Philip G. Cormier has been practicing law since 1989, beginning with the firm of Silverglate, Gertner, Fine & Good, and most recently as a partner in the firm of Good & Cormier.
Mr. Cormier’s litigation practice in the state and federal courts is concentrated in the areas of criminal defense, the First Amendment, civil liberties and students’ rights. He has defended individuals and corporations charged with white collar offenses and street crimes, including securities fraud, tax fraud, FDA and EPA regulatory offenses, money laundering, currency transaction violations, larceny, embezzlement, drug offenses, motor vehicle homicide, firearms offenses, and murder. He has also represented individuals and clients in civil litigation involving commercial interests, taxation, and regulatory matters involving physicians and attorneys.
His First Amendment work involves a variety of cases in which the government and others have sought to restrict the free speech of individuals and organizations. Such cases have involved bans on commercial advertising deemed harmful to the general public, the censorship of sexually explicit television shows, and the imposition of sanctions on professors and students for their speech. He regularly represents students in plagiarism and disciplinary proceedings in secondary schools, colleges and universities, as well as in related court proceedings.
Mr. Cormier also has extensive experience with the use of DNA testing, forensic investigation, crime scene reconstruction, and mental health investigations in the defense of criminal cases.
In February 2015, he obtained a new trial for Michael Mims, who was convicted of first-degree murder, based on testimony given by a rewarded prosecution witness Robert Salie, who testified that Mr. Mims and his co-defendant Michael Cowels had washed up in his bathroom and had left behind bloody towels which evidenced their alleged participation in the murder of a young woman. DNA testing conducted post-trial determined that the bloody towels had no relationship whatsoever to Mims, Cowels or the murder victim. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that Salie’s testimony and the “bloody towels” were the linchpin of the prosecution’s case and that there was a substantial risk that the outcome of the trial would have been different had the DNA test results been available at the time of trial. Commonwealth v. Michael Cowels and Commonwealth v. Michael Mims, SJC Nos. 11630 & 11631 (Feb. 12, 2015), 2014 WL 7796433.
In 2003, Mr. Cormier obtained the reversal by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts of the conviction of his client Kareed Baker for first-degree murder, involving the death of Mr. Baker’s infant son, based on DNA and other forensic testing that was conducted at Mr. Cormier’s request. Commonwealth v. Kareed Baker, 440 Mass. 519 (2003).
Mr. Cormier was also responsible for overseeing post-conviction DNA testing for the defense in United States v. Jeffrey R. MacDonald, in which he and other lawyers are seeking to overturn Dr. MacDonald’s wrongful convictions for murder. Mr. Cormier and his partners were successful in re-opening Dr. MacDonald’s habeas corpus proceedings and obtained one of the first post-conviction DNA testing orders issued by a federal court.
Mr. Cormier and his firm also have extensive experience in the defense of computer crimes and in conducting computer forensic investigations which they have used to uncover exculpatory evidence beneficial to their clients.
Mr. Cormier is an adjunct faculty member at Boston University School of Law where he teaches the Wrongful Convictions Clinic.
Member: National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL).
Bar Admissions: Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Federal District of Massachusetts; United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit; United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; and, the United States Tax Court.
Education: Northeastern University, J.D., 1989; Bates College, B.A., 1983.