Murtha Means More

Murtha Cullina Attorney Kathleen Connolly Obtains Victory Before Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

September 18, 2012

Boston, MA (September 18, 2012)… Kathleen Connolly counsel at Murtha Cullina LLP, recently obtained a victory before the highest court in the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), in a decision involving the Massachusetts anti-SLAPP statute.

A landowner, a farmer, sued his tenant, a composting company, because of the company’s failure to remove mulch from the property had prevented the landowner from complying with town wetlands regulations. Citing the Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation statute, G.L.c. 231, §59H 9 (SLAPP statute), the composting company argued that the landowner had infringed upon the company’s constitutionally protected ability to petition the town. The trial court disagreed, finding in favor of the landowner that the company’s response to the town’s notice of a violation was not the type of communication the statute was meant to protect. The SJC, which took the case from the Appeals Court on its own, agreed with the trial court.

Ms. Connolly, who represented the landowner, stated that, “The anti-SLAPP statute was meant to protect against meritless lawsuits that just increase the cost, time, stress and anxiety for parties involved in litigation. The decision helps to narrow and define the parameters of the anti-SLAPP law by clarifying the definition of 'petitioning activity' under the statute.”

Ms. Connolly has a wide range of experience in land use permitting law and litigation, and an extensive background in land use and environmental law with an emphasis on zoning planning and conservation.  Ms. Connolly joined Murtha Cullina in 2008. She received her J.D., cum laude, from University of Connecticut Law School, and B.A., magna cum laude, from Boston College.

About Murtha Cullina LLP

With over 115 attorneys in six offices throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut, Murtha Cullina LLP offers a full range of legal services to meet the local, regional and national needs of our clients.  Our practice encompasses litigation, regulatory and transactional representation of businesses, governmental units, non-profit organizations and individuals. Core practice areas include litigation, labor and employment, agriculture, environmental, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, construction, energy, health care, trusts and estates, affordable housing, real estate, land use and retail and hospitality.  For more information, visit www.murthalaw.com.

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