Legal Counsel that is Unswerving. Commanding. Convincing. Operating Under the Influence
As Seen on Court TV's
"Best Defense"
Drug Charges
Legal Expert to Boston Media Sex Offenses
We Don't Just Represent You;
We Rescue You.
Domestic Violence

In my previous post on this subject, I wrote of how the only sex crime prosecution to date against Bill Cosby, may be ultimately derailed.

The reason has to do with an agreement that the previous Montgomery County District Attorney, Bruce Castor, made with Cosby’s attorneys, over ten years ago.  Then agreement promised not to prosecute Mr. Cosby for what is essentially the crime of indecent assault & battery in connection with allegations made by a woman named Andrea Constand.  Mr. Castor says that he agreed not to prosecute Mr. Cosby, in order to increase Ms. Constand’s chances of prevailing in a civil suit against Mr. Cosby for damages relating to the alleged incident. Continue reading

Up until very recently, it looked as though Bill Cosby’s legal luck had run out; that the celebrity actor was finally going to face prosecution for at least one allegation of rape and sexual assault.  That case stems out of Pennsylvania, and involves an alleged victim named Andrea Constand, who told police in 2005 that Cosby drugged her and then sexually assaulted her at his home in  Pennsylvania in 2004.   At that time, the former Montgomery County District Attorney, a man named Bruce Castor Castor, determined that there was not enough evidence to charge Cosby, but stated in a press release that  all parties to this matter that he will reconsider this decision should the need arise.”

Fast forward ten years, and just last month, December 2015, Cosby was legally charged for the first time, even though almost 50 women have come forward claiming that over decades of time, Cosby drugged, then sexually abused and /or raped them.  The specific crime that Cosby was charged with in Pennsylavnia in December was indecent aggravated assault, involving Andrea Constand’s 2005 allegations against Cosby.   So it looked as though the law had finally caught up with the entertainer.  But some interesting events over just the last few days may imperil that case being prosecuted. Continue reading

There’s been a lot of talk lately, across the country and in Massachusetts also, about whether or not police patrol officers and other law enforcement personnel should wear body cameras.   This debate has been fueled, of course, by allegations of police brutality & police misconduct, and the resulting lawsuits, following the shooting of minority defendants in various incidents across the country.

As a Boston criminal defense attorney, it’s my professional opinion that this is a great idea:  It provides both suspects as well as police officers an objective method of proof as to what did and did not occur in any given situation:  If an arrested suspect or a suspect who has been shot by police has been the victim of unnecessary force, there will be an objective source of evidence to prove it.  If a police officer has not used excessive force or otherwise done anything legally or procedurally prohibited by law or Department regulations, that can also be proven, immediately.  Forget the talking heads on the cable news shows.  Forget the endless blathering by those who make their careers on race-baiting and inflammatory accusations (I don’t have to name names here, do I?).  Forget the shout-fests on both liberal and conservative “news” channels.  The objective evidence will be right there – and it won’t lie. Continue reading

As I write this post, Thanksgiving Day is winding down. Another exercise in mad dashes and massive traffic jams, to get together to give thanks for what we have. (Though most people use it as an excuse to gorge themselves, watch football, and avoid arguments with family members.) Regardless, if you got through this day unscathed from any of the above risks, I’m afraid you may not be in the clear just yet.

Not if you plan on joining the mad throngs descending on the retailers who run “Black Friday” sales. Black Friday, of course, is so named for the fact that the sales volumes typically racked up at large retailers on this day, create large profits leaving these stores “in the black” –earning profits – instead of “in the red” – losing profits. But aside from accounting jargon, this day should be called black for another good reason: The dark, disturbed impulses it brings out in so many people – in the name of “getting a good deal” on some ridiculous material purchase (did someone say the latest iPhone? 60” Flat screen TV?) Continue reading

Police Department records are public documents. Though not everyone knows that, many people do. That’s a good thing, because, for obvious reasons, we wouldn’t want Police Departments to operate in secrecy. Not only do police departments keep their daily logs public – which are abbreviated, digested descriptions of police activity, they must also make the full records of those incidents, which are much lengthier than a simple log entry, public upon request.

So you’d think that the same laws would apply to Massachusetts college & university campus police departments, right? If you said “yes,” you’d be wrong. Continue reading

Yesterday, the Boston Globe reported on a murder that almost certainly could have been prevented, involving a domestic violence call that Boston Police Department officers had responded to a year ago, in November 2014.  This story has cause a lot of concerns among the public about the effectiveness of restraining orders, that I’d like to address today.

The BPD officers who responded to the call, reportedly did not check to see whether the victim had previously been previously granted an Abuse Prevention Order (restraining order) against her boyfriend.  Doing so is the first order of business when police officers respond to calls of domestic abuse.  Instead, the officers removed the boyfriend from the apartment, and dropped him off at a detox center.  A day later, that person murdered the victim, who previously had, in fact, taken out a restraining order against him.  If the officers had checked this out as protocol requires, they would have arrested that person, immediately.  To be fair, both the victim and the accused were reportedly extremely intoxicated at the scene, and in no condition to convey accurate information to the officers.   Regardless, the officers could have checked for this information, with a simple call to their dispatcher. Continue reading

Here in Massachusetts, we’ve got a serious problem involving heroin use. A lot of deaths have resulted, and clearly, we need to address this problem. No one, including myself, disputes that.

But you can rely on government to step in and largely botch the potential solutions to a given problem. Entirely unproductive efforts, misguided approaches and hundreds of billions of dollars of wasted taxpayer money have been the combined legacy of this country’s utter and abject failure to address drug use that is harmful. For the past 40+ years, the federal and state governments have dramatically called this effort, the “War on Drugs.” And it has been no more effective than the “War on Poverty.” (Look around you, if you doubt that.)

The most recent, and here in Massachusetts, most local example of this wasted and misdirected energy to address the heroin epidemic in Massachusetts? Gov. Charlie Baker’s recent proposal to limit the amount of painkillers that doctors can prescribe for patients, a product of his “Opioid Working Group,” which he assembled to “tackle” the heroin epidemic in Massachusetts. As part of his grand plan, Gov. Baker would step in between the privacy of doctors and patients, and actually prevent doctors from writing prescriptions for pain medications beyond a very small number of pills (maximum of 72 hour supply,) for seriously injured and ill patients, suffering from severe pain.

Continue reading

“Deja Vu, all over again.” I don’t mean for that quote from the late Yogi Berra to be humorous here. I’m talking about yet another mass shooting, this time in Oregon. Ten people killed, seven wounded. For me, as Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer, one of the scariest things about this latest massacre, is this: Here in Boston, this story didn’t even make the Headline on the front page of yesterday’s Boston Globe. It was on the front page, but it wasn’t the headlined story: Another, local story did. That’s how common and relatively un-shocking this type of violence has become.

And once again, the pro-gun control/gun rights advocates will begin the shouting sessions and the finger-pointing at each other. The script never changes; it likely never will. Our country and its elected officials must get beyond this tired, cyclical debate marked by catch phrases such as “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” and ask a far more fundamental question:

Why has this country become such a savage, violent society?

Continue reading

Boston Fox TV25 has reported that a Brewster, Mass., woman has been fired for her job — for testing positive for marijuana use — even though she has a completely legal prescription from her doctor, to treat a serious disease that she has. That disease is Crohn’s Disease, a gastrointestinal ulceration disease which is extremely painful and difficult to live with.

The fired employee, a Cristina Barbuto, is not (apparently) being charged with a crime, and at present this is an employment law case, not a criminal prosecution. But as a Boston Massachusetts drug offense attorney, I can assure you that she may as well be accused of being a criminal. That this employer, Advantage Sales & Marketing LLC, would do this, is beyond embarassing to them: It is shameful that someone who has a legitimate medical ailment, and who has been given a legitimate medical prescription for treating that ailment, should lose her job, effectively branded as a “drug use violator.” While the law that made medical marijuana legal in Massachusetts over two years, overwhelmingly supported by a vast majority of Massachusetts citizens, doesn’t mandate that employers allow employees who have a valid cannabis prescription to take it while at work, the law clearly does not prohibit authorized employees from using at when not at work.

Continue reading

I grew up just down the street from Boston University, on Crowninshield Road in Brookline, Mass. Every late August and early September, I would watch as thousands of “grown ups,” as I thought of them in those much younger years of my life, swarmed Commonwealth Avenue and North Brookline, in the annual ritual of a new academic year. (Those “grown ups,” of course, were students aged 18-22 years old, an index of just how much time has passed in my life.) At any rate, I never thought much more of what their lives consisted of, than studying. How near-sighted of me – but then again, I was maybe 10-15 years old.

Practicing law as a Boston criminal defense attorney over the past 25 years, I’ve seen a very different side of a typical university student’s life. It doesn’t just include classes, student clubs, and exams. It also includes several activities that can often lead to unexpected outcomes – and that can land a student before university disciplinary authorities, or even worse – arrested and charged with a variety of criminal offenses. Many of these are offenses that can jeopardize a young person’s college financial aid package, enrollment at school, and even their entire future. These offenses can include allegations of student rape and sexual assault, various Massachusetts drug offenses, property crimes such as larceny, as well as serious Massachusetts motor vehicle violations.

Continue reading