiff’s consent or knowledge to obtain and communicate the information. The GAL wrote down the discharge diagnoses and included it in her report to the Court without the plaintiff’s knowledge or consent. As a Category F appointment, the GAL was required to obtain the plaintiff’s written consent to access this information and to notify the plaintiff of her intent to use it. The GAL did neither.
The plaintiff learned about the access to her confidential psychiatric records at a subsequent contempt hearing in open court. As a result of the invasion of her privacy, she was subjected to continuing embarrassment, horror, shame, anxiety, despair and dread. She also experienced physical symptoms including hair loss, lack of sleep and loss of appetite.
“I normally would not take a garden-variety HIPAA or infliction of emotional distress case because jury verdicts for emotional harm tend to be extremely low,” said Coren “However, I thought this case had great optics for building outrage among the jurors as the invasion of privacy and infliction of emotional distress were intentional on the part of the ex-husband and the sister-in-law, and the GAL’s conduct was unprofessional as well as illegal.” Coren admits he took the case with his heart as well as with his head. “I felt I could right a wrong as well as prosecute a legal claim for my client who could not afford to pay an attorney.” Coren agreed to take the case on a contingency agreement with no expectation that he would be compensated as there was no insurance available. “I feel that every so often it is my obligation as a legal professional to seek justice and help someone who cannot otherwise afford to pursue a claim.”
The defendants ignored all invitations to settle and a three-day jury trial was held in Boston Municipal Court in April 2019. The voir dire process was heavily utilized by Coren and was instrumental in selecting a jury that he felt was fair and impartial. The voir dire disclosed bias on the part of several prospective jurors due to the plaintiff’s psychiatric hospitalization, the reluctance of some to believe emotional distress had any monetary value and the insistence of some in applying a much higher standard than a preponderance of the evidence, and these jurors were struck for cause. Interestingly, Coren approved the inclusion of two ex-convicts on the jury during voir dire because he sensed empathy toward his client’s situation. During the damages phase of the trial, he emphasized to these jurors that fear, dread and anxiety are not controllable emotions and are very real to the person suffering from them.
At the conclusion of the trial, the jury found the sister-in-law and ex-husband acted intentionally in inflicting emotional distress and invading the plaintiff’s privacy. The jury found them and the GAL liable for damages, which totaled $92,800 – an extraordinary amount for emotional damages
The verdict by six citizens was an incredible validation to the plaintiff who endured years of litigation pursuing the case. Coren’s reward was seeing the tears of relief and the vindication on his client’s face. She is grateful to the Boston Bar Association for referring her to an attorney who stuck with her and made sure she got the justice she deserved.
Throughout the month of July, Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) panel attorneys volunteered their time to conduct training sessions on a variety of legal topics for new staff working in the BBA and especially our new intern for the LRS department. These trainings have been instrumental in helping our staff better understand the needs of attorneys we serve and ensuring we are conducting intake and screening calls efficiently to connect members of our community with the help they need.
This is what they had to say about the training sessions:
“The LRS Trainings were so insightful both to my experience here as the LRS Intern as well as for my future career goals. After hearing from attorneys about their specific practice area, I am able to give informed referrals to callers. Coming into this internship I knew that I had a passion for Civil Rights and Torts Law. However, I did not expect to find that I am also very interested in Employment and Consumer Law, something I may not have stumbled upon until much later in life. I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to speak with practicing attorneys and learn from them, not only about what they do on a day to day basis, but also their career journeys and personal interests. Each LRS training has been an inspiring moment that continuously reaffirmed my passion to pursue law school and a career in the legal field.”- Chandler Cofield
“As the Section Programs Assistant, I have the opportunity to sit in meetings, conferences, and many different programs that are offered here at the BBA. As someone who has very limited knowledge on different areas of law, this can be intimidating and confusing. However, through the LRS trainings, I got to personally meet and talk with amazing practicing attorneys and learn so much about how the different types of law can be applied in everyday life. I have a passion for social justice and knowing your rights and how the law can work on your side is the best way to implement change.” – Jenna Kim
The trainings were organized by the Boston Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service, the largest public service program of the Boston Bar Association, dedicated to helping members of the public in need of assistance connecting with attorneys. We would like to thank the following attorneys who volunteered their time to conduct training sessions for the BBA’s new staff:
· Sara Attarchi (Simons Law Office) – Criminal Law · Joel Davidson (Law Offices of Joel R. Davidson) – Social Security, Health, & Disability · Morjieta Derisier (BayState Law Group, PLLC) – Landlord/Tenant & Real Estate · Benjamin Duggan (KJC Law Firm LLC) – Employment Law · Emily Amara Gordon (Amara Law, LLC) – Immigration Law · Carolyn Martello Spaulding (Blake & Associates) – Trusts & Estates · Daniel Occena (Occena Law P.C.) – Consumer Law & Bankruptcy Law · Joana Stathi (Atwood & Cherny P.C.) – Family Law · Jeremy Weltman (Hermes, Netburn, O’Connor & Spearig P.C.) – Torts, Personal Injury & Civil Rights
If you are interested in joining the BBA Lawyer Referral Service, or becoming involved in training sessions in the future, please contact Chane Vanes at [email protected]
Since January 2019, more than 700 students heard from volunteer attorneys about the importance of finance and budgeting. The BBA is proud to have reached so many students through this statewide program and is grateful for the support of Chief Judge Melvin S. Hoffman, Judge Frank J. Bailey, Judge Joan N. Feeney (Ret.), Judge Elizabeth D. Katz, and Judge Christopher J. Panos, as well as the Hampden and Hampshire County Bar Associations.
This past year, over 100 volunteers taught in 9 schools and addressed the interns participating in the U.S. District Court’s Nelson Fellowship and the BBA’s Summer Jobs Program. Prior to the first sessions, the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Committee updated the materials provided to the students, which include discussions on credit card spending, budgeting, and financing “large purchases,” including automobiles, furniture, renting an apartment, and paying for college.
Thank you to all this year’s volunteers who made the program possible!
Hon. Frank J. Bailey, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts Ana Balcarcel, Charles River Associates Joseph Baldiga, Mirick O’Connell Jeremy Bardsley, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission Joshua Beiser, Liberty Mutual Group Jesse Belcher-Timme Tamarah Belczyk, Audax Management Company, LLC Jessica Berrien Janet Bostwick, Janet E. Bostwick, PC Christopher Candon, Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green PA Ariel Clemmer, Hampden County Bar Association Michele Collins, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company Gary Cruickshank, Law Office of Gary W. Cruickshank Kathleen Cruickshank, Murphy & King Elizabeth Downing, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP Julie Evrard, Liberty Mutual Group Andrew Farrington Hon. Joan N. Feeney (Ret.) Kate Foley, Mirick O’Connell Eric Forni, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission Maya French, Office of the Inspector General of Massachusetts Jessica Galimberti, ACCION International Henry Geberth, Hendel, Collins & O’Connor, P.C. Robert Girvan, Weiner Law Firm, PC Lane Goldberg, Goldberg Law Pamela Harbeson, Board of Bar Overseers Lee Harrington, Nixon Peabody LLP William Harrington, U.S. Department of Justice – Office of the U.S. Trustee Everald Henry Rachel Hershfang, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission Hon. Melvin S. Hoffman, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts Jonathan Horne, Murtha Cullina Hon. Elizabeth D. Katz, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts Ryan Kelley, Pierce Atwood, LLP Justin Kesselman, Arent Fox Anna Kordan, Liberty Mutual Group Eric Kornblum, Law Office of Eric D. Kornblum Leah Kunkel Cory Lamz, Buoy Health, Inc. Donald Lassman, Law Office of Donald R. Lassman Maren Law, Attorney at Law Amy Lipman, White, Lipman & White Lisa Lippiello, Olin Lippiello LLP John Loughnane, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP Cornelio Lozada David Madoff, Madoff & Khoury LLP Nora Marantz, Liberty Mutual Group Alex Mattera, Partridge, Snow & Hahn LLP Rose Miller, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General René Moniz, Partridge, Snow & Hahn, LLP Catherine Neijstrom, Gilmore, Rees & Carlson P.C. Andrea O’Connor, Hendel, Collins & O’Connor, P.C. Robert Opsitnick David Ostrander, Ostrander Law Office Bridget O’Sullivan Somogie, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Securities Division Maureen Pachucki, Liberty Mutual Group Gregory Pakhladzhyan, American Student Assistance Hon. Christopher J. Panos, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts Danielle Panos, Liberty Mutual Group Steffani Pelton Nicholson, Madoff & Khoury LLP Steven Pohl, Brown Rudnick LLP Cassandra Prince Nestor Ramirez, Liberty Mutual Group Louis Robin, Law Offices of Louis S. Robin Alex Rodolakis, Fletcher Tilton, PC Douglas Rosner, Goulston & Storrs PC Adam Ruttenberg, Arent Fox Natalie Sawyer, Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management Mary Sharon, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts Rosa Sierra, Brown Rudnick LLP Jacob Simon, Simon Law Christina Simpson, The Law Office of Christina Simpson Stephen Smith, National Association of Consumer Advocates Leslie Storm, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts Leslie Su, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts Erica Sullivan, Liberty Mutual Group Mark Tanner Rebecca Thibault Jennifer Tracy, Liberty Mutual Group Christina Turgeon, Law Office of Christina M. Turgeon Steven Veenema, Murphy & King Steven Weiss, Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, PC Thomas Wilson, Dunn & Wilson Keri Wintle, Duane Morris LLP Jessica Youngberg, Veterans Legal Services David Zou, Harvard Kennedy School Marianne Zurn
On Monday, July 21, as part of the BBA’s Service Innovation Project on Dismantling the Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline, attorneys Paula Bagger (Law Office of Paula M. Bagger LLC) and Erin Brummer (Fragomen) met with middle and high schoolers at Brookview House shelter to discuss the students’ rights with regards to school discipline. In particular, the attorneys ensured that students knew that, following a 2018 settlement agreement between Greater Boston Legal Services and Boston Public Schools, the rights of students around suspension from school had been expanded.
The attorneys discussed how important it is that students who are suspended receive a letter detailing the reasoning behind their suspension and the length of time a suspension is in effect. They also emphasized that students have the right to a suspension hearing and the ability to appeal suspensions that they disagree with.
