Chelsea Collaborative Honors Foley Hoag as a “Social Justice Champion”

December 07, 2012

Firm Prevented Target of Attorney General investigation from Silencing Human Rights Group

The human rights group Chelsea Collaborative today honored Foley Hoag LLP for successfully defending it from a lawsuit by an attorney who the Massachusetts Attorney General has sued for violations of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, Chapter 93A in connection with certain mortgage modification practices.

The collaborative named Foley Hoag a “Social Justice Champion” and one of its “Unsung Heroes of 2012” at its annual holiday gala. The holiday gala is also a fundraiser for the collaborative, which supports programs such as a summer youth employment program and a Green Space Committee that focuses on environmental projects.

In July, a Foley Hoag legal team of Julia Huston, David Kluft, and Zachary Gerson defeated attempts by David Zak to obtain a restraining order and preliminary injunction against the collaborative and more than $2 million in damages.

Zak is an attorney who offered mortgage modification services to a largely Latino client base. He became the target of lawsuits by the Massachusetts Attorney General and before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, in part because of forums and events organized by the Chelsea Collaborative. Zak’s lawsuit asserted defamation and other counts, and sought an injunction preventing the Collaborative from further organizing activities. 

Judge Geraldine Hines denied Zak’s petition after hearing arguments from Foley Hoag, which then filed a motion to dismiss the case. Zak later voluntarily dismissed the case. Hines described Foley Hoag’s submissions for the Chelsea Collaborate as “exemplary in all respects.”

“It’s very gratifying to be able to help an organization like the Chelsea Collaborative that does so much good for so many people. They shouldn’t have to fear crippling lawsuits just for sticking up for people who can’t stick up for themselves. That’s what groups like this are for,” said David Kluft.

Foley Hoag’s pro bono program has been a hallmark of the firm since it represented plaintiffs in the original Boston public schools desegregation lawsuit. In a typical year the firm handles approximately 100 matters and contributes approximately 20,000 hours of pro bono legal work. The firm is consistently ranked among the top firms in The American Lawyer's "A-list" for our pro bono work.