617.482.8200

Our Firm

Conn Kavanaugh is a Boston law firm that represents individuals and organizations ranging from closely held and family businesses to Fortune 100 companies. Since our founding in 1988, clients have relied on us for practical and realistic strategies to resolve legal issues quickly and effectively, both in and out of the courthouse.

Leadership

Conn Kavanaugh attorneys hold leadership positions in many community and bar organizations, publish articles and speak at continuing legal education seminars. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts appointed one of our founding partners to the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers (BBO), the official body that investigates and evaluates complaints against lawyers. Several other firm attorneys are hearing officers for the BBO.

Pro Bono Services

Our attorneys provide pro bono legal services in collaboration with a number of nonprofit organizations, including the Legal Food Hub, Massachusetts Advocates for Children, the Women's Bar Foundation, the Victim Rights Law Center, Volunteer Lawyers Project, Health Law Advocates and Discovering Justice.

Awards

  • 2015: Conn Kavanaugh has received a First Tier ranking in Boston for Employment Litigation by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” for 2015.
  • 2015: Four Conn Kavanaugh attorneys were listed in The Best Lawyers in America © 2015.
  • 2014: The publishers of Boston Magazine selected 16 Conn Kavanaugh attorneys as Massachusetts Super Lawyers. The publication also placed members of our team on its lists of Top 100 Massachusetts Lawyers, Top 100 New England Lawyers, Top 50 Massachusetts Women Lawyers, Top 50 New England Women Lawyers, and Massachusetts Rising Stars.
  • 2014: The American Bar Association's Tort Trial & Insurance Section honored one of our partners with the Edmund S. Muskie Pro Bono Service Award. 
  • 2013: Law & Politics selected 12 Conn Kavanaugh attorneys as Massachusetts Super Lawyers. The publication also placed members of our team on its lists of Top 100 Massachusetts Lawyers, Top 50 Massachusetts Women Lawyers, and Massachusetts Rising Stars.
  • 2013: The Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association (MDLA) honored one of our partners with the Defense Lawyer of the Year award.

Why Choose Conn Kavanaugh

Boston is home to dozens of excellent law firms. Why should you turn to Conn Kavanaugh for assistance with your legal needs?

Accessibility

Conn Kavanaugh offers a level of accessibility and responsive, attentive service that larger firms cannot match. Maintaining close contact and open communication with clients really matters here. We believe in listening to clients and advising them in specific terms to solve their legal challenges. And we aim to develop an ongoing relationship of trust and confidence with clients, becoming part of their team.

Specialized Expertise

We deliver many of the benefits you might associate with a larger firm — for example, breadth and depth of expertise. Each of our attorneys focuses on a select number of practice areas. Collectively, they give our firm the highly specialized expertise necessary to address wide-ranging client needs.

Transactional Experience

Our business attorneys have decades of experience negotiating deals for acquiring and selling companies through mergers, consolidations and asset and stock transactions. We are strong advocates and skilled negotiators. In addition, we bring considerable value to our clients in getting deals done efficiently and effectively while never losing sight of the importance of identifying and managing risk.

Litigation Experience

The Conn Kavanaugh team includes seasoned former prosecutors and a strong, deep bench of attorneys with civil and criminal trial experience, which equips us to solve complex litigation cases for clients. Some of our attorneys are fellows in the American College of Trial Lawyers, the nation's premier professional trial organization.

Cost-efficiency

One reason so many of our clients choose us is that we staff our cases leanly and charge reasonable fees. In addition, we provide practical and realistic strategies to resolve legal issues quickly and effectively, within budgetary constraints.

Please call us today at 617.482.8200 to learn more about what sets Conn Kavanaugh apart.

Search our Attorneys

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z View All

    Business Litigation

    Our Business Litigation practice group offers the experience of seasoned lawyers who recognize the value of solving problems to promote your business success.

