Foley Hoag Partner Michael Keating Named Lawyer of the Year by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

January 21, 2020

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly has named Foley Hoag LLP partner Michael Keating a 2019 Lawyer of the Year in recognition of his work representing District Court Judge Shelley M. Joseph and persuading the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) to restore her salary while she was under federal indictment.

Keating, representing Judge Joseph as a pro bono matter, persuaded the SJC to reverse its original, unanimous decision to suspend Judge Joseph without pay pending the resolution of a federal indictment. The federal indictment charged Judge Joseph with allegedly helping an undocumented immigrant evade federal immigration agents.

Keating’s argument to the SJC – which the Court accepted – was that for the Court to withhold Judge Joseph’s pay solely on the basis of the indictment, without any finding of wrongful conduct on her part, infringed the independence guaranteed to all judges by the Massachusetts Constitution and struck to the core of a judge’s ability to function independently, a cornerstone of democratic government.

Keating was previously honored by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly in 2011 as a Lawyer of the Year for his work representing former Judge Raymond Dougan in successfully resisting efforts by the Suffolk County District Attorney to remove him from the bench. Keating is one of very few attorneys to be named a Lawyer of the Year more than one time in their careers. The decisions by the SJC in both the Judge Joseph and Judge Dougan cases are the leading cases in Massachusetts on the importance of judicial independence to our citizens.

A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Keating has been one of Foley Hoag’s leading trial lawyers for more than 35 years. Consistently listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA and Massachusetts Super Lawyers and recognized by The National Law Journal, he practices extensively in both the federal and state courts. He is also a past President of the Boston Bar Association.

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