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Please join Suffolk Law Review in welcoming Aloke Chakravarty, Assistant U.S. Attorney, to Suffolk University Law School for a lecture and discussion on trial advocacy in a nation balancing national security issues with civil rights. The lecture will take place on Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 4 P.M. To attend, please proceed to the 4th floor at Suffolk Law School, 120 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02108.
Mr. Chakravarty has been a trial lawyer in state, federal, and international courts. In Massachusetts, he has been an Assistant District Attorney, an Assistant Attorney General, and an Assistant U.S. Attorney. As a federal prosecutor, he currently focuses on matters involving international issues, national security, and human and civil rights. Since April 15, 2013, he has investigated and prosecuted the Boston Marathon bombing case. He has also conducted jury trials in other complex prosecutions, including cases involving genocide and human rights atrocities, material support to terrorism and the limits of free speech, and international terrorism financing, among others. Mr. Chakravarty has previously been a prosecutor at the United Nations’ International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and an attorney to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Outside of the courtroom, Mr. Chakravarty has driven government outreach related to civic engagement, the intersection of civil rights and national security, and the development of community and governmental partnerships to build resiliency. Mr. Chakravarty has taught trial advocacy and other courses, lectured on the privilege of public service, and has written law review articles for area law schools. He is a graduate of the Emory University School of Law and the Johns Hopkins University.
Please join Suffolk Law Review in welcoming the President of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to Suffolk University Law School for a lecture and discussion on the legal and policy issues concerning the relationship between government counter-terrorism policies and fundamental civil liberties. The lecture will take place on Thursday, March 3, 2016 at 4 P.M. To attend, please proceed to the 4th floor at Suffolk Law School, 120 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02108.
Susan N. Herman was elected President of the ACLU in October 2008, after having served as a member of the ACLU Board of Directors and Executive Committee, and as General Counsel.
Herman has discussed constitutional law issues in multiple media venues including NPR, PBS, CSPAN, NBC, MSNBC, and a series of appearances on Today in New York. Her most recent book, Taking Liberties: The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy (Oxford University Press 2011), winner of the 2012 IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize, was published in an updated paperback edition in 2014.
She holds a chair as Centennial Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School, where she currently teaches courses in Criminal Procedure and Constitutional Law, and seminars on Law and Literature, and Terrorism and Civil Liberties. She writes extensively on constitutional, criminal procedure, and national security topics for scholarly and other publications, ranging from law reviews and books to periodicals and on-line publications.
She has been a frequent speaker at academic conferences and continuing legal education events organized by groups such as the Federal Judicial Center and the American Bar Association, lecturing and conducting workshops for judges and lawyers, and at non-legal events, including speeches at the U.S. Army War College and many schools and universities. She has also participated in Supreme Court litigation, writing and collaborating on amicus curiae briefs for the ACLU on a range of constitutional criminal procedure issues, including Riley v. California, the recent case establishing that cell phones may not be searched without a search warrant.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court addressed whether the Boston Municipal Court (BMC) has the authority to unilaterally dismiss a legally valid criminal complaint if doing so would be in the “interest of public justice.” A BMC judge dismissed a complaint against a defendant charged with operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license. While the Commonwealth’s complaint was supported by probable cause and met all legal elements of a valid complaint, the BMC judge explained that persecuting the defendant was unnecessary because the defendant was already following all required prescriptions to reinstate his license, and that the defendant needed the license for his employment. The Massachusetts Appeals Court held, however, that the BMC may not unilaterally dismiss a complaint by asserting an interest in public justice, but rather must comply with M. G. L. c. 278, s. 18 by first obtaining a guilty plea or a request for a continuance without a finding.
The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit considered whether the inadvertent admission of evidence, which had already been proscribed by defendant’s motion in limine, warranted a new trial. The Court reasoned that the defendant shared responsibility for the evidence being offered and admitted, and it determined there was enough other evidence to support the jury’s verdict. Thus, because the defendant was not harmed by the inadvertent presentation of the evidence, the Court affirmed the lower court’s decision to deny the motion for a new trial.
The Supreme Judicial Court interpreted M. G. L. c. 123, s. 35, which authorizes the involuntary civil commitment of persons due to alcoholism or substance abuse. While the claim before the Court was moot, the Court nevertheless took the opportunity to guide future litigants on matters associated with the statute, including the standard of proof, rules of evidence, and appellate procedure.