Appellate Advocacy

High-level appellate advocacy requires sound strategy, crisp writing and deft argumentation. That is what Hemenway & Barnes provides with its team of experienced appellate litigators.

We are known and respected advocates in the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Appeals Court, and we have prevailed in precedent-setting cases in state and federal appellate courts throughout the country. Our practice includes representation in a wide range of civil appellate issues – both on cases that we have handled since day one and on those referred to us after an earlier proceeding.

Hemenway & Barnes attorneys have prevailed in appellate cases involving the following subject matters:

  • High-stakes business and contractual disputes
  • Federal and state constitutional issues involving speech, religion, taxation, and a variety of governmental action
  • Complex land use and real estate matters
  • Tax and real estate valuations
  • Issues uniquely affecting nonprofit and religious organizations
  • State administrative decisions, including those made by the Appellate Tax Board and state licensing authorities

Amicus Curiae

Hemenway & Barnes also crafts appellate briefs on behalf of third parties who are interested in the outcome of an appeal (known as amicus curiae). Well-crafted amicus curiae briefs share a broader perspective with the court, and ensure that the court has the opportunity to consider how its decision will affect stakeholders who are not parties to the case. Our attorneys have drafted and filed such briefs on behalf of prominent nonprofit and religious organizations, senior federal and state government officials, and industry and trade associations.

Representative Experience

  • Successfully argued before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) on behalf of a diverse coalition of voters that ballot initiatives seeking to classify certain gig workers as independent contractors failed to meet the related subjects requirement of art. 48 of the Massachusetts Constitution. The SJC agreed and ruled that the Attorney General should not have certified the ballot initiatives. El Koussa v. Attorney General, Mass., No. SJC-13237
  • Obtained a favorable ruling from the Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of our client, McLean Hospital, clarifying the education use exemption under the Dover Amendment. The McLean Hospital Corporation v. Town of Lincoln
  • Successfully represented a doctor in her breach of contract lawsuit against a healthcare company after it withdrew its contracted institutional support for her grant-funded cancer program. The Supreme Judicial Court ruled in favor of our client and affirmed a $10.2 million judgment. Hlatky v. Steward Health Care System LLC
  • Represented a religious organization in the successful challenge to a city’s attempt to tax real estate used for religious purposes, providing definitive guidance on the scope of the tax exemption for “houses of religious worship,” in Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette v. Bd. of Assessors of Attleboro, 476 Mass. 690 (2017).
  • Represented a charitable foundation in a major litigation matter involving breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealings, resulting in a favorable decision from the Supreme Judicial Court and a $45 million judgment for the nonprofit. Robert and Ardis James Foundation v. Meyers 474 Mass.181 (2016)
  • Successfully challenged the constitutionality of Cleveland’s method of taxing professional athletes before the Ohio Supreme Court in Hillenmeyer v. Cleveland Bd. of Rev., 41 N.E.3d 1164 (Ohio 2015) and Saturday v. Cleveland Bd. of Rev., 33 N.E.3d 46 (Ohio 2015).
  • Obtained a favorable judgment from the Supreme Judicial Court granting a college permission to sell land conveyed in trust under the doctrines of reasonable deviation and cy pres.
  • Successfully defended a nursing home redevelopment from a zoning challenge in Welch-Philippino v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals of Newburyport, 86 Mass. App. Ct. 258 (2014).
  • Successfully appealed a summary judgment in a will contest between three of a decedent’s children and the decedent’s second wife.

Team Spotlights

Jennifer Grace Miller

Jennifer Grace Miller is counsel and co-chair of the Government & Election Law Group at Hemenway & Barnes.

News & Resources

Firm News
Pennsylvania Appeals Court Rules “Jock Tax” Is Unconstitutional
Firm News
Kevin Freytag Joins Hemenway & Barnes as Counsel in the Litigation Group
Firm News
Watch Jennifer Grace Miller’s Argument Before the Supreme Judicial Court

SJC Affirms $10 Million Judgment in Breach of Contract Lawsuit

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in favor of Hemenway & Barnes’ client Dr. Lynn Hlatky in a breach of contract lawsuit against Steward Health Care System LLC and affirmed a $10 million judgment in the matter of Hlatky v. Steward Health Care System LLC.

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