Partner Emma Quinn-Judge focuses her litigation practice on appeals, criminal defense, and employment law. Emma excels at analyzing and explaining complex issues. Her strong and thoughtful advocacy translates into excellent results for her clients, including a nearly $10.9 million jury verdict for her client in a race discrimination and retaliation case against the City of Boston (now on appeal).
Emma was selected for the 2017 Top Women of the Law list by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. Emma has been selected to the Rising Stars list by Super Lawyers each year since 2015 and is listed in Best Lawyers of America. She has also been awarded the highest possible rating for professional excellence in litigation – AV Preeminent – by Martindale-Hubbell.Appeals
Emma brings her strong analytical skills to bear on all aspects of her work, including her appellate practice. In crafting arguments on appeal, Emma draws on both her hands-on trial experience and her strong academic background to develop and articulate persuasive and compelling arguments.
On the criminal side, Emma has represented clients seeking both direct appeals and collateral appeals (habeas corpus) of their convictions, litigating constitutional claims such as violations of due process or the right to a speedy trial. Emma also represents individuals on appeal in employment matters. In addition, from 2014 to 2017, as the Co-Chair of the Amicus Committee for the Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association, Emma monitored up and coming issues in employment law and wrote, edited, and solicited amicus briefs on legal issues that affect the rights of employees under state and federal law.Criminal Defense
Emma has a broad criminal defense practice in both state and federal courts. She also advocates for clients on appeal. Emma has represented clients charged with crimes such as murder; motor vehicle homicide; conspiracy; drug possession, distribution, and trafficking; weapons offenses (gun charges); money laundering; visa fraud; rape; assault and battery; sexual assault; incest; operating under the influence (OUI); disorderly conduct; and resisting arrest.
Emma has also counseled and assisted clients during federal investigations and grand jury proceedings relating to public corruption, regulatory offenses, and tax crimes.
Emma fights hard to get excellent results for clients facing serious criminal charges, whether at trial or by resolving the case before trial. She has on numerous occasions helped clients get their charges dismissed altogether or reduced. For example, she won a motion to dismiss for a client charged with assault and battery; in a case where her client was charged with drug trafficking, the Commonwealth “nolle prossed” (dropped) all charges after Emma prevailed on a key discovery motion. In a case where a client was charged with first-degree murder and had confessed to the killing, Emma helped convince the Commonwealth to agree to a manslaughter plea. She has also provided effective advocacy on sentencing; for example, she helped the lead defendant in a multi-defendant federal drug case obtain a 5-year sentence, even though the Guideline sentencing range was 210 to 260 months.Employment Law and Other Civil Cases
Emma’s civil practice focuses on employment law, where she represents employees whose rights are being violated at work. She fights for clients who are opposing unlawful employment practices, such as discrimination (e.g., 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). Emma represents workers in employment cases in state and federal courts, arbitration proceedings, and before state and federal agencies (e.g., the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)).
Emma also provides advice and counseling to help employees address problems that arise in the workplace. In addition, she reviews executive contracts and negotiates separation or severance agreements.
Emma’s strong advocacy translates into winning results for clients. In October 2015, Emma won a nearly $10.9 million verdict at trial (now on appeal) for her client, a long-time City of Boston employee, who experienced race discrimination and retaliation. Emma has helped clients obtain substantial damages awards and settlements in cases alleging gender discrimination, national origin discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, sexual harassment, and equal pay violations.
Using her strong litigation and trial experience, Emma has also represented clients and tried cases in a variety of other civil matters, including divorce and personal injury.Other Experience
Outside her firm work, Emma has also done pro bono work for the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and other civil rights organizations. She serves as Co-Coordinator of the Amicus Group and from 2014 to 2017 she co-chaired the Amicus Committee for the Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association. Emma is also the First Circuit Representative for the National Employment Lawyers Association Judicial Nominations Committee.
At Yale Law School, Emma represented indigent clients seeking asylum and federal prisoners pursuing civil claims. She also helped prepare amicus briefs for post-9/11 litigation and served on the editorial staffs of the Yale Law Journal, the Yale Journal of International Law, and the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal. Emma interned with Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights and served as a summer associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.
Before becoming a lawyer, Emma taught fourth grade for three years in Compton, California, as a member of Teach for America.
J.D., Yale Law School, 2005
B.A., Middlebury College, 1998
summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
- Judge Michael A. Ponsor, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, 2005-2006
- Judge Rosemary S. Pooler, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 2006-2007
Emma Quinn-Judge & Monica R. Shah, With 'Laltaprasad' case, SJC on verge of 'momentous decision', Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (Apr. 1, 2016).
Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association
National Employment Lawyers Association
Judicial Nominations Committee, National Employment Lawyers Association
First Circuit Representative
Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers