Democracy, Defamation, and Defining the Right to Petition: Slapping Some Sense into Anti-SLAPP Litigation

When I began drafting my Note, “See Ya in Boston, Bruh”: Making the Link Between the Right to Petition, Activism, and the Massachusetts Anti-SLAPP Statute, in September 2017, democracy was in the midst of a decade-long global recession. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, the United States’ democratic status was particularly precarious. Plagued by high levels of distrust in political institutions and low levels of political participation, the United States dropped in rank from a full democracy to a flawed democracy—joining the ranks of over fifty countries, including Guatemala, Thailand, and Sierra Leone. Read More

After Mueller: A High Crimes and Misdemeanors (But Not Necessarily an Impeachment) Investigation

In the wake of Special Counsel Mueller’s largely uneventful testimony late last July, no one can envy House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s impeachment dilemma. Presented with ample evidence of offenses justifying President Trump’s removal (the appalling violations of immigrants’ human rights are alone sufficient) she also knows that no matter what he has done, or how compelling the evidence offered against him, Mitch McConnell’s Senate will never vote to remove this President from office. Read More

The Family Resolutions Specialty Court: Hampshire Probate and Family Court’s New Legal Pathway for Families in Litigation

Families in the midst of a divorce, separation, or post-divorce legal process don’t usually thrive in a hostile, polarized, legalistic environment as they carve out a pathway to the new lives they’ve chosen. In its focus on “you versus me,” the adversarial atmosphere very often poisons any chance for the parents to achieve a collaborative coparenting relationship. Read More

Seeing Commonwealth v. Gerhardt in Action

I found myself in district court last week—it was a trial readiness day, and so the room was abuzz with attorneys trying to broker pleas and argue motions in anticipation of the trials that would be held within the next few days. Generally, the motions were heard without incident. The court allowed countless motions to “exclude the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test,” “sequester the witnesses,” and “keep out the defendant’s breath test refusal” without even an objection from the Commonwealth. Read More

Statement of Bruce Miller to the Committee on Public Health

For the past eight years, I have been working with the Massachusetts Campaign Against Torture, a citizens’ group dedicated to ending the involvement of health care providers, particularly psychologists, in the torture and abusive treatment of prisoners and detainees. I’m grateful to the Joint Committee on Public Health for its careful consideration of Senate Bill No. 1194 and House Bill No. 1149, which would prohibit such involvement by Massachusetts licensed professionals, and for the opportunity to speak in support of these important Bills. Read More