NPH Attorney Meghan C. Cooper appeared on the front page of this week’s edition of Massachusetts Lawyer’s Weekly, in connection with the newspaper’s coverage of her significant Appeals Court victory earlier this month. The digital version of the article is below in PDF format – just click to read it in full.
In related news, Lawyer’s Weekly has named Meghan one of twenty-five recipients of its 2015 Excellence in the Law Award for Up and Coming Lawyers. We are so proud of her for receiving this prestigious honor, although not a bit surprised. We are very lucky that Meghan has chosen to dedicate her remarkable skill set to the representation of the thousands of hard working men and women who make up the NPH labor family. We will post more on the award when it is published in April.
Cop can’t be fired for refusing to testify at civil service hearing | Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
On December 23, 2014, the NH Public Employee Relations Board ruled in favor of the Goffstown Police Union, NEPBA Local 24, in a case litigated by NPH Attorneys Peter Perroni and Meghan Cooper. The dispute involved the Town’s refusal to pay additional vacation due officers, based on additional years of service; the Town claimed that because the parties were in the hiatus period between contracts, it had no obligation to pay the Continue reading
NPH attorneys Gary Nolan and Meghan Cooper won a significant arbitration victory for a 30-year employee of the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office, NEPBA Local 500, in a case that brought sharp focus onto the issue of prison overcrowding, while highlighting the difficulty faced by a consistently shrinking compliment of officers. The Award of the arbitrator, rendered on Christmas Eve, overturned entirely the Sheriff’s heavy-handed discipline of a veteran, well-respected officer with an impeccable record of service.
In 2012, the Cambridge Jail, designed to hold 160 pretrial detainees, had swelled to a population of more than 400; meanwhile, officer staffing had drastically decreased. With Continue reading
On December 11, 2014, after a contentious three-day trial in Strafford County Superior Court, Nolan Perroni Harrington, LLP lawyers Peter Perroni and Meghan Cooper successfully obtained a Not Guilty verdict on behalf of a Farmington, NH (NEPBA Local 212) Police Sergeant accused of assault during the arrest of an individual in June 2013. The trial involved so-called “helmet cam” video evidence of the encounter between police and the suspect, who was being taken into custody for a felony reckless conduct charge. After striking the officer with his motor vehicle and then fleeing the scene, the suspect was apprehended outside of his home. During a time of unprecedented scrutiny of police use of force, Attorneys Perroni and Cooper convinced the Court that the force used by the Sergeant was reasonable in the circumstances and necessary to effectuate the arrest of the individual.
Both the New Hampshire Union Leader and Foster Daily Democrat covered the story extensively. Links to coverage are below.
NPH Attorney Meghan Cooper won an important arbitration victory for the members of NEPBA Local 20, the Chelmsford Police Sergeants. Attorney Cooper overcame several challenging provisions in the Collective Bargaining Agreement to demonstrate that the Town had been short-changing the Sergeants when calculating their overtime rate. The Town did not include longevity pay in the OT calculation, and the arbitrator ordered that, from the date of the grievance forward, the Town increase the overtime calculation to included longevity pay. In addition, due to evidence and arguments presented by Attorney Cooper relating to the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Arbitrator suggested that the Town may also be failing to include several other required compensation items in its overtime calculation. Given the evidence and the arbitration decision, those issues may now be addressed at the bargaining table, or in future litigation.
To read the full decision, just click the link below.
Chelmsford Longevity Arbitration
NPH Attorneys Gary Nolan and Meghan Cooper recently won a favorable arbitration decision on behalf of the members of NEPBA Local 550, Worcester County’s Corrections Officers. The case stretched over several days and involved both the suspension of a Union Official and the disputed practice of roll-call arrival time. After many days of testimony from past and present Jail Officials, Union leaders and both line and management officers, the Arbitrator agreed with the Union, and rescinded the Officer’s suspension.
In addition to this case, within the past year, NPH and NEPBA have been litigating several other matters for Local 550, including cases on Military Leave, and three separate lengthy suspension cases for different officers. At this point, all such cases have either ended in arbitration victories for the Union, or agreements by the parties to rescind all discipline entirely, and compensating the officers fully.
The Roll Call Arbitration Decision is below.
Microsoft Word – worcester 6-05 PM post ruth.docx
NPH attorneys have been battling for NEPBA Local 911, the Worcester Police Patrolmen’s Union, and its member Officer David Rawlston, since he was terminated in 2007. During the past 7 years, NPH attorneys have won 2 arbitrations reinstating him, 2 Superior Court Appeals, and, now, 2 Appeals Court appeals, as well as an application to the Supreme Judicial Court. After arguing a second appeal before the State Appeals Court, NPH attorney Peter Perroni has added this latest victory to the pile. Just last week, the Appeals Court ruled in favor of the Union.
Click below to read the Court’s latest decision which, in particular, relates to the City’s second attempt at firing the officer (which was struck down by Arbitrator Roberta Golick.)
Rawlston 2.Appeals Ct Decision
Attorney Gary Nolan recently argued publicly, on behalf of the Dracut Police Supervisors and Patrolmen, against a proposal to give the Police Chief the power to hire and fire officers. In a transition period between Town Managers, the Dracut Police administration proposed that the Police Chief, and not the Town Manager, be the appointing authority for the Police Department. A similar proposal was made by the Fire Department Chief. Together with Attorney Paul Hynes, arguing for the Fire Dept. Union, Attorney Nolan advocated strongly in opposition to the proposal. After multiple appearances before the Town’s Board of Selectmen, the proposal was defeated.
See Media Coverage of the Issue by clicking the link below:
Dracut selectmen split on strong chiefs – Lowell Sun Online
Vote keeps Dracut manager’s power intact – Lowell Sun Online
NPH Attorneys Peter Perroni and Meghan Cooper recently won an important arbitration case affecting several Windham, NH Police Officers. This was the second significant win for the NEPBA Local 213 this Spring. The case involved the crucial issue of salary steps paid to officers after a Contract had expired. The Town for several years, despite express promises to do so, refused to pay newly hired officers on the Police Union’s Wage Scale following their one-year probationary period. The Arbitrator rejected arguments by the Town and concluded that the officers were entitled to be paid all of the salary steps argued by the Union. As a result, all officers affected were ordered to be made whole, with interest. The award resulted in significant back wage payments to several officers.
To read the Arbitrator’s decision in full, click below:
Town of Windham SIGNED
NPH Attorneys Meghan Cooper and Peter Perroni recently won an arbitration to restore the seniority of a Windham, NH Police Officer, a member of NEPBA Local 213. The officer suffered severe injuries in the line-of-duty, forcing him to go on extended leave. He returned to work after enduring multiple surgeries and extensive rehabilitation, only to find that the Town decided that his seniority date should not include the period of his injured-on-duty leave. After extensive legal arguments by the attorneys, the Arbitrator concluded that the Town’s actions were in violation of the terms of the CBA, and ordered the Officer’s seniority date be fully restored.
To read the Arbitrator’s decision in full, click below: