Good Schneider Cormier, Attorneys at Law
White Collar Investigations and Preventing Criminal Prosecutions
- In Re Real Estate Development Firm. Our clients were the principals of a real estate development firm who had hired a certified public accountant as its Chief Financial Officer. The accountant turned out to be a criminal who embezzled money from the firm and committed other criminal acts. After GSC attorneys exposed the accountant, the prosecutor declined to prosecute our clients and we were able to recover money stolen by the accountant.
- In Re Cruise Ship’s Oily Water Discharges in Violation of APPS and MARPOL. Our client, the chief engineer of a cruise line ship, was accused of oil-contaminated discharges at sea in violation of the federal Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) and the International Convention to Prevent Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). GSC attorneys conducted an investigation, our client was not prosecuted, and the cruise line entered into a civil settlement with the government.
- In Re Sale of Adulterated Medical Devices. Our client, the Chief Scientific Officer for an international medical device company, along with other employees, was subjected to a federal grand jury investigation for the alleged sale of adulterated medical devices in violation of the Food Drug and Cosmetics Act (FDCA). GSC attorneys, working with the corporation’s outside counsel, conducted an investigation, and with the assistance of technical experts, demonstrated to the government that the devices at issue were not adulterated. The government declined to prosecute our client.
- In Re Off-Label Marketing of Prescription Drugs. Our client, the head of marketing at an international pharmaceutical company, was the subject of an investigation based on allegations of off-label marketing of a prescription drug in violation of the Food Drug and Cosmetics Act (FDCA) and FDA regulations. GSC lawyers worked with corporate counsel to develop a defense to the allegations and prevented any charges from being lodged against our client.
- In Re Revenue Recognition Fraud. Our client, the former Chief Operating Officer of a major international technology company, was charged with violations of federal securities laws arising from alleged revenue recognition fraud. After a four-week trial in which the jury acquitted our client on one count and hung on other counts, GSC lawyers prevented the re-prosecution of our client on the remaining counts of the indictment by obtaining dismissal of the case on double jeopardy grounds.
- United States v. DL (1994) – Computer Crimes. Our client was a college student accused of conspiracy to commit wire fraud by using a computer bulletin board to facilitate copying of copyrighted computer software. In an effort to outlaw computer-related activity that Congress had not criminalized, the federal government engaged in an unsupported interpretation of the wire fraud statute. The District Court dismissed the indictment on the grounds that the government failed to allege conduct that constituted a crime. The ruling was upheld by the First Circuit Court of Appeals. In response, Congress amended the criminal copyright statute to criminalize the conduct.
Appeals and Post-Conviction Representation in Complex Federal Cases
- United States v. ZW (2013). Our client was a Chinese businessman accused of violating the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and the US Munitions List (USML). GSC lawyers, working with Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, argued on appeal that the US State Department’s decision to regulate the items after they were exported violated our client’s constitutional right to fair notice and against ex post facto rulemaking. Based on our arguments, the First Circuit reversed our client’s most serious conviction, leading to a substantial reduction in his sentence.
- United States v. LL (1993). Our client, a regulatory compliance manager, was indicted for conspiracy and other substantive felony violations of the Food Drug and Cosmetics Act (FDCA) involving allegations that our client and others had intentionally distributed adulterated medical devices (heart catheters) that were used in patients without obtaining necessary FDA approval. The case was tried before a federal jury where our client and several others were convicted. On appeal, the conviction was reversed and the case was later resolved by a plea to a misdemeanor offense.
Plagiarism and Academic and Scientific Misconduct
- In Re W, a Scientist Accused of Research Misconduct. Our client was a scientific researcher accused of research misconduct by an Ivy League investigative panel for fabricating a series of images. GSC attorneys prepared a careful analysis of the sequence of events and determined that there were innocent reasons for anomalies in the data that were the result of honest error and that were subject to different interpretations. As a result, the scientist was exonerated of all accusations.
- Avoidance of Retraction from High-Impact Science Journal. Our client, a researcher, was contacted by the editors of a high-impact journal and wrongly accused of falsifying and fabricating data. The journal threatened our client with a career-damaging retraction. GSC lawyers worked with the researcher and with counsel for the journal’s editors to resolve the matter without a retraction.
- The Harvard Cheating Scandal (2012). GSC attorneys represented undergraduate students accused, along with over 100 other undergraduate students, in collaborating on a final take-home examination in an introductory government class. While the university imposed probationary periods and suspensions on many students, GSC attorneys worked with other area attorneys to reveal how the university’s practices and the professor’s mixed signals to the students contributed to the problem.
University and College Student Disciplinary Matters
- In Re Harvard Undergraduate Accused of Sexual Misconduct. Our client was a Harvard undergraduate who was wrongly accused of sexual misconduct on campus. GSC attorneys counseled the student and helped him present a strong case to the Office for Sexual and Gender–Based Dispute Resolution (ODR). After an exhaustive investigation, the ODR agreed to take no action on the case.
Murder and Serious Criminal Offenses Charged in the Massachusetts Courts
- Commonwealth v. MM (2015). Our client and a co-defendant were convicted of first degree murder, arising from the stabbing of a young woman in Chelsea, Massachusetts in 1993. GSC lawyers conducted post-trial DNA testing on a critical piece of evidence that purportedly linked the defendants to the crime. After briefing and oral argument by GSC lawyers, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court vacated our client’s conviction.
- Commonwealth v. PE (2011). Our client was wrongfully accused of failing to obtain timely medical care for her dying two-year old daughter. GSC attorneys represented her on appeal after she had been found guilty of murder. On appeal, we argued that new evidence demonstrated that she nothing to do with her daughter’s tragic death. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court overturned the murder conviction, and our client was released from prison.
- Commonwealth v. Doe (2008). Our client was indicted in the Massachusetts Superior Court for kidnapping, threatening, and intimidating a witness based on allegations made by a friend of our client’s spouse. Our client vehemently denied the allegations. GSC lawyers conducted an investigation and uncovered evidence that the friend had made false allegations against our client because he had been in a romantic relationship with our client’s spouse and was motivated to testify falsely at trial. The case was dismissed when the evidence was disclosed to the District Attorney’s Office.
- Commonwealth v. KB (2003). Our client had been convicted at trial of first-degree murder for the death of his infant son. GSC attorneys worked with forensic experts to conduct mitochondrial DNA testing and other forensic analysis that proved our client had been wrongfully convicted, and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court vacated his conviction.
- Commonwealth v. CB (2005). Our client, a college student, was investigated by the Massachusetts State Police for motor vehicle homicide, arising from an accident in which the student hit a pedestrian in the roadway on a dark and stormy night. After investigation and presentation to the District Attorney’s Office, no charges were filed against our client because the evidence showed that the pedestrian had run out into the street between two parked cars and there was no way that our client could have stopped in time to avoid hitting the pedestrian.
- Commonwealth v. PD. Our client was charged in the Massachusetts Superior Court with motor vehicle homicide where another car turned in front of him, resulting in a crash and the death of a passenger in the other car. Our client maintained that he was driving under the speed limit and that the other car had suddenly turned in front of him. The District Attorney’s office contended that our client had been driving well over the speed limit, based on a crush damage analysis conducted by the State Police on our client’s car. With the assistance of an accident reconstruction expert, GSC attorneys determined that the crush damage actually showed that the client was operating below the speed limit. GSC attorneys also showed that the State Police accident investigator had overstated the crush damage. GSC attorneys deposed the State Police investigator and presented the new evidence. As a result, the District Attorney’s office dropped the charges.