Tag Archives: Health

Legal Aid Legislative Briefings at the Massachusetts State House

Earlier this week on Monday, February 10th, I spent the morning at the Massachusetts State House for the 13th Annual Civil Legal Aid Constituent Services Briefing.  Legal aid advocates from across the state spoke to leaders, aides, and state house staffers about issues that impact people.  Specifically, the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation brought in attorneys to focus on unemployment, the impact of the American Care Act on health care, housing, foreclosures, homelessness, domestic violence, and government benefits.  I have included a few pictures from the morning below.

Weyonnoh Nelson-Davies, Mehda Makhlouf, and I answering questions at the Community Legal Aid table at the State House.

Weayonnoh Nelson-Davies, Mehda Makhlouf, and I answering questions at the Community Legal Aid table at the State House.

Mehda Makhlouf talking about Medicare, Medicaid, MassHealth, Commonwealth Connector, and other health care items.

Mehda Makhlouf talking about Medicare, Medicaid, MassHealth, Commonwealth Connector, and other health care items.

Marc Potvin, from Neighborhood Legal Services, informing others about foreclosure law.

Marc Potvin, from Neighborhood Legal Services, informing others about foreclosure law.

Weayonnoh Nelson-Davies speaking about government benefits.

Weayonnoh Nelson-Davies speaking about government benefits.

In addition to meeting legislative staffers from offices based out of Worcester and Hampden County, I met Christine Lee who is a reporter for Channel 22 News.  I would just like to note that she was a lawyer before she became a journalist.  Follow her on Twitter at @christinenews .

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Supreme Court Rules DOMA Unconstitutional

The Supreme Court posted several decisions during the past few weeks.  This week the Justices posted the Voting Rights Act Decision, Proposition 8 Decision, and the Defense of Marriage Act Decision (DOMA).  Most notably, the Supreme Court held DOMA as unconstitutional.

Professor Sarah Boonin, the health law clinical professor at Suffolk University Law School, did a great write up about the DOMA Decision, what the decision means, what the decision really means, how it impacts her life, how it will impact the lives of others, and future litigation associated with the fall out from the case.  Read more about the big change in this Huffington Post article.

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New Year’s Resolutions and Estate Planning

With the New Year just around the corner, you may be putting together your list of New Year’s Resolutions.  If writing a will or estate planning is on your list, then check out these two blog posts by “The Probate Lawyer.”  This first blog post deals with five estate planning resolutions.  This second blog post deals with estate planning and the holiday season.  Notably, Attorney Kristen R. Testaverde advises individuals to review and update an estate plan every three to five years.  She also includes links to additional information on health care proxies and powers of attorney.  Check out her website here.

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Potential Repercussions: Lab Closes After Accusations of Evidence Tampering

This could be a prosecutor’s worst nightmare.  Earlier today the Hinton State Laboratory was closed due to allegations of evidence tampering.  This laboratory located in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts is under investigation by the Department of Public Health and the State Police.  Read more about the specific details here.

The fall out from this investigation will be severe.  Defense attorneys have already started questioning whether or not other drug evidence is tainted.  But, the investigation is still pending and the final results are unknown.

With one drug lab closed due to the allegations, the drug evidence from several counties will be analyzed out of a different drug lab in Sudbury, Massachusetts.  The closure could delay criminal drug cases because it will take longer to analyze evidence.

NECN listed a news broadcast about the matter available here.  The Boston Herald also published an article about the dilemma available here.

UPDATE 12/1/2013:

Former chemist, Annie Dookhan, was charged with obstruction of justice, perjury, and tampering with evidence in association with the above mentioned drug lab scandal.  On November 22, 2013, Dookhan was sentenced to three to five years in prison followed by two years probation in Suffolk Superior Court.  The chemist admitted guilt to faking drug test results and 27 other crimes.  Read more details about this case in this Huffington Post article, USA Today article, Boston Globe article, and Wall Street Journal article.

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Affordable Care Act Upheld as Constitutional

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is live blogging about the recent Affordable Care Act decision that was upheld as constitutional.  To access the SCOTUS Live Blog website, go here.  Here is a link to the full case decision.  If you do not want to read all 198 pages of National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, then CNN does a nice recap and condensed version about the key facts of the decision and how it impacts Americans.  CNN’s article is available here.

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