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Fojo Law Files Lawsuit Challenging Governor Sununu’s Order Closing Schools and Implementing Remote Instruction, Requests Emergency Order to Re-Open Schools

This morning, we filed the firm’s second lawsuit challenging Governor Sununu’s shutdown orders, and this action contains a potentially explosive revelation that calls into question the transparency of our government officials and whether they have any desire to follow the rule of law during this “pandemic.” The lawsuit, on behalf of a father and his child (of Salem, New Hampshire), challenges (1) Governor Christopher T. Sununu’s Executive Orders 2020-08 and 2020-09, which extended New Hampshire’s state of emergency until June 5, 2020 (totaling 84 days); (2) Governor Sununu’s Emergency Orders #1, #19, and #32, and the New Hampshire Department of Education’s “emergency” amendment to one of its internal rules, ED 306.18(a)(7), all of which collectively canceled the rest of the 2019-2020 school year for all New Hampshire public schools, and substituted in its place an inadequate system of remote instruction that is failing to meet the needs of students across the state; and (3) the Salem School District’s implementation of remote instruction pursuant to the directives above.  The lawsuit, like the first action we filed on behalf of Mary Rivard, also includes an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order enjoining the Governor, the Department of Education, and the Salem School District from enforcing these orders and rules. Contact us for a FREE consultation! More specifically, the lawsuit addresses two main concerns, the second of which is more troubling and was referenced above. First, this lawsuit includes the same principal argument underlying the Rivard lawsuit: the purpose for, and supposed “emergency” underlying, Governor Sununu’s original shutdown orders in March 2020 was that New Hampshire needed to “slow the spread” of the...

Hearing Scheduled for June 9, 2020 in Lawsuit Against Governor Sununu Over Shutdown

Today, the Merrimack County Superior Court scheduled a hearing for June 9, 2020, at 11 a.m., on hair salon owner Mary Rivard’s emergency motion for a temporary restraining order enjoining Governor Christopher T. Sununu’s Executive Order 2020-08 and Emergency Order #40, which extended New Hampshire’s state of emergency for a second 21-day period and extended the shutdown of “non-essential” businesses through May 31, 2020.  (This past Friday, May 15, 2020, Governor Sununu issued Executive Order 2020-09, which extended New Hampshire’s state of emergency a third time for another 21-day period, through June 5, 2020.  That Executive Order, and any future orders extending the state of emergency declaration will be made part of the June 9 hearing.)  The Honorable Richard B. McNamara neither granted nor denied Ms. Rivard’s request for a temporary restraining order but had requested a hearing be scheduled “at the Court’s early convenience.”  That hearing is now scheduled for June 9. In the first lawsuit filed in mid-March challenging the shutdown, the same Court denied a similar emergency request within 24 hours and then dismissed the case. Last week, we filed a lawsuit on Ms. Rivard’s behalf challenging Governor Sununu’s orders.  Like other lawsuits elsewhere in the country, we filed an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order requesting that the Court conclude Governor Sununu’s orders are void because he lacked the authority under the applicable statute to continue renewing New Hampshire’s “state of emergency.” Governor Sununu’s original shutdown orders in March 2020 were designed to “slow the spread” of the Coronavirus so New Hampshire’s healthcare system would not be overwhelmed.  Over a month later, there was no question New...