Students asked insightful questions about suspensions, such as whether they are allowed to be on school grounds during the time of the suspension. They also asked the attorneys about their rights around school detention and about the consequences of being truant.
Many thanks to Attorney Bagger and Attorney Brummer for their help in spreading the word about students’ rights, and to the students at Brookview for an engaging discussion!
The BBA’s Service Innovation Project on Dismantling the Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline is made possible by the Boston Bar Foundation’s Burnes Innovation in Service Fund.
Criminal records are often an obstacle to qualified individuals obtaining housing or employment. And since having a job and a permanent place to live are correlated with successful re-entry, individuals with a publicly-accessible CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) record have greater rates of recidivism.
The Boston Bar Association highlighted the importance of reforms to the length of time that people must wait before their CORI can be sealed, along with other key criminal justice reforms, in our 2017 report No Time to Wait: Recommendations for a Fair and Efficient Criminal Justice System. The report advocated for a reduction in the amount of time individuals must wait to seal their CORI records. In 2018 the Massachusetts Legislature, with the support of Governor Charlie Baker, did indeed reduce the waiting time to seal criminal records; the previous wait time of five years to seal misdemeanors was reduced to three years, and the wait time of ten years to seal felonies was reduced to seven years.
This past February, the BBA launched a CORI Sealing Pilot Project in partnership with Greater Boston Legal Services. The project relies on volunteer attorneys, who assist low-income clients in obtaining, reviewing, and, if eligible, sealing and expunging their CORI records. So far, the CORI Sealing Clinic has helped more than 50 individuals seeking to seal their criminal records. This is a critical service, as sealing can remove or mitigate the barrier that CORI records pose to obtaining housing and employment. Thank you to our partners, Pepper Hamilton LLP and Sullivan & Worcester LLP for collaborating with us on this project and engaging their attorneys as volunteers.
The Boston Bar Association’s CORI Sealing Clinic takes place the first Wednesday of each month from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Boston Municipal Court – Central Division (24 New Chardon Street, 2nd Floor). The clinic would not be possible without the help of our volunteer attorneys. These attorneys can have a life-changing impact when they assist in sealing records. Volunteering also allows attorneys to connect with fellow practitioners and gain clinic experience in a new area of law.
Volunteers will be trained in advance on CORI laws and procedures and are able to sign up for the clinic dates that work best for their schedules. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Hannah Poor at [email protected].
The BBA is pleased to welcome 23 attorneys to the 2019-2020 Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP). PILP promotes civic engagement and public service by advancing the leadership role of lawyers in service to their community, their profession, and the Commonwealth. This impressive group of new lawyers, all in practice for 10 years or less, will join a growing network of PILP participants past and present, and will spend the next year developing leadership skills and pursuing public service initiatives. You can read about this year’s class below.
Charlie Ahern is Assistant Counsel in the Office of the Senate Counsel to the Massachusetts State Senate. After graduating from Boston College with a double major in political science and Slavic studies, he began his career as a legislative aide to State Representative Kevin Honan, who is the chair of the Legislature’s Committee on Housing and represents the Allston-Brighton neighborhood of Boston. Shortly before entering Suffolk University Law School’s night program in the fall of 2013, Charlie started a job as an assistant at the government relations firm Murphy Donoghue Partners, where he advised clients from a variety of industries on navigating the legislative and regulatory processes in Massachusetts.
Upon graduating law school, he was promoted to an associate position at Murphy Donoghue Partners; however, he wanted to use his law degree to go back to the State House and continue his career in public service. In January 2019 he accepted the job of Assistant Counsel in the Office of the Senate Counsel. In his current role, he works with the offices of all 40 state senators and advises them on issues such as legislative drafting, constitutional law, and compliance with the state’s ethics laws. He hopes that his participation in PILP will open the door to further opportunities to get involved in pro bono and public service work.
Julianne Campbell is an Assistant District Attorney in the Appellate Division of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. In this capacity, she represents the Commonwealth in a wide variety of post-conviction criminal litigation and interlocutory matters in the Supreme Judicial Court, Appeals Court, and trial courts. Julianne also works closely in support of the Homicide Unit and other felony trial units, providing legal and strategic assistance to trial Assistant District Attorneys prior to and during the trial phase of prosecutions.
Before joining the Appellate Division, Julianne served as the supervising Assistant District Attorney in the South Boston Division of the Boston Municipal Court. As a prosecutor in the district and municipal courts, she represented the Commonwealth in pending criminal cases from arraignment through trial throughout Suffolk County. Prior to joining the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in 2015, Julianne was an Assistant District Attorney in the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office.
Julianne received her J.D., summa cum laude, from Suffolk University Law School, where she was a note editor of the Suffolk University Law Review. Julianne earned her B.A. from The College of the Holy Cross.
Andrea Carrillo is a Staff Attorney in the Family Law Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS), a non-profit organization that provides free legal assistance and representation on civil matters to hundreds of the neediest residents in the city of Boston and 31 surrounding cities and towns. Andrea represents survivors of domestic violence in highly contested custody and divorce cases, with the aim of empowering them so that they can take back a sense of controland agency in their lives.
