Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP Announces “We Are Growing”


Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP is delighted to announce that we are expanding our litigation, labor & employment, and corporate practice areas. The successful expansion of these practice areas comes with the ability to add new associate attorneys to the MHTL team and work on expanding even more. MHTL is pleased to welcome our newest associate attorneys, Madison Harris-Parks and Brett Cavanaugh.


Madison Harris-Parks graduated cum laude from Boston University School of Law in May 2021, and joined the firm in the fall of 2022. Prior to joining MHTL, Ms. Harris-Parks clerked for Justice Robert Brennan of the Massachusetts Appeals Court. As a law clerk, she also had the opportunity to work with the Appeals Court Clerk’s Office and multiple Justices handling petitions brought through the Court’s single justice practice. During law school, Ms. Harris-Parks gained valuable litigation experience while interning with the Solicitor’s Office of the U.S. Department of Labor, the Trial Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, and the Housing Division of Harvard’s Legal Services Center. She served as a Managing Editor of BU Law’s Public Interest Law Journal, a Fellow for BU Law’s first-year writing program, and a research assistant. Prior to law school, Ms. Harris-Parks graduated from the University of Florida with Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Sociology. Ms. Harris-Parks is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She will be working primarily in MHTL’s expanding labor & employment and litigation practice areas.


Brett R. Cavanaugh graduated cum laude from Boston College Law School in May 2022, and also joined MHTL in the fall of 2022. Prior to law school, Mr. Cavanaugh received both his Bachelor of Arts and his Master of Education from the University of Notre Dame, and worked in education for the following six years, including four years as a middle school math and social studies teacher. During law school, Mr. Cavanaugh was a legal intern with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and worked as a summer law clerk at a labor and employment firm in Boston. He also provided legal and business training to aspiring entrepreneurs through a clinic serving formerly incarcerated individuals. In addition, he interned with the Boston College Athletic Department where he assisted with compliance matters, and he gained in-house counsel experience at Spartan Race in Boston. Moreover, he served as the president of the St. Thomas More Society and provided legal services at a detention center in Karnes City, Texas during the spring. Given his first-hand experience in education, Mr. Cavanaugh’s practice will focus primarily in the education and special education practice areas, as well as labor and employment.

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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.

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