Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP Advisory Board Members Take Strong Stand

Dr. Desmond is a former chair of the MA Board of Higher Education for eight years, recent recipient of the MLK Living Legacy Award from UMass Boston for his continued work of social justice and racial equality, recipient of the silver and bronze start for valor, and presently serves as the CEO of Inversant, the largest parent-centered children’s saving account initiative in the Commonwealth. Dr. Desmond was also featured in Tom Brokaw’s book “Boom”.
Tom Jorling co-drafted the Clean Air of 1970 and the Clean Water Act of 1972, both Acts sponsored by Senators Muskie, Eagleton Cooper and Baker. These laws have formed the cornerstone of national efforts to keep our environment sustainable. Mr. Jorling has extensive experience working with environmental challenges. He was the original deputy director of the environmental agency that served three presidents, the environmental head state of New York under Governor Mario Cuomo, the head of environmental studies at Williams College for 17 years and was Vice President of environmental affairs for International Paper for ten years.


January 6, 2021 marked a day in American history that no one imagined happening: a modern-day civil war riot. The attack on the Capitol has left many people angry, worried, and confused. Thomas Jorling and Charles Desmond, two members from the Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP advisory board and highly respected experts in their respective fields, worked together to write a brief essay in response to the recent attack on the Capitol.




The virulent attack by the President of the United States and his Congressional enablers, especially Senators Hawley and Cruz, on our recent election and election process represents more than just an attack on the keystone of our democracy: It is an attack on the some of the best of our people; the thousands upon thousands of Americans who, in the precincts and wards, cities and towns, villages and counties, rural, urban and suburban, all over this country, carry out the often thankless task of running free and fair elections.


These dedicated individuals, many of whom are volunteers, check voter registration lists, distribute and oversee collection ballots, monitor the physical security of the ballot boxes and machines, and count ballots, all with a profound sense of the critical importance of the process. Unlike the President and his enablers, these workers, and the thousands who stood on line for hours to exercise the right to vote, revere our Constitution and the central role free and fair elections play in assuring the future of this country we call the United States of America. These patriotic citizens do not seek recognition, they consider it their civic duty to assist in ensuring that each federal, state, or local election adds to the promise of government by, of, and for the people.


The accusations of Trump, Hawley, and Cruz and too many of their colleagues, privileged people placed in positions by the very process they attack, are contemptible accusations against the unsung, noble, and honorable citizens who believe deeply in and carry out the nuts and bolts of our democratic system. The arrogance of these people to falsely criticize the individuals who conduct our election process is deeply erosive of the fabric of American society. Yes, the President should be removed from office, but that is not enough. After considering expulsion from the Senate, Hawley and Cruz and Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan, Steve Scalise, and others in the House of Representatives fomenting insurrection by seeking to overturn our election must be censured in the strongest possible terms for their unfounded and egregious attack, not just on our democracy but on the thousands of American citizens, our neighbors, who carry out our election system. Those seditionists who have belittled and endangered them must be held accountable and brought to justice.


So who are the patriots? The patriots are the citizens of this wonderful country who do the hard work day in and day out that enables our beloved country to be the beacon of light for the world. Let us all join in supporting them and showing our appreciation for their work by doing our part.


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Legal Updates


On August 12, 2022, Governor Charlie Baker signed S. 3096, “An act relative to equity in the cannabis industry,” (“Act”) into law. The Act reforms Massachusetts’s existing marijuana laws, particularly with respect to host community agreements (“HCAs”), community impact fees (“CIFs”), and social consumption sites (e.g. marijuana cafes). The Act empowers the Cannabis Control Commission (“Commission”), the state regulatory agency, to exert greater control over HCAs and their CIFs. Municipalities levy CIFs on cannabis businesses to account for the costs they impose on the municipality as a result of their operations. Additionally, the Act allows municipalities to permit on-premises social consumption of marijuana at designated sites. Other notable provisions of the Act include the new Social Equity Trust Fund (“Trust Fund”), changes to the tax law regarding cannabis businesses, and various provisions concerning those persons and communities most impacted by the prior illegality of marijuana usage and sale. Governor Baker vetoed only one section of the final bill: the provision calling on the state to conduct a study of medical marijuana usage in schools.

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