Court Orders Hearing Scheduled in Lawsuit Against Governor Sununu Over Shutdown

This morning, the Merrimack County Superior Court directed the clerk to schedule a hearing on hair salon owner Mary Rivard’s emergency motion for a temporary restraining order enjoining Governor Christopher T. Sununu’s Executive Order 2020-08 and Emergency Order #40, which extended New Hampshire’s state of emergency for a second 21-day period and extended the shutdown of “non-essential” businesses through May 31, 2020.  Interestingly, the Honorable Richard B. McNamara neither granted nor denied the request for a temporary restraining order but requested a hearing be scheduled “at the Court’s early convenience.” In the first lawsuit filed in mid-March challenging the shutdown, the same Court denied a similar emergency request within 24 hours and then dismissed the case. This past Monday, we filed a lawsuit on Ms. Rivard’s behalf challenging Governor Sununu’s orders.  Like other lawsuits elsewhere in the country, we filed an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order requesting that the Court conclude Governor Sununu’s orders are void because he lacked the authority under the applicable statute to continue renewing New Hampshire’s “state of emergency.” Governor Sununu’s original shutdown orders in March 2020 were designed to “slow the spread” of the Coronavirus so New Hampshire’s healthcare system would not be overwhelmed.  Over a month later, there was no question New Hampshire’s hospitals had never reached capacity: in a press conference on April 29, 2020, Governor Sununu explained just 10% of the COVID-dedicated beds in New Hampshire’s hospitals were occupied (approximately 100 of 1,000 beds).  Indeed, we explained in Ms. Rivard’s Complaint that data from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services supported Governor Sununu’s statement and showed New Hampshire’s hospitalization rate...

Fojo Law Files Lawsuit Challenging Governor Sununu’s Shutdown Order, Requests Emergency Order Lifting Shutdown

Early this morning, we filed a lawsuit on behalf of hair salon owner Mary Rivard (of New London, New Hampshire) challenging Governor Christopher T. Sununu’s Executive Order 2020-08 and Emergency Order #40, which extended New Hampshire’s state of emergency until June 15, 2020, and extended the shutdown of “non-essential” businesses through May 31, 2020.  The lawsuit also includes an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order enjoining the Governor from enforcing these orders. Contact us for a FREE consultation! The principal argument underlying the lawsuit is that the purpose for, and supposed “emergency” underlying, Governor Sununu’s original shutdown orders in March 2020 was that New Hampshire needed to “slow the spread” of the Coronavirus so New Hampshire’s healthcare system would not be overwhelmed.  Over a month later, there was no question New Hampshire’s hospitals had never reached capacity: in a press conference on April 29, 2020, Governor Sununu explained just 10% of the COVID-dedicated beds in New Hampshire’s hospitals were occupied (approximately 100 of 1,000 beds).  Indeed, data from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services supported Governor Sununu’s statement and showed New Hampshire’s hospitalization rate was dropping.  Hospitals have also furloughed numerous employees.  In other words, New Hampshire’s curve had “flattened” and had never really spiked at all. Despite these facts, Governor Sununu issued Executive Order 2020-08 on April 24.  A “state of emergency” automatically terminates after 21 days.  A Governor may “renew” is if he or she finds it “necessary to protect the safety and welfare” of New Hampshire citizens.  Although New Hampshire’s curve was “flat,” Executive Order 2020-08 renewed the “state of emergency” a...

Federal Judge Denies Motion to Compel Arbitration Filed by New York Life in $14 Million Lawsuit By Former Agent

Last week, the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire denied a motion to compel arbitration filed by New York Life (and two related companies) in a lawsuit filed by Ketler Bossé, a former soliciting agent and district agent for the company. The case will now proceed in court, and the parties will soon begin discovery. Factual Background Mr. Bossé engaged Fojo Law, P.L.L.C. and filed a Complaint in January 2019, asserting various federal and state employment-related claims against New York Life, including claims for discrimination and retaliation under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, conspiracy to interfere with civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1985, and breach of contract under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and various state law claims, including claims for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fraud, wrongful termination, tortious interference with economic advantage, violation of New Hampshire’s Consumer Protection Act (RSA 358-A), breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, quantum meruit, conversion, defamation per quod, and defamation per se. Mr. Bossé alleged that, despite excelling as an agent for New York Life and the many accolades he earned during his 14-year affiliation with the company, New York Life terminated him because he is black and then defamed him and appropriated his clients. He alleged he is owed over $14 million in lost commissions, residual commissions, override commissions, and other compensation and expenses. The Parties’ Arguments New York Life filed a motion to compel arbitