Notable & Quotable: MBA members in the news and more

Thursday, April 26, 2018

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  • "Attorneys object to service dogs aiding witnesses," Boston Herald (April 26). MBA member Randy Gioia, deputy chief counsel for the state’s public defender agency, and Executive Management Board member Peter T. Elikann, a defense attorney, were quoted about a recently filed bill that would allow youth witnesses to violent crimes to testify alongside emotional support dogs. Both Gioia and Elikann indicated that the assistance of a support dog could unfairly present witnesses as victims, thereby interfering with defendants' rights to fair trials.
  • "Attorney General Healey promises changes after drug lab scandal," Boston Globe (April 24). MBA Chief Legal Counsel and Chief Operating Officer Martin W. Healy was quoted in a story about Attorney General Maura Healey's promise to institute more prosecutorial oversight and training in the wake of the Amherst drug lab scandal. After prosecutors mischaracterized evidence of drug use by a state chemist, Healey's office will also join with the MBA in co-chairing a new statewide task force on conviction integrity. 
  • “Judge fights for job after admitting to courthouse affair,” Associated Press (April 22).
    MBA Chief Legal Counsel and Chief Operating Officer Martin W. Healy responded to accusations of sexual misconduct against Judge Thomas Estes, whose future on the bench will be decided by the Supreme Judicial Court at a hearing this week. 
  • “Asbestos claim can be brought 40 years later,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (April 23). MBA members Andrew S. Wainwright and Martin J. Rooney were quoted about a U.S. District Court judge’s ruling that a lawsuit related to asbestos exposure 40 years ago could proceed despite the six-year time limit prescribed under the statute of repose. The suit was filed against General Electric Co. by the estate of a power plant inspector who developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos while at work.
  • “Nursing facility entitled to arbitrate wrongful death suit,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (April 23). MBA member Kathryn J. Wickenheiser was quoted about a U.S. District court ruling that a wrongful death suit against a Chestnut Hill nursing home was within the scope of an arbitration agreement executed on behalf of the decedent. Wickenheiser disagreed with the judge’s determination that wrongful death claims are “derivative,” pointing to a 2011 decision in a similar case. 
  • “Apple sued for answers in Boston doctor’s ‘suspicious’ death,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (April 23). MBA member Thomas E. Kenney was quoted in this week’s Hearsay column, which discussed Apple’s refusal to disclose the phone and email passwords of a deceased Boston woman, whose family has filed suit in U.S. District Court. In one of Kenney’s recent cases, Ajemian v. Yahoo!, Inc., the Supreme Judicial Court held that federal statute permits service providers to share such information when consent is granted by the personal representatives of the decedent. 

In Other News

Articles, blogs and other news recently shared on the Massachusetts Bar Association's social media sites. 

“The Uniform Bar Exam in Massachusetts: What law students need to know,”
New England Law | Boston (April 23), via @newenglandlaw.

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