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A Backward Glance O'er Travel'd Roads

· False Claims Act,First Amendment,Anti-SLAPP,FINRA,Securities

We have to admit: 2017 was challenging.

But by keeping our nose to the grindstone and working - and whistling - our way past all the year's distractions, we pulled off some stunning victories, set new areas of caselaw, and opened new areas for our practice. Despite itself, 2017 was a landmark year for Cornell Dolan, P.C.

Here are some of the things we did:

  • In our First Amendment practice, representing the Vermont Press Association, VTDigger, The Caledonian Record, and Seven Days, we drafted an amici brief to the Vermont Supreme Court, arguing that when public officials communicate in their public capacity on their private email addresses, they are still subject to the Public Records Act. The Supreme Court agreed, in a wide-reaching opinion that will guide all officials from governor to selectman for years to come. A copy of the brief is available here.
  • We defeated a plaintiff's defamation suit against the largest non-profit news organization in the country, deploying an anti-SLAPP statute that stopped the action dead in its tracks and awarded us substantial attorneys' fees.
  • On the plaintiff's side of the First Amendment, working with famed defamation lawyer Charles Harder on behalf of entrepreneur and Senate candidate Shiva Ayyadurai, our litigation against Gawker settled. Our litigation against Techdirt is on appeal to the First Circuit, but has so far resulted in establishing new circuit caselaw that a California anti-SLAPP statute cannot reach a Massachusetts plaintiff who was injured in Massachusetts.
  • In our False Claims Act practice,  one of our cases resulted in criminal guilty pleas by two medical providers, who admitted paying kickbacks to a medical clinic. Some parts of the case have now expanded to include a major Massachusetts pharmaceutical corporation. Meanwhile, our case against Novartis and Genentech is ongoing.
  • In our Banking and Securities practice, we obtained a $2.3 million judgment for a client in a case involving a failed subdivision on Nantucket.
  • We favorably settled claims against an investment advisor who was sued for breach of fiduciary duty and other claims that threatened to close the company.
  • We also successfully resolved several pieces of Land Court litigation that cleared the way for a subdivision in Newburyport to be developed. We also settled an oil and gas pipeline case in West Virginia, after several years of litigation. And we advised a museum on the purchase of a $300,000 sculpture, as well as helped several startups get up, running.
  • In these uncertain times, we leveraged our experience to expand our roster of clients to include hedge funds, mortgage companies, political candidates, and software developers. All of this, while delivering outstanding performance for our existing client base.
We believe 2018 will bring even better results for our clients. We hope you have wonderful holidays and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year.
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