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    Anthony V. Bova
    Anthony Bova
    Russell F. Conn
    Russell Conn
    Andrew R. Dennington
    Andrew Dennington
    Daniel R. Fishman
    Daniel Fishman
    Kurt B. Fliegauf
    Kurt Fliegauf
    Thomas J. Gallitano
    Thomas Gallitano
    Erin K. Higgins
    Erin Higgins
    James F. Kavanaugh, Jr.
    James Kavanaugh, Jr.
    Katherine A. Kelter
    Katherine Kelter
    Brian J. Killoy
    Brian Killoy
    Mary ('Beth') E. O'Neal
    Mary ('Beth') O'Neal
    Kathleen R. O'Toole
    Kathleen O'Toole
    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas Peisch
    James B. Peloquin
    James Peloquin
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael Rossi
    Carol A. Starkey
    Carol Starkey
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael Sullivan
    Christopher K. Sweeney
    Christopher Sweeney
    Alexis P. Theriault
    Alexis Theriault
    Henry H. Tran
    Henry Tran
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray Wagner

    Complex Tort Defense

    Since its founding in 1988, a staple of Conn Kavanaugh’s practice has been the defense of business entities in serious and complex personal injury or property damage actions.

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    Anthony V. Bova
    Anthony Bova
    Russell F. Conn
    Russell Conn
    Erin K. Higgins
    Erin Higgins
    James F. Kavanaugh, Jr.
    James Kavanaugh, Jr.
    Katherine A. Kelter
    Katherine Kelter
    Brian J. Killoy
    Brian Killoy
    Johanna L. Matloff
    Johanna Matloff
    Kathleen R. O'Toole
    Kathleen O'Toole
    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas Peisch
    James B. Peloquin
    James Peloquin
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael Rossi
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael Sullivan
    Christopher K. Sweeney
    Christopher Sweeney
    Alexis P. Theriault
    Alexis Theriault
    Henry H. Tran
    Henry Tran
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray Wagner

    Construction

    Whether you are the owner, design professional, general contractor, project administrator, subcontractor, or supplier on a construction project, our Construction practice will assist you in achieving a successful project outcome.

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    Russell F. Conn
    Russell Conn
    James B. Peloquin
    James Peloquin
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael Sullivan
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray Wagner

    Corporate / Transactional

    Our Corporate/Transactional practice has a broad range of skills. This versatility allows them to remain a principal point of contact with our business clients and to move freely across multiple disciplines to ensure continuity of representation.

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    Barry E. Gold
    Barry Gold
    Gregory J. Murphy
    Gregory Murphy
    Bob B. Rosenthal
    Bob Rosenthal
    Neil R. Schauer
    Neil Schauer

    Criminal / White Collar / Regulatory

    We have extensive experience advising businesses and individuals who are the subject of criminal or regulatory investigations or proceedings.

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    Thomas J. Gallitano
    Thomas Gallitano
    Anna O. Klimas
    Anna Klimas
    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas Peisch
    Carol A. Starkey
    Carol Starkey
    Christopher K. Sweeney
    Christopher Sweeney
    Glen A. Tagliamonte
    Glen Tagliamonte
    Kirsten Z. Young
    Kirsten Young

    Employment Litigation / Counseling

    Employers and employees alike look to Conn Kavanaugh’s employment lawyers for advice in navigating the increasingly complex web of state and federal statutes,

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    Anthony V. Bova
    Anthony Bova
    Russell F. Conn
    Russell Conn
    Andrew R. Dennington
    Andrew Dennington
    Daniel R. Fishman
    Daniel Fishman
    Thomas J. Gallitano
    Thomas Gallitano
    Barry E. Gold
    Barry Gold
    James F. Kavanaugh, Jr.
    James Kavanaugh, Jr.
    Katherine A. Kelter
    Katherine Kelter
    Brian J. Killoy
    Brian Killoy
    Mary ('Beth') E. O'Neal
    Mary ('Beth') O'Neal
    Kathleen R. O'Toole
    Kathleen O'Toole
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael Rossi
    Carol A. Starkey
    Carol Starkey
    Christopher K. Sweeney
    Christopher Sweeney
    Alexis P. Theriault
    Alexis Theriault

    Estate Planning / Administration

    Our Estate Planning attorneys help individuals and their families plan for the future and protect their assets. We handle all aspects of estate planning.

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    George M. Ford
    George Ford
    Sheila B. Giglio
    Sheila Giglio
    Anna O. Klimas
    Anna Klimas
    Gregory J. Murphy
    Gregory Murphy
    Neil R. Schauer
    Neil Schauer
    Kirsten Z. Young
    Kirsten Young

    Family Law / Probate Litigation

    Our experienced Family Law/Probate Litigation attorneys work zealously to ensure rightful asset distributions in these emotionally charged proceedings. Our group handles a wide range of areas including prenuptial agreements, custody disputes, and post-divorce support or estate modifications.

