In The News

2012 Massachusetts Senate race, Looking for a Clean Fix December 14, 2012

Thomas Lesser, a partner at the law firm Lesser, Newman and Nasser in Northampton, was on the finance committees of Democratic President Barack Obama and Warren, and will be a member of Markey’s finance committee. Lesser said he thinks donors will respond as generously as in 2012 since there will be less competition for money. “There will be one race in Massachusetts in 2013, and people are going to recognize how important that race is going to be for President Obama’s agenda,”

Big box project is going to court, Anita Fritz Recorder Staff, Wednesday, January 16, 2013

“According to the Housing Court judge’s decision, Ceruzzi Inc. of Fairfield, Conn., will have the burden of showing the court that the project will not have a negative impact, especially concerning traffic, on the seven abutters who appealed the Planning Board’s decision to issue the developer a special permit for the project a year and a half ago. . . . Thomas Lesser of Lesser, Newman and Nasser of Northampton, the law firm representing the abutters, said he was happy with the decision, because it will give a fair hearing and trial to all involved.”

Bill of Rights Defense Committee hosting reception to mark tenth anniversary Daily Hampshire Gazette, September 19, 2012

Civil suit filed against suspect in student sex abuse case, Ned Oliver, Berkshire Eagle Staff, August 29, 2012

“A civil suit lodged against Berkshire Hills Regional School District earlier this month alleges administrators failed to take appropriate measures after students claimed they were sexually abused by Scott Muir, then a student center support coordinator at the Stockbridge Plain School in the early to mid-2000s. . . . Michael Aleo, a lawyer at Northampton firm Lesser, Newman and Nasser, which is reprinting the four women in the suit, said MCAD has jurisdiction over issues relating to sexual harassment and abuse in schools, though the victims could also file suit against the school district in state or federal court.”

Defense files motion to dismiss case against accused arsonist Anthony Baye, trial still on track to begin in May, Bob Dunn, Daily Hampshire Gazette, January 23, 2013

“One of Baye’s defense lawyers, Thomas Lesser of Northampton, said in an interview that the motion to dismiss is based on what he said is a lack of evidence connecting Baye to the fires and ‘inflammatory’ evidence about so-called ‘prior bad acts’ having been introduced to the grand jury to help secure an indictment.”

Hampden Superior Court Justice Richard Carey denies preliminary injunction against Holyoke's needle exchange program, George Graham, The Republican, November 29, 2012

“William Newman, director of the American Civil Liberties’s Western Massachusetts Legal Office, said he expected the challenge to the needle exchange program to go forward. ‘We see this ruling as a vindication of the importance of needle exchange to public health,’ he said.”

Is the Justice System Criminal?, March 2013

Bill Newman has directed the Western Regional Law Office of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts since 1987. Among the numerous civil rights cases for which he has provided legal counsel, he served on the defense team of Jason Vassell, who in 2010 was charged with stabbing two intruders in his UMass Amherst dorm room, but was later set free.

Judge rules for adult business, Susan Spencer Telegram & Gazette, March 24, 2012

“U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV granted summary judgment for Showtime Entertainment LLC, owned by George and Christopher Funari, who argued that the zoning bylaw, which the Board of Selectmen required the business to comply with when it granted a license in May 2010 for a strip club, violated the Constitution by giving the Zoning Board “unbridled discretion in deciding whether to grant the special permit.””

Lawyer encourages Conway Selectboard to use trust for pool improvements

A local lawyer is encouraging the Selectboard to use trust fund money to make the Conway swimming pool accessible to children with disabilities. “In the case of the Conway Community Swimming Pool, it is the physical barrier of access to the water’s edge that has denied these children, for more than 50 years, the ability to be part of one of the best things available in Conway,” said Thomas Lesser, in a Feb. 19 letter to the Selectboard.

Looking for a Clean Fix, December 14, 2012

Attorney John J. O’Neill, a former city councilor, took the council’s case pro bono. In October O’Neill filed an injunction against the needle exchange on the behalf of Jourdain and six other city councilors. The Board of Health, Tapestry Health and Mayor Alex B. Morse were named as defendants in the suit. William C. Newman, director of the Western Massachusetts office of the American Civil Liberties Union, represented Tapestry. On Oct. 25, a hearing was held in Hampden Superior Court to halt operation of the needle exchange. O’Neill argued that allowing the program to continue violates the public interest by denying elected officials their right to vote on the needle exchange. Newman countered that city officials acted within their powers when they implemented the program without approval of the city council.

Making news in business, Daily Hampshire Gazette, November 18, 2012

“All three partners at the law firm of Lesser, Newman & Nasser have been named in the annual New England edition of Super Lawyers. William C. Newman practices in the area of civil rights and First Amendment law. Thomas Lesser practices in the area of plaintiff’s personal injury. Merry L. Nasser practices in the areas of alternative dispute resolution and mediation. Nasser was also named Family Lawyer of the Year for the Springfield area by Best Lawyers in America 2012. Lesser, Newman & Nasser has been named a Best Law Firm in the area of family law in the 2013 U.S. News Best Lawyers rankings.”

President’s hug a reward for fundraiser Tom Lesser, Daily Hampshire Gazette, Ben Storrow, November 8, 2012

“Tom Lesser got his start working on political campaigns in the Pioneer Valley, volunteering for friends running for state representative or district attorney in Franklin and Hampshire counties. On Tuesday, he ended this year’s campaign season with a hug from President Barack Obama. . . .”

Senator Warren Announces Advisory Committee on Massachusetts Judicial Nominations, March 1, 2013

BOSTON – Today, Senator Elizabeth Warren announced the appointment of an Advisory Committee on Massachusetts judicial nominations to solicit, interview, and comment on applications for federal District Court vacancies in Springfield and Boston. Warren will review the work of the Committee and will ultimately recommend judicial nominees to President Obama. . . . Applications for the Boston vacancy will be reviewed by Massachusetts attorneys Pamela Berman, Jack Corrigan, Marianne LeBlanc, Willard P. Ogburn, and Walter Prince, and applications for the Springfield vacancy will be reviewed by Massachusetts attorneys Mike Jennings, Tom Lesser, Jennifer Levi, John Pucci, and Katherine Robertson.

The 9 O'Clock Show - With Bill Newman

Join Bill Newman weekdays at 9AM as he talks with local newsmakers about the issues of the day in Hampshire and Franklin Counties.

Western Massachusetts ACLU lawyer says Northampton officials' request for student handwriting samples in high school threat case is 'forced free speech,' Conor Berry, The Republican, January 13, 2013

“The director of the Western Massachusetts Legal Office of the American Civil Liberties Union (William Newman) said using statements that were written and signed by Northampton High School students as possible evidence in a criminal investigation raises constitutional concerns.”

“Misclassified” worker can file third-party suit under aiding, abetting theory, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Eric T. Berkman, December 8, 2011

“A truck driver who brought a purported class action alleging that companies he worked for had violated state and federal wage laws by misclassifying drivers as independent contractors could also sue a management-services firm for providing the companies with independent contractor forms, a U.S. District Court judge has ruled.”