My practice focuses on appeals, criminal defense, employment law, and complex civil litigation.Practice Focus Appeals
As an experienced appellate attorney, I represent clients in both criminal and civil appeals in state and federal court. My criminal appellate work includes both direct and collateral appeals (habeas corpus), and my civil appellate work focuses on employment matters. Because I maintain both an active trial and appellate practice, I am able to provide you with continuous representation from the first court appearance through any appeals, and can ensure that your case is properly litigated to preserve appellate issues. I also regularly contribute friend-of-the-court (amicus) briefs on civil and criminal appellate matters.Criminal Defense
With a broad criminal defense practice in both state and federal courts, I represent clients charged with a variety of crimes, such as murder, motor vehicle homicide, conspiracy, drug possession, distribution, and trafficking, weapons offenses (gun charges), money laundering, fraud (honest services mail fraud, visa fraud, etc.), sex crimes (rape, sexual assault, incest, etc.), assault and battery, operating under the influence (OUI), harassment, and disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
On numerous occasions, I have helped clients get their charges reduced or dismissed altogether. My legal work has helped persuade the Commonwealth to “nolle prosse” (drop) charges against my clients. Successes include:
- Convinced a judge to suppress all evidence in an eight-count firearms case, which persuaded the Commonwealth to drop all charges against my client.
- Helped convince the Commonwealth to agree to a manslaughter plea in a case where a client was charged with first-degree murder and had confessed to the killing.
- Won numerous motions to dismiss charges against clients.
I fight for employees who oppose unlawful employment practices, such as discrimination (based on race, gender, disability, pregnancy, caregiver status, national origin, or age), sexual harassment, retaliation, hostile work environment, wrongful discharge, and violations of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). I also represent whistleblowers who face retaliation for raising concerns about unlawful conduct by employees. I represent workers in state and federal courts, arbitration proceedings, and before state and federal agencies, including the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Client successes include:
- Won a nearly $10.9 million verdict at trial in a race discrimination and retaliation case.
- Obtained substantial settlements in cases involving whistleblowing, gender discrimination, age discrimination, national origin discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, sexual harassment, and equal pay violations.
Additionally, I represent individuals and entities in complex civil litigation, including in matters involving civil rights statutes, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), and the Defend Trade Secrets Act.Prior Experience
Before becoming a lawyer, I taught fourth grade for three years in Compton, California, as a member of Teach for America.Professional Activities
- Member, Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association
- Member, Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- First Circuit Representative, National Employment Lawyers Association Judicial Nominations Committee
- Co-Coordinator, The Amicus Group
- Co-Chair, Amicus Committee for the Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association (2014 – 2017)
- Speaker, Employment Law Update, U.S. District Court Bench Bar Conference (2019)
- Speaker, Employment Law Update, Judicial Retreat (2018)
- Speaker, “The Supremes: Employment Cases of US Supreme Court and SJC 2015 - 16,” Boston Bar Association
- Speaker, 15th Annual Constitution Day, Cato Institute
- Speaker, MCLE’s Employment Law Spring Symposium
- Speaker, Springfield Fair Housing and Civil Rights Conference
- Co-author, “Tawdry or Corrupt? McDonnell Fails to Draw a Clear Line for Federal Prosecution of State Officials,” 2015-2015 Cato Sup. Ct. Rev. 189 (2016)
- Best Lawyers in America
- Criminal Defense (2020 to the present)
- Employment Law: Individuals (2018 to the present)
- Lawyer of the Year, Boston Employment Law: Individuals (2022)
- Super Lawyers
- Criminal Defense (2019 - 2020)
- Employment (2019 to the present)
- Rising Stars, Massachusetts (2015 - 2018)
- Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Top Women of Law (2017)
- Martindale-Hubbell, Highest Possible Rating - AV Preeminent® (2016 to the present)
- Boston Magazine Top Lawyers List
- Appellate (2021)
I became a lawyer because I want to help people fight injustice by protecting their fundamental rights. I enjoy figuring out answers to difficult questions and want to make a positive impact on our society by helping to shape how the law is interpreted.
J.D., Yale Law School, 2005
Editor, Yale Law Journal, Yale Journal of International Law, and Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal
B.A., Middlebury College, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1998
Phi Beta Kappa
U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
- Judge Rosemary S. Pooler, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (2006-2007)
- Judge Michael A. Ponsor, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (2005-2006)