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Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP’s Two New Partners

  Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP is pleased to announce Attorneys Peter McNulty and Karis North’s promotion to Partner. MHTL is proud to have Attorneys McNulty and North as dedicated members of the firm. Mr. McNulty is one of the firm’s lead attorneys in...

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.

The U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies and Updates the Standard for Religious Accommodations Case Overview

On June 29, 2023, in a unanimous decision, the United States Supreme Court redefined how employers must evaluate religious accommodation requests under federal law. In Groff v. LeJoy, Postmaster General, the Court heard a civil rights challenge under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Mr. Groff, an Evangelical Christian, and a former postal worker residing in rural southeast Pennsylvania, asserted that the United States Postal Service (USPS) impacted his ability to observe his Sunday Sabbath as a religious day of rest because they required him to work certain Sundays. The USPS denied Groff’s request for an accommodation to not work on Sundays and began to progressively discipline Groff for his continuing refusal to do so. In light of an expected termination from employment, Groff instead resigned and then brought suit against the USPS alleging violation of Title VII for failing to accommodate his religious beliefs.

THE SUPREME COURT ENDS AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IN HIGHER EDUCATION

On June 29, 2023, the Supreme Court of the United States (the “Court”) issued its decision in the twin cases of Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina (collectively, “Students for Fair Admissions, Inc.”). In a majority opinion authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Court found that Harvard College’s (“Harvard”) and the University of North Carolina’s (“UNC”) race-based admissions programs violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (the “EP Clause”) of the United States Constitution. This decision ends the Court’s established, though always uneasy, acceptance of affirmative action in higher education and stands to dramatically alter college admissions across the country.

Latest News

Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP’s Two New Partners

  Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP is pleased to announce Attorneys Peter McNulty and Karis North’s promotion to Partner. MHTL is proud to have Attorneys McNulty and North as dedicated members of the firm. Mr. McNulty is one of the firm’s lead attorneys in corporate and real estate law. Ms. North is one of the firm’s lead attorneys in the municipal practice department. Congratulations to both Attorneys McNulty and North.   Formerly corporate counsel at a large Massachusetts Community Read More

Legal Updates

Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP’s Two New Partners

  Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP is pleased to announce Attorneys Peter McNulty and Karis North’s promotion to Partner. MHTL is proud to have Attorneys McNulty and North as dedicated members of the firm. Mr. McNulty is one of the firm’s lead attorneys in corporate and real estate law. Ms. North is one of the firm’s lead attorneys in the municipal practice department. Congratulations to both Attorneys McNulty and North.   Formerly corporate counsel at a large Massachusetts Community Read More

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