Notable & Quotable: MBA members in the media

Thursday, Jul. 24, 2014

Notable & Quotable

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Voir dire/damages legislation

Healy for Notable

"The vast majority of states permit it. It is designed to give someone a fair chance."

MBA Chief Legal Counsel and Chief Operating Officer Martin W. Healy, Boston Globe (via State House News Service), July 24

Healy was quoted in a State House News story on legislation passed by both the House and Senate that would allow attorney led voir dire questioning of potential jurors. The bill would also allow plaintiffs in civil cases the opportunity to specify an amount for damages. "Right now jurors are left to kind of guess what they should award a particular person for an injury. Sometimes the jury will come back with an award that has no basis in finding," said Healy.

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Judge rules without hearing evidence

Notable Elikann

"You can't stump me usually. I've been a lawyer for 33 years, and I never heard of anything like that."

MBA Past Criminal Justice Section Chair Peter Elikann, Boston Globe, July 22

Elikann was quoted in a Globe piece about a Chelsea District Court judge who issued a not guilty verdict without hearing any evidence and without the presence of the prosecutor who was assigned to the case. Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley has asked the Supreme Judicial Court to undo the ruling. A version of the article was picked up by the Associated Press and appeared in several publications across the country.

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Competency to stand trial

Notable Harnais

"There's no way to guarantee someone is not going to break the law. Most people know the penalty comes after, and they still do it."

MBA Treasurer Robert W. Harnais, Cape Cod Times, July 20

Harnais spoke to the Cape Cod Times regarding the Superior Court case of Benjamin Shealey who was arrested on manslaughter and homicide charges in connection with a July 2013 accident in Chatham. Shealey is being evaluated at Bridgewater State Hospital to determine his competency to stand trial. If the judge finds Shealey incompetent to stand trial, he could be required to serve out a portion of his sentence in a treatment facility, according to Harnais.

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Of Note:

  • Elikann also provided his legal analyis of the latest in the Tsarnaev case as a live guest on the FOX25 Morning News on July 23.
  • MBA member David Harlow was quoted in the July issue of Medical Economics in an article on health information exchanges and patient consent questions ("Health information exchanges introduce patient consent questions").