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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.

Latest News

Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP Partner Recognized as a Top Women of Law Honoree for 2022

  Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP is proud to announce that Attorney Kathryn Murphy, a Partner at the firm, has been selected as a Top Women of Law 2022 honoree by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. The honorees are selected based upon their “ significant contributions to the legal profession while also serving as role models for women entering the law.” Ms. Murphy is the first attorney at the firm to receive this prestigious honor. She has been practicing law at Read More

Legal Updates

NEW LEGISLATION ADDRESSING BARRIERS TO CARE FOR MENTAL HEALTH HAS IMPACTS ON PUBLIC SCHOOLS

On August 10, 2022, Chapter 177 of Acts of 2022, “An Act Addressing Barriers to Care for Mental Health” was signed by Governor Baker. For public schools, it has impacts on student discipline, special education services, and emergency response plans. The bill goes into effect on November 8, 2022. Set forth below are summaries of the new law’s impact in the identified areas.

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