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    George M. Ford
    George Ford
    Sheila B. Giglio
    Sheila Giglio
    Anna O. Klimas
    Anna Klimas
    Laurel K.  Spallone
    Laurel K. Spallone
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray Wagner
    Kirsten Z. Young
    Kirsten Young
    Lindsay  Zelek-Thompson
    Lindsay Zelek-Thompson

    Land Use / Real Estate Litigation

    Our Land Use/Real Estate Litigation practice has extensive experience in handling real estate disputes of all kinds and at all levels. We can develop a strategy for your dispute.

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    Andrew R. Dennington
    Andrew Dennington
    Daniel R. Fishman
    Daniel Fishman
    George M. Ford
    George Ford
    Katherine A. Kelter
    Katherine Kelter
    James B. Peloquin
    James Peloquin
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael Rossi
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael Sullivan
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray Wagner

    Mediation / Arbitration

    Having litigated hundreds of cases, the Mediation/Arbitration practice is well-equipped to effectively value cases to resolve disputes according to your needs and goals.

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    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas Peisch
    James B. Peloquin
    James Peloquin

    Product Liability

    Conn Kavanaugh’s lawyers regularly represent manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in defending against product liability claims.

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    Russell F. Conn
    Russell Conn
    Daniel R. Fishman
    Daniel Fishman
    Erin K. Higgins
    Erin Higgins
    Katherine A. Kelter
    Katherine Kelter
    Brian J. Killoy
    Brian Killoy
    Johanna L. Matloff
    Johanna Matloff
    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas Peisch
    James B. Peloquin
    James Peloquin
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael Rossi
    Henry H. Tran
    Henry Tran
    Peter John Veysey
    Peter Veysey

    Professional Liability

    Our trial attorneys are accomplished in defending claims against attorneys, health care professionals, insurance agents and brokers, and other professionals.

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    Anthony V. Bova
    Anthony Bova
    Russell F. Conn
    Russell Conn
    Andrew R. Dennington
    Andrew Dennington
    Kurt B. Fliegauf
    Kurt Fliegauf
    Thomas J. Gallitano
    Thomas Gallitano
    Erin K. Higgins
    Erin Higgins
    Brian J. Killoy
    Brian Killoy
    Johanna L. Matloff
    Johanna Matloff
    Kathleen R. O'Toole
    Kathleen O'Toole
    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas Peisch
    James B. Peloquin
    James Peloquin
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael Rossi
    Carol A. Starkey
    Carol Starkey
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael Sullivan
    Christopher K. Sweeney
    Christopher Sweeney
    Glen A. Tagliamonte
    Glen Tagliamonte
    Alexis P. Theriault
    Alexis Theriault
    Henry H. Tran
    Henry Tran
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray Wagner

    Real Estate

    Our Real Estate practice provides skilled representation in a variety of transactions, including the financing, leasing, acquisition and disposition of commercial properties.

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    Barry E. Gold
    Barry Gold
    Bob B. Rosenthal
    Bob Rosenthal
    Neil R. Schauer
    Neil Schauer

    Architects/Engineers

    Conn Kavanaugh has a wealth of experience advising and representing architects and engineers in many aspects of their businesses.

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    Russell F. Conn
    Russell ConnPartner
    James B. Peloquin
    James PeloquinPartner
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael SullivanPartner
    Glen A. Tagliamonte
    Glen TagliamonteAssociate

    Closely Held/Family Businesses

    Conn Kavanaugh’s business attorneys have a broad range of skills and are very experienced in providing legal services to family-owned and other closely-held businesses.

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    Barry E. Gold
    Barry GoldPartner
    Bob B. Rosenthal
    Bob RosenthalPartner
    Neil R. Schauer
    Neil SchauerPartner

    Construction

    Conn Kavanaugh has provided an array of services to private and public clients in the construction industry, including the manufacturers of building materials and systems.

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    Kurt B. Fliegauf
    Kurt FliegaufPartner
    James B. Peloquin
    James PeloquinPartner
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael SullivanPartner
    Glen A. Tagliamonte
    Glen TagliamonteAssociate
    Henry H. Tran
    Henry TranAssociate
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray WagnerPartner

    Financial Services

    Conn Kavanaugh draws upon a wide range of disciplines to meet the needs of individual and institutional clients in the financial services industry.

