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Murphy Hesse Toomey and Lehane Attorneys Secure Appellate Court Victory

 

Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane attorney, Sarah Spatafore represented the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston in Alessendrinia Menard  vs.  Archdiocese of Boston. This case concerned allegations of discriminatory conduct from a former employee of a Parish towards her former employer. The employee held the position of Director of Music Ministries for the Parish. All claims of discrimination were denied by the Archdiocese.

 

Following a Lack of Probable Cause dismissal by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination on the basis of the ministerial exception and failure to state a prima facie case of discrimination, this case was brought in Massachusetts Superior Court.  On Tuesday, citing precedent from both the U.S. Supreme Court, various circuit courts, and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the Massachusetts Appeals Court upheld the decision of the Superior Court to dismiss the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction due to the ministerial clause of the First Amendment.  This decision focused on the fact that the plaintiff in this matter met the legal definition of a ministerial employee, within the scope of the ministerial exception and applicable case law.  Prior to issuing its decision, the Appeals Court invited amicus briefs.  This case was affirmed by full court.

 

Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane LLP is also known throughout New England for its labor and employment practice as well as its extensive business litigation and advising employers on internal reviews and strategic legal approaches when dealing with the government. The firm also has an extensive education law practice representing public, private, and nonprofit educational institutions from pre-K through the college and university level.

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Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP Partner Receives Second Favorable BSEA Decision for Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District

  Mary Ellen Sowyrda, a Partner at Murphy, Hesse Toomey & Lehane, LLP, prevailed on behalf of her client, Hamilton-Wenham Regional School Distrist (“District”), for the second time in two months. In June 2021, Ms. Sowyrda received a favorable decision from the Bureau of Special Education (“BSEA”) in response to the District’s request for substitute consent to perform a three-year evaluation of a student. The second favorable Decision, involving the same student, is a result of a Hearing Request filed Read More

Legal Updates

The American Rescue Plan Act’s Aid Allocations to State, Local Governments, and Schools

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) which provides for a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package. State and local governments, and also many educational entities, will receive substantial funding. Having endured the last year of the global COVID-19 pandemic, both states and local governments, as well as schools, have experienced unexpected expenses, losses in revenues, and budgetary burdens. The purpose of this Client Alert is to explain generally how funds from the ARPA relief aid have been designated to alleviate those COVID-19-related challenges.

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