Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP’s Newest Associate Attorney Writes an Inspiring Piece Regarding the 2020 Election Results

Brendan Collins is a graduate of Notre Dame Law School, and recently received his results accepting him to the Massachusetts Bar. During law school, Brendan wrote extensively on various issues. Brendan also spent a semester working in Washington, DC in the Office of the Solicitor of the Department of the Interior. Brendan was also a member of the Journal of Legislation and his Note, Back to the Farm: A Call to Re-Invigorate New York City’s Biosolid Program, was published in 2019. Now, Mr. Collins shares his insight and opinion on the aftermath of the 2020 Election results.
The Emergency Brake

Imagine this:


You are riding on a train. It is operated by the most respected train company in the world, known for its order, timeliness, and consistency. This train ride, however, has been quite different. You look out the window and do not recognize this journey.


From the start, passengers speak up and protest: “No, this is not the right way! The Conductor has taken us off course!” The Conductor gets on the speaker and hurls insults and mercilessly mocks the passengers speaking up. He criticizes them for the way they look or speak, just like any grade school bully. You sit uncomfortably because you have never heard a Conductor talk that way before on the train.


The train keeps moving faster and faster. Outside, the landscape ahead is dark and gloomy. You see blight, disease, unchecked racism, and poverty – real human suffering unlike anything you have ever seen on your train journeys before. The Conductor jumps on the speaker continuously throughout the journey and declares to you and the other passengers that what you see outside is not what you see it to be. You notice that some of the passengers have pulled down blinds to cover the grim reality outside with sunny and joyful scenes.


The voices of passengers protesting the Conductor are getting louder. You look again outside the window and realize that the train tracks come to a stop ahead, and, just beyond that stop, there lies a deep cliff. You instinctively say out loud: “He’s going to drive us off the cliff!” The passenger next to you says, “Shhh don’t get involved, the train has automatic brakes that prevent the Conductor from taking us off the cliff.” You turn your head back and see a large group of passengers – which includes the people who initially spoke up and even some of the passengers who had their blinders down at the start of the journey. They are all congregating around a large lever that says, “Emergency Brake” and are trying to pull it. It is in that instant that you realize the fragility of the train’s operation – especially its brake system – and the key role that you and the other passengers play to prevent the train from going off the rails. You turn back to the passenger seated next to you and say: “The brakes are not automatic—we are the brakes that need to stop the train!” You run to the back of the train and join the other passengers. Together you pull down the Emergency Brake. The train creeps to a stop before the edge of the cliff. You and the other passengers are safe.



The attempted delegitimization of the 2020 Election Results has taken our democratic process off its set course and into uncharted territory. Of the dozens of lawsuits claiming widespread voter fraud, almost all of them have already been denied, dismissed, or withdrawn for a lack of evidence. In addition, a Texas lawsuit, which was supported at the highest level of our government, attempted to challenge the election results from Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Michigan despite the lack of credible evidence. When presented with that case, the Supreme Court resoundingly refused to hear it for the case’s lack of a cognizable injury. Still, however, numerous unfounded conspiracies are currently being peddled to purposefully undermine a core tradition in the United States since President George Washington: the peaceful transition of power.


Now, more than ever, our democracy is in grave peril. All Americans including members of the legal community – no matter if we are Democrats, Republicans, or Independents – should come together and speak up before our democratic system and all of its legal principles that we hold dear are lost forever. Every vote should count – it is time to pull the emergency brake.


Latest News

Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP Partner Prevails in U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

  Attorney Felicia Vasudevan, a partner at Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, received a favorable decision on behalf of her client, Marshfield Public Schools. The Plaintiff appealed the district court’s judgement that upheld a decision of the Massachusetts Bureau of Special Education Appeals (“BSEA”). However, as the notice was filed more than 30 days after entry, the First Circuit ultimately dismissed the appeal for being untimely. The Plaintiff also appealed the district court’s order, denying her motion to vacate. Read More

Legal Updates

New Features of Public Participation at School Committee Meetings

Following our Alert from March 16, 2023, Civility is Dead – The Supreme Court Rules Municipal Control of Public Speak Limited to Reasonable Time/Place/Manner Restrictions, which discussed the holding to the Supreme Judicial Court’s decision in Barron v. Kolenda and the Town of Southborough (SJC-13284), we promised to bring you more detailed guidance on developing a Public Speak policy for your public body or municipality. The Barron case involved a constitutional challenge to the Town of Southborough’s public comment policy, which attempted to impose a code of civility on members of the public who participated in public comment before public bodies. In Barron, the court interpreted the state constitution to mean that public bodies may request, but not require, that public commentators be respectful and courteous. Instead, a public body may set restrictions on reasonable time, place, and manner comments to ensure that the meeting retains an orderly and peaceable manner.

Braintree, MA

50 Braintree Hill Office Park, Suite 410,
Braintree, MA 02184

Boston, MA

75-101 Federal Street
Boston, MA 02110

Tel: (617) 479-5000
Tel: (888) 841-4850
Fax: (617) 479-6469

Quincy, MA

Crown Colony Plaza
300 Crown Colony Drive, Suite 410
P.O. Box 9126
Quincy, MA 02169-9126

© 2023 Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP. All Rights Reserved. Website by Interactive Palette