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    Andrew R. Dennington
    Andrew DenningtonPartner
    Thomas J. Gallitano
    Thomas GallitanoPartner
    Carol A. Starkey
    Carol StarkeyPartner
    Christopher K. Sweeney
    Christopher SweeneyAssociate

    Food and Beverage

    Our decades of work in the food and beverage industry, including alcohol regulatory and distribution, have permitted us to gain expertise and insight into the typically fast paced and challenging world of our clients engaged in the food and beverage industry.

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    Anthony V. Bova
    Anthony BovaAssociate
    James F. Kavanaugh, Jr.
    James Kavanaugh, Jr.Partner
    Mary ('Beth') E. O'Neal
    Mary ('Beth') O'NealPartner
    Kathleen R. O'Toole
    Kathleen O'TooleAssociate

    Government

    Conn Kavanaugh provides an array of services to clients in the public sector, including state agencies, municipalities, and public officials.

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    Andrew R. Dennington
    Andrew DenningtonPartner
    Kurt B. Fliegauf
    Kurt FliegaufPartner
    Carol A. Starkey
    Carol StarkeyPartner

    Healthcare

    The Conn Kavanaugh team has the skills and experience necessary to successfully maneuver our clients through the increasingly complex and highly regulated environment of the health care industry.

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    Andrew R. Dennington
    Andrew DenningtonPartner
    Johanna L. Matloff
    Johanna MatloffSenior Counsel
    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas PeischPartner
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael RossiPartner
    Carol A. Starkey
    Carol StarkeyPartner
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael SullivanPartner
    Christopher K. Sweeney
    Christopher SweeneyAssociate

    Insurance

    Our lawyers work with our insurance industry clients in a variety of ways. We represent their insureds in virtually every type of lawsuit for which insurance coverage is available. We represent insurance companies directly in bad faith actions, and in high-exposure losses or losses that present unusual or challenging coverage issues.

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    Russell F. Conn
    Russell ConnPartner
    Kurt B. Fliegauf
    Kurt FliegaufPartner
    Erin K. Higgins
    Erin HigginsPartner
    Katherine A. Kelter
    Katherine KelterAssociate
    Brian J. Killoy
    Brian KilloyAssociate
    Johanna L. Matloff
    Johanna MatloffSenior Counsel
    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas PeischPartner
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael RossiPartner
    Alexis P. Theriault
    Alexis TheriaultAssociate
    Henry H. Tran
    Henry TranAssociate
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray WagnerPartner

    Law Firms

    Since the firm was founded in 1988, our attorneys have been known as “lawyers’ lawyers.”

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    Russell F. Conn
    Russell ConnPartner
    Thomas J. Gallitano
    Thomas GallitanoPartner
    Erin K. Higgins
    Erin HigginsPartner
    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas PeischPartner
    Bob B. Rosenthal
    Bob RosenthalPartner
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael RossiPartner
    Christopher K. Sweeney
    Christopher SweeneyAssociate

    Manufacturing

    Conn Kavanaugh has broad experience in representing the interests and needs of various manufacturers.

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    Russell F. Conn
    Russell ConnPartner
    Barry E. Gold
    Barry GoldPartner
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael SullivanPartner

    Real Estate

    Conn Kavanaugh has a wealth of experience in the real estate field.

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    George M. Ford
    George FordOf-Counsel
    Katherine A. Kelter
    Katherine KelterAssociate
    Bob B. Rosenthal
    Bob RosenthalPartner
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael RossiPartner
    Neil R. Schauer
    Neil SchauerPartner
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael SullivanPartner
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray WagnerPartner

    Staffing and Recruiting

    Staffing companies and Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) are playing an increasingly important role in many aspects of human resource management, as employers are relying more and more on staffing companies and PEOs for payroll and employee benefit administration, risk management, and other increasingly complex administrative burdens.

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    Thomas J. Gallitano
    Thomas GallitanoPartner
    Barry E. Gold
    Barry GoldPartner
    Johanna L. Matloff
    Johanna MatloffSenior Counsel
    Mary ('Beth') E. O'Neal
    Mary ('Beth') O'NealPartner
    Biography

    Johanna practices in the area of civil litigation. Her areas of practice include employment law, commercial litigation, products liability, insurance litigation (specifically areas involving life, health, disability, and annuities), and ERISA.

    As an employment law advisor, Johanna provides proactive employment law counseling to businesses in both for-profit and non-profit arenas. She counsels employers regarding employment-related policies and agreements, including non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, severance agreements, and employee handbooks.

    Johanna’s litigation experience includes work on matters involving ERISA, employee benefits, products liability, life insurance and annuities, complex torts, contract disputes, professional liability, HIPAA, copyright infringement, and nursing homes.

    Johanna was selected as a “Rising Star” by Law & Politics and the publishers of Boston Magazine for each year in which she was eligible since 2005. This designation is reserved for attorneys under the age of forty and with less than ten years of experience practicing law.

    Outside of the office Johanna uses her legal skills to support her community including serving on The Jewish Journal’s Executive Committee and Board of Overseers. She provides advice and counsel on a variety of legal matters including human resources and personnel decisions, employment practices, negotiations of contracts, First Amendment issues, collections and insurance. She also enjoys running and coaching youth soccer.

    Credentials

    Practice Areas

    Industries

    Education

    • Suffolk University Law School, J.D. magna cum laude (2002)
    • The University of Pennsylvania, B.A. magna cum laude (1998)

    Court Admissions

    • Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, 2002
    • United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, 2003
    • United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, 2004
    Matters & Cases

    Representative Matters

    • Business Litigation

      • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of insured seeking declaratory judgment and damages arising from insurer’s refusal to provide a defense to insured for claims made against insured in underlying patent infringement and product disparagement lawsuit. The favorable decision ultimately led to a $900,000 settlement in favor of the client.
      • Defended financial services company against claims brought by customer alleging that the broker stole client funds by fraudulently cashing checks made payable to customer, constituting withdrawals from customer’s annuities with financial services company. Conducted depositions of the plaintiff and his accountant and drafted mediation brief that ultimately led to favorable resolution of the dispute through settlement.

    • Complex Tort Defense

      • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of cosmetic company based on plaintiff’s failure to assert product liability and negligence claims arising from injuries allegedly caused by the company’s hair dye within the three-year limitation period pursuant to G. L. c. 106, § 2-318 and G. L. c. 260 § 2A.
      • Obtained defense jury verdict on negligence claim brought by subrogated insurer against an insulation company in the Norfolk Superior Court. Conducted depositions of key witnesses during discovery and presented and cross-examined witnesses at trial. Successfully drafted petition for interlocutory appeal pursuant to G. L. c. 231, s. 118 and obtained relief reversing trial court’s order precluding designation of trial expert. Obtained costs following defense verdict.
      • Obtained several favorable settlements on behalf of long-term care facilities concerning negligence and breach of contract claims brought by residents and former residents.

    • Employment Litigation / Counseling

      • Obtained dismissal of claims brought in federal district court alleging improper processing of ERISA benefits under G. L. c 93A, § 2 and G. L. c. 176D, § 3(9) on the ground that ERISA preempted plaintiff’s claims because they related to an ERISA benefit plan and impermissibly expanded ERISA’s exclusive civil enforcement scheme. Successfully opposed motions to vacate the judgment and to amend the complaint on procedural grounds. Drafted successful appellee brief on plaintiff’s appeal to the Federal First Circuit Court of Appeals.
      • Obtained summary judgment for insurer upholding decision of claim fiduciary under employee welfare benefit plan to deny claim for optional life insurance benefits on the ground that the decision was not arbitrary and capricious. Keiffer v. Shaw Group Inc. Employee Welfare Plan, 2007 WL 3232549 (D.Mass.).
      • Obtained summary judgment for insurer upholding decision of claim administrator to deny claim for short and long-term disability benefits on the ground that the insurer was a named fiduciary under the ERISA plan and had discretionary authority to review benefit claims under an arbitrary and capricious standard of review. Sorensen v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 2009 WL 901864 (D. Mass.).

    Affiliations

    Professional Affiliation and Activities

    • Massachusetts Bar Association
    • Boston Bar Association
    • Defense Research Institute
    • The Jewish Journal, Executive Committee and Board of Overseers
    • Women's Bar Association, Member
    Publications

    Publications

    • Co-Author, “Pregnancy Discrimination: A Defense Perspective,” MCLE - Massachusetts Employment Law, 2015
    • Co-authored with Thomas E. Peisch, "The Uninjured Plaintiff: New Frontier of Liability," 71 DEF. Couns. J. 262, July 2004
    • Author, "The New Star Chamber: An Illusion of Due Process Standards at Private University Disciplinary Hearings", 35 Suffolk U.L. Rev. 169, 2001