News & Resources

Hemenway & Barnes Files Amicus Brief in Boston Charter School Case

Brian C. Broderick, Ryan P. McManus


In September, 2017, Hemenway & Barnes filed an amicus curiae on behalf of the Pioneer Institute, Inc., Cheryl Brown Henderson, and the Black Alliance for Educational Options in a case before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) about access to education, charter school caps, and the guarantees of a public education and equal protection provided by the Massachusetts Constitution. The case is Doe v. Peyser.

On October 3, 2017, the SJC heard arguments in an appeal by five Boston Public Schools students. The students did not win lotteries for admission to public charter schools and were instead assigned to failing district schools.  They contend that the statutory cap on charter schools denies them of their constitutional right to an education and equal protection of the law.

The amicus brief, authored by Brian C. Broderick and Ryan P. McManus of Hemenway & Barnes, argues that the students’ claims were dismissed prematurely by the Superior Court.  Relying on the amici’s research and expertise on education policy, the brief contrasts the persistent underperformance of Boston Public Schools and the remarkable success of charter schools, highlighting the arbitrary and unfair treatment of the plaintiff students that results from the statutory cap on charter schools.

Read more about the case at the Pioneer Institute

The brief reflects one facet of Hemenway & Barnes’ appellate litigation practice: ensuring that appellate courts are aware of the broader impact of the cases before them by representing parties who would be affected by those broader consequences.

For more information, please contact Ryan McManus.


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