Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP Attorney Appointed to Two Massachusetts Bar Association Committees
Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP is proud to announce that an attorney within the Firm, Vineesha Sow, has accepted the invitation to serve on two of the Massachusetts Bar Association’s (MBA) committees. Last year, Ms. Sow was invited to serve on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee for the MBA, and has since been invited to serve for another year on the committee. This Committee focuses on supporting the MBA in its mission to transform the Commonwealth’s legal community into a diverse, inclusive and equitable profession, and overall to hold the MBA community accountable for taking measures to that end. In addition, she received an invitation to sit on the Tiered Mentor Committee. This Committee is a new addition to the MBA created to oversee the Tiered Community Mentoring Program (TCM). Attorney Sow has been heavily involved with the TCM for the past few years. The TCM program provides mentorship to high school students in Boston, as well as undergraduates and law school students with a focus on building a diverse mentoring network. This program introduces high school students to college information, provides college students with details about the law school admission process and gives law students an inside look of the practice of law with their attorney mentors. Further, Attorney Sow participated in the MBA Leadership Academy in 2017. The Leadership Academy selects young attorneys that demonstrate leadership potential and attributes, and provides mentorship and education in hopes that attorneys dedicate themselves to leadership roles within the legal profession, including within the MBA.
Ms. Sow is an attorney in the firm’s Education Law and Special Education Law Groups. Prior to coming to Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, she held positions, representing indigent clients in special education matters, and providing mental health advocacy to children with complex mental health needs. As part of Ms. Sow’s work in education law she has provided several trainings in the areas of special education, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, school discipline and bullying/cyberbullying to medical and mental health professionals, public school districts, and community service agencies throughout Massachusetts. She has lectured at Harvard Law School and Boston College Law School on the topic of system-involved youth and the impact of special education and school discipline laws on this population. Ms. Sow is an Adjunct Professor at Bunker Hill Community College where she teaches Legal Research and Writing.
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
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.