Prior to joining GBLS, Andrea was a Staff Attorney at Community Legal Aid, serving Central and Western Central Massachusetts, where she represented low-income individuals in family, consumer, bankruptcy, and housing matters. As a pro bono attorney for De Novo, Andrea began her legal career by representing a Spanish-speaking Salvadoran woman in a removal hearing and won asylum for the client within four months. Prior to practicing law, Andrea worked at CoachArt in Los Angeles and served as a Planning Commissioner Vice Chair in her hometown, Baldwin Park, California.
Andrea is a graduate of Boston University School of Law, where she served as the Fundraising Co-Chair of the Public Interest Project, a non-profit dedicated to help law students fund summer internships in public interest, and received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego. Andrea currently serves as a member of the Steering Committee of the Women of Color Committee for the Women’s Bar Association, a member of the legal services subcommittee of the Supreme Judicial Court Steering Committee on Lawyer Well-Being, and a Clerk for the Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys.
Edmund Donnelly currently serves as Area Manager for External Affairs, State Legislative and Regulatory Affairs for AT&T Services, Inc. In this role, Edmund plays a lead role in municipal engagement on permitting and siting issues related to wireless technology. Additionally, in this role, Edmund facilitates the public policy advocacy of the company at all levels of state government for Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Edmund also leads AT&T’s community engagement efforts to bring training sessions to local senior centers across Massachusetts to teach seniors how to avoid consumer scams and develop their skills with technology.
Prior to AT&T, Edmund served as the Deputy Director of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, a state quasi-public agency working in partnership with the Administration of Governor Charlie Baker to expand access to broadband in 54 communities in western and north central Massachusetts. Edmund also served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General from 2010-2015, serving in the Trial Division and in the Policy & Government Division. Edmund also served as a Special Assistant District Attorney in the Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court. Edmund started his career in the Massachusetts legislature, where he worked from 2004-2010, including during law school, holding various staff positions for two members of the Democratic leadership of the House of Representatives.
Edmund currently volunteers with Veterans Legal Services, providing pro bono representation. In addition, Edmund volunteers as a youth hockey, Little League, and soccer coach in the town of Andover. Edmund is a graduate of Georgetown University and New England School of Law.
Robert Foster is an Associate at Meehan, Boyle, Black & Bogdanow, P.C., where he represents plaintiffs in personal injury matters, primarily those arising out of catastrophic injury or wrongful death. Rob focuses much of his practice on trial litigation, but is also heavily involved in complex brief writing and appellate matters at the firm. He began his time at Meehan Boyle as a “co-op” student while in law school at Northeastern University School of Law, where he received the Social Justice Scholarship Award in recognition of his outstanding academic achievement and his commitment to public interest work. He has significant experience in litigation, having worked for the United States Attorney’s Office in Portland, Maine, and with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston. He also served as a Judicial Intern with the Honorable Raymond Brassard in Norfolk County Superior Court. Rob is a 2008 graduate of Colby College, where he received his B.A. in English, and a 2016 graduate of Northeastern University School of Law.
Jessica Galimberti is Associate General Counsel at Accion, a global non-profit committed to creating a financially inclusive world with a pioneering legacy in microfinance and fintech impact investing. She has more than twelve years of experience providing legal advice and support to non-profit, for-profit, and government actors, with a focus on international development and cross-border legal issues. Jessica’s responsibilities at Accion include advising management and staff on corporate, transactional and compliance matters and leading the organization’s enterprise risk management program. She also manages the production, dissemination and forthcoming release of a second edition of the “Client Protection Principles: Model Law and Commentary for Financial Consumer Protection” to promote strong financial consumer protection legal frameworks for underserved populations.
Prior to joining Accion, Jessica served as in-house counsel for a passport and ID solutions provider, where she advised on international contracting, compliance, and corporate restructuring matters. She previously volunteered with non-profits advancing the social and economic rights of the Greater Boston Brazilian community and advocating for equal educational opportunity for low-income, immigrant, and language minority children. She also assisted in the prosecution of consumer and securities fraud class action cases before law school.
Jessica earned her J.D. from Boston College Law School and her B.A., cum laude, in Political Science and Business Studies from New York University. She is admitted to practice law in New York and Massachusetts. Jessica currently serves on the board of The Welcome Project, a community organization based in Somerville, MA, that builds the collective power of immigrants to participate in and shape community decisions. She has been an active member of the Boston Bar Association since 2015.
Richard Goulding is a Corporate Associate at Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP. His practice focuses on general corporate and business law, with an emphasis in mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, securities, and corporate finance. Rick provides practical legal advice to his clients on a wide array of legal matters ranging from day-to-day operational questions to sophisticated financings and strategic expansion. He is also a member of Hinckley Allen’s Business Aviation Group and specializes in the areas of aviation, commercial, and real estate finance, serving as legal adviser to institutional lenders and borrowers in senior and subordinated debt financing and equipment leasing transactions. Rick also represents large financial institutions that provide trustee and agency services in secured and unsecured financing transactions, with a concentration on domestic and international project finance, corporate and municipal debt, mergers and acquisitions, and asset-backed securitizations.
Rick graduated from Boston College High School in 2004, Boston College in 2008, and Suffolk University Law School in 2014. Before joining Hinckley Allen, Rick worked as a Corporate Associate at Sullivan & Worcester LLP and Legal Counsel at the Publicis Groupe. Prior to law school, Rick worked as a White House intern on the National Economic Council in the Executive Office of the President of the United States, and currently serves on the Norwell Economic Development Committee.
Naitasia Hensey is an Assistant Vice President, Associate Counsel at State Street Corporation where she primarily works in drafting and negotiating contracts and other contract specific issues. She also handles legal matters relating to institutional client-based services for multiple areas of the company. Her work ranges from drafting third-party custody contracts to negotiating event and sponsorship agreements, with the occasional (fun) deep dive contracts remediation project. Prior to joining State Street, Naitasia’s career focused largely on contract drafting, negotiation, and management in the fields of healthcare, financial services, real estate, regulatory & compliance, and intellectual property.
Naitasia’s involvement with the Boston Bar Association began as a student. Since then she has found a home at the BBA and has enjoyed returning for optional continued legal education and fellowship. Recently, opportunities arose to serve on the 2019 Casino Night Steering Committee and as a Member-At-Large on the Diversity & Inclusion Section Steering Committee and she happily joined those teams.
Naitasia is committed to pro bono and community service work. She volunteers with Project Citizenship to help immigration applicants, engages in various community outreach efforts through her role as Justice of the Phi Alpha Delta Boston Alumni Chapter, and interned at Halfar refugee and asylum camp in Malta while in law school.
Naitasia is a graduate of Stetson University where she studied psychology and communications, and then went on to receive an MBA from the University of Phoenix while working full time. After relocating to Massachusetts for the love of seasons, Naitasia pursued a J.D. with a concentration in Intellectual Property law from New England Law | Boston as a Charles Hamilton Houston Scholarship recipient and graduated receiving the President Anna E. Hirsch Award for “dedicated service to fellow students, the law school, and the legal profession.” She is now licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Meryum Khan is an Assistant Attorney General in the Fair Labor Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. The Fair Labor Division enforces certain laws that enhance the economic security of vulnerable workers, including the minimum wage, timely payment of wages, overtime, and child labor laws. Previously, Meryum worked as a labor and employment associate at KP Law. Meryum began her legal career as a staff attorney for the Boston Police Department, where she provided legal counsel to the command staff and represented the Department in employment-related proceedings.
Meryum is an active member of the South Asian Bar Association of Greater Boston (“SABA”), and volunteers with the SABA “Know Your Rights” program to provide legal trainings for South Asian community leaders. She is also an active member of the New England Muslim Bar Association. Having spent most of her career in public service, Meryum is dedicated to community engagement and advocacy.
Meryum is a 2011 graduate of Suffolk University Law School, a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University, and a 2004 graduate of Acton-Boxborough Regional High School.
Tallulah Knopp is a Staff Attorney at the Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP), where she practices in the areas of consumer and employment law. Tallulah represents consumers in defending debt collection cases and represents workers in bringing affirmative cases for unpaid wages. In addition, she mentors volunteers and new attorneys who provide pro bono representation to VLP clients in consumer and employment cases. During law school, Tallulah worked for the plaintiff-side employment firm, Fair Work, P.C. Tallulah attended Northeastern University School of Law and always knew that she would go into public interest work. Prior to law school, Tallulah worked in the restaurant industry and was a worker-member of the Restaurant Opportunity Center (ROC), a group that advocates for restaurant workers through organizing and policy work. Tallulah was raised in Cambridge, MA, where she still lives today with her husband and daughter.
Cory Lamz serves as in-house counsel and Data Privacy Officer to Buoy Health, Inc., a company that uses A.I. to help users start their health care journey on the right foot. Cory manages the Legal team at Buoy, including digital health, data privacy, intellectual property, product development, regulatory compliance, employment, and transactional matters, as well as government affairs and public policy efforts. Cory earned his J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law, with concentrations in Intellectual Property and Innovation, Business and Commercial Law, and Law and Economic Development. During law school, Cory was a member of the law review and various student organizations. Cory earned his MS, focused on data, creative economies, and new product development within the music industry, also from Northeastern. Previously Cory worked on the legal team at a weather data startup and as a legal intern at Duane Morris LLP, the Massachusetts Appeals Court, Autodesk, Inc., Vibe Lab (formerly the Creative Footprint Project), and GLAAD. Before law school, Cory worked as a journalist in Denver, Colorado. He earned his BA in journalism and digital media from the University of Denver.
Cory is licensed to practice in Massachusetts and New York. He is a volunteer mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay and a member of the New York State Bar Association, the National LGBT Bar Association, and the Boston Bar Association, where he is a member of the New Lawyers Forum and the Diversity & Inclusion Section Steering Committee. He is also the co-founder of Boston’s only recreational inner tube water polo league, Boston ITWP.
ThyThy Le is an Assistant Corporation Counsel at the City of Boston Law Department, where she is committed to providing the City with unparalleled legal counsel with a focus on procurement and complex real estate transactions. ThyThy provides counsel for city-wide goods and service contracts as well as construction contracts for capital improvements and maintenance of City property. Through her work and belief that education is the cornerstone to ensuring that the City yields the highest public benefit at all stages of procurement, she provides procurement training to citywide departments. She continues to lead the effort on procurement through oversight of the City’s standard contract documents and practices, in coordination with other integral City departments to guarantee the utmost level of protection to the City in any given transaction. In addition, ThyThy represents the City in real estate transactions including acquisitions, dispositions, and leasing. She most notably handled a complex transaction to establish and construct a memorial park in a collaborative effort involving state agencies and non-profit organizations from beginning to close.
Prior to representing the City of Boston, ThyThy worked as counsel for a Fidelity National Financial real estate title insurance company where she advised on title issues and insurability, and handled closings for numerous multi-million-dollar commercial transactions. To meet the fast-paced nature and demands of real estate, she was committed to provide clients with innovative solutions in addressing title and insurability issues to attain skillful execution and expeditious transactions.
As a longtime East Boston resident, ThyThy received her J.D., cum laude, from Suffolk University Law School, graduated summa cum laude from Northeastern University, and is a graduate of Boston Latin Academy, one of Boston’s prestigious exam preparatory schools.
David Lyons is an Associate at Anderson & Kreiger LLP, where his practice focuses on environmental and land use law, as well as litigation on behalf of state agencies and municipalities. He has helped to secure complex environmental permits, litigated under a diverse array of state and federal environmental and employment statutes, and advised towns on adopting new local legislation. David’s diverse pro bono practice has included advising non-profits on environmental clean-ups, assisting individuals with their immigration matters and claims for welfare benefits, and litigating claims for access to public records.
David earned a B.A. from Yale University in 2008 and a J.D. from Columbia University in 2014. Before law school, he worked on several political campaigns and as a legislative aide for a member of Congress. At Columbia, David served as the editor-in-chief of the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law and assisted several environmental non-profits through the school’s Environmental Law Clinic. He also interned for a judge on the Southern District of New York. After law school, David worked in the San Francisco office of a large international law firm.
David joined the Cambridge Conservation Commission in 2018, and he is Junior Fellow of the Boston Bar Foundation’s Society of Fellows.
Mathilda McGee-Tubb is an associate in the litigation section at Mintz. Her practice focuses on complex commercial litigation and arbitration across a variety of areas and industries, including particular emphasis on defending class actions and serving clients in the education sector. Mathilda also has an active pro bono practice and was awarded the 2019 Richard Mintz Pro Bono Award. She has worked on a variety of immigration matters in a pro bono capacity, including developing impact lawsuits in federal court, helping an immigrant secure release from ICE custody after nearly a year of detention, and representing non-citizens seeking Special Immigration Juvenile status. In addition, she has assisted Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR) in filing briefs of amici curiae before the U.S. Supreme Court, for which she was awarded LCR’s Pro Bono Award twice.
Prior to joining Mintz, Mathilda served as a judicial law clerk, first to the Honorable Robert J. Cordy of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and then to the Honorable Douglas P. Woodlock of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. She also spent several years working in the central administration of Columbia University on university policy, communications, and events, as well as on providing services and programs for U.S. military veterans.
Mathilda serves as a gubernatorial appointee on the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, the regional planning agency serving metro Boston, and as an at-large member of the Oberlin Alumni Leadership Council. She is a graduate of Boston College Law School, where she served as the editor-in-chief of the Boston College Law Review. She also holds an M.A. from Teachers College at Columbia University in sociology and education, with a focus on educational policy, and a B.A. from Oberlin College.
Jeremy Meisinger is an administrative law attorney in the Boston office of Foley Hoag LLP. He counsels clients on a variety of regulatory questions, in such contexts as healthcare, data privacy, and energy.
Jeremy has substantial experience in advising healthcare providers, insurers, and related entities on both Massachusetts healthcare regulations and federal Medicare and Medicaid regulations. Jeremy’s data privacy and security work focuses on helping emerging and established companies in developing privacy policies, information security policies, and similar documents, both proactively and in response to government and other investigations. Jeremy also has significant experience in assisting clients under investigation by federal and state regulatory agencies.
Jeremy’s pro bono experience has centered around assisting the victims of violent crimes in obtaining protective orders under G.L. c. 209A and G.L. c. 258E, as well as in opposing motions seeking discovery of medical, counseling, and other private records in criminal proceedings. Jeremy has also assisted victims of violence from outside the United States in the process of procuring release from immigration detention and obtaining asylum relief in federal immigration court. Along with several attorneys from other Boston law firms, Jeremy assists in the administration of the Massachusetts Appeals Court’s Civil Appeals Clinic, which provides weekly office hours to low-income, pro se litigants attempting to navigate the appeals process at all stages.
Jeremy is a member of the Boston Bar Association, and is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and Harvard Law School.
Yavor Nechev is a senior associate in the Securities Litigation and Enforcement Group at WilmerHale, where he focuses his practice on complex litigation matters in state and federal courts and regulatory enforcement matters before the SEC and various other state and federal regulatory agencies. Yavor has represented algorithmic trading firms in SEC enforcement matters and insurance companies in nationwide class action litigation. He is a frequent volunteer at the Volunteer Lawyers Project’s Lawyer for a Day Program at the Boston Housing Court and represents veterans in matters before discharge review boards. He also helps manage WilmerHale’s legal clinics for the homeless, in conjunction with Lawyers Clearinghouse, and serves as a mentor for law students through the Boston Lawyers Group.
Prior to WilmerHale, Yavor interned for the Hon. William G. Young of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. He received his B.A., magna cum laude, from New York University, and his J.D., cum laude, from Boston College Law School, where he was a member of the Boston College Law Review and served as a student attorney at the Boston College Legal Assistance Bureau.
Yavor was born in Bulgaria and grew up in Nashville, TN, and Boulder, CO. He and his wife, Elizabeth, now live in the South End in Boston and are expecting a baby boy in October.
Jessica Alfano Powell is an Associate in the Real Estate Department at Nutter, McClennen & Fish, LLP. She advises nonprofit organizations, operating companies, and developers in commercial real estate and financing transactions, as well as in zoning, permitting, and other land use matters. Jessica has dedicated a significant amount of time to pro bono projects, including representation of a U.S. Army Veteran before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, for which she was recognized with a Civil Rights Pro Bono Recognition Award from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice. In addition, she regularly advises pro bono clients in transactional real estate and land use matters.
Jessica serves on the Real Estate Bar Association’s planning committee for its annual fundraiser for Women’s Lunch Place and served as a co-captain of Nutter’s Associates Fund Drive for Greater Boston Legal Services for several years. After the birth of her son, Jessica donated several thousand ounces of milk to Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast, a nonprofit community milk bank that provides donated human milk to babies in fragile health throughout the Northeast.
Jessica received her J.D., magna cum laude, from New England School of Law and her B.A. in Economics from Tufts University. During law school, she clerked with the Honorable Robert B. Collings at the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts and Commissioner Frank J. Scharaffa at the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board. Jessica grew up on the North Shore and presently resides in Saugus with her husband, Mike, and their young son, Jamison.
David Rangaviz is a staff attorney in the Appeals Unit of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS). His practice consists of indigent defense in post-conviction proceedings, primarily before the Massachusetts Appeals Court and the Supreme Judicial Court. He currently serves as a member of the BBA’s Criminal Law Section and as co-chair of the amicus committee for the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He clerked for Justice Barbara Lenk of the Supreme Judicial Court, Magistrate Judge John Conroy of the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont, and Judge Kent Jordan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Before joining CPCS, Dave worked as a trial attorney at the Maryland Office of the Public Defender and in private practice at Zalkind, Duncan, & Bernstein LLP. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Brown University.
Blair M. Rinne is an associate in Brown Rudnick’s White Collar Defense & Government Investigations Group. As a member of the White Collar Group, Blair advises clients on complex internal investigations and represents corporations and individuals in criminal and civil investigations and related litigation. Prior to joining the White Collar Group, Blair was an associate in Brown Rudnick’s Commercial Litigation Group for four years. She handled complex contract disputes and intellectual property matters. She also represented clients in several zoning appeals and real estate matters in Massachusetts state court.
Blair has also maintained an active pro bono practice. She represents clients before the United States Immigration Court and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in matters referred from Kids in Need of Defense (KIND). Blair has also participated in KIND’s Expert Panel alongside other attorneys in the Boston area.
Blair has a dual J.D./M.B.A. from Boston College. While at Boston College Law School, Blair was a Note Editor for the Journal of Law & Social Justice (formerly the Third World Law Journal). Prior to law school, Blair worked as a litigation clerk at Finnegan in Washington, D.C., where she assisted with a complex patent infringement trial and prepared for numerous depositions.
Sajid Shahriar is an Equal Opportunity Specialist at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, where he enforces the Fair Housing Act and related federal civil rights laws in the New England region.
Sajid graduated from Boston College Law School in 2016 and became a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) at HUD before converting to a permanent position in 2018. During his time as a PMF, Sajid conducted a six-month rotation at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, Civil Rights Unit, where he gained valuable experience investigating systemic civil rights cases involving sexual harassment, housing, education, employment, healthcare, and voting accessibility. At HUD, Sajid monitors grant programs, investigates complaints of housing discrimination against protected classes, and negotiates conciliation agreements between parties.
Sajid is also the Executive Vice President of his regional union, AFGE Local 3258, and represents AFGE as a Vice President to the Massachusetts AFL-CIO Executive Council. In 2019, Sajid was honored to be chosen as Senator Elizabeth Warren’s guest to the State of the Union Address, representing federal workers affected by the government shutdown.
In his spare time, Sajid volunteers as a community organizer with the nonpartisan Greater Boston Interfaith Organization around issues like criminal justice reform, healthcare, and immigration. Sajid also sits on the board of the New England Muslim Bar Association, which has collaborated with the BBA to conduct networking and educational events for Muslim lawyers and allies.
Prior to law school, Sajid worked in the nonprofit health industry as a development coordinator in the Greater Washington, D.C., area. Sajid attended Northwestern University and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science.
Dave Soutter is an associate in the Litigation and Enforcement Practice Group at Ropes & Gray. Dave focuses primarily on securities class actions, government investigations, internal investigations and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Dave represents clients in a variety of industries, including pharmaceuticals, healthcare, medical devices, private equity and technology.
Dave also spends significant time on pro bono matters, including representation of clients through Ropes & Gray’s partnerships with Veterans Legal Services, Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project, Lambda Legal, and Project Citizenship. Dave, working with Lambda Legal, successfully challenged Puerto Rico’s ban on correcting the gender marker on the birth certificates of transgender individuals. In addition to ongoing pro bono work, Dave is currently assisting a homeless client with sealing his CORI so he can obtain better employment and stable housing.
Dave is a graduate of the George Washington University and Suffolk University Law School. He is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Reserves.
Sharona Sternberg is a litigation associate at Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers, an IP boutique located in downtown Boston. She concentrates in intellectual property litigation and trademark clearance, registration and enforcement. She has been involved in numerous patent, trademark, and trade secret litigations in federal court and has represented multiple clients in opposition and cancellation proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Prior to joining Sunstein, Sharona worked at Willkie Farr in New York City as a litigation associate with a broad-based general commercial practice. Her clients have included well-known pharmaceutical, software, medical device, and international e-commerce companies. Sharona has worked on a variety of pro bono matters, including intellectual property, domestic violence and divorce, and asylum cases, and is extremely active in her Jewish community. She is also the mother of three little boys, which keeps her on her toes. Sharona has a law degree from Harvard Law School and a B.A. in English literature from Barnard College.
Katherine Stock is an associate at Miyares and Harrington, where she works with towns and private clients on a wide range of environmental, land use, and municipal issues. In this role, she has represented municipalities in administrative proceedings before the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Public Utilities, as well as Massachusetts trial courts. Katie also advises municipalities on democracy and open government issues.
Prior to joining M&H, Katie was both an intern and a volunteer attorney with the Conservation Law Foundation. Katie’s past work also includes internships for the Honorable Nathaniel Gorton of the Federal District Court of Massachusetts, the U.S. Department of Justice in the Environmental and Natural Resources Division, and the Klavens Law Group, a clean energy practice. Katie is also an active member of the BBA, having served as the New Lawyers Liaison to the Environmental and Energy Law Section. She has participated in several volunteer programs through the organization.
Katie holds a B.A. in Political Science from Northeastern University, magna cum laude, and a Masters in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School. She received her J.D from Northeastern University School of Law.
The BBA’s Summer Jobs Program is up and running, following a lively kickoff event on Monday, July 8.
The Summer Jobs Program, which is in its 26th year, places Boston public high school students in paid, seven-week internship programs in law firms, courts, legal services organizations, and government agencies. In addition to gaining work experience, the students attend weekly enrichment seminars through the BBA to help them gain professional skills and explore legal careers. This year, 36 students are working in 29 legal offices across the city. Six of these are public interest positions funded by the Boston Bar Foundation’s M. Ellen Carpenter Fund, with students working at the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the U.S. District Court, and the Volunteer Lawyers Project.
At the kickoff event, the summer interns and their supervisors had the opportunity to participate in a workshop hosted by Health Resources in Action, focused on building successful professional relationships. Both the interns and supervisors shared their “life maps,” highlighting three key moments in their lives that helped them become who they are today. Then, they created “partnership agreements,” to set expectations and goals for their work together over the summer, and start a dialogue about how they can best communicate with and support each other. The workshop not only formed a great foundation for this summer, but also gave the students tools for building strong professional relationships throughout their careers!
On Wednesday, July 10, the interns participated in their first enrichment seminar, “Law 101.” Attorneys Katie Stock of Miyares and Harrington, LLP, and Nicole Phe of Nelson Mullins, talked to the students about the basics of the legal profession, including the path through law school, the functioning of the court system, and key legal terminology. The students then tested out their new knowledge in an exciting Jeopardy game!
The Summer Jobs Program is a longtime partnership between the BBA, the City of Boston, Boston Public Schools, and the Boston Private Industry Council. Since its inception in 1993, the program has helped more than 800 Boston public high school students find summer employment in law firms and law offices in our community. We thank our partners, and all of the employers that have hired students this year!
The BBA wishes the best of luck to all applicants sitting for the July 2019 Bar Exam! The Exam will take place on July 30th and July 31st in Boston and Springfield.
Volunteers with the BBA’s Bar Exam Coaching Program, which matches applicants sitting for the bar exam with attorney coaches, are currently supporting 13 bar applicants as they study. Coaches provide study tips, time and stress management assistance, and moral support as the applicants prepare for the exam.
The BBA hosted its sixth CORI Sealing Clinic at the Brooke Courthouse on July 3rd. Since February, the clinic has assisted more than 50 people seeking to seal their criminal records. As CORIs can be a significant barrier to housing, employment, and educational opportunities, volunteering at the CORI Sealing Clinic is an important way that attorneys can offer their services to the public.
The BBA’s CORI Sealing Clinic takes place the first Wednesday of every month at the Brooke Courthouse. If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact Hannah Poor.
Thank you to Greater Boston Legal Services for partnering with us on the CORI Sealing Clinic!
On Monday, June 24th, the Delivery of Legal Services Section and Law Student Forum hosted a Summer Kickoff Breakfast for Law Students and New Lawyers Exploring Public Interest Careers and Pro Bono Opportunities. Over 80 people attended the networking breakfast, which offered an opportunity for new lawyers and law students to talk with attorneys from non-profit organizations that provide legal services, as well as attorneys who work in government agencies and those who coordinate pro bono efforts at law firms. Whether the law students and new lawyers were considering careers in the public interest, or seeking pro bono opportunities, it was a great chance to connect with attorneys experienced in those areas. Thanks to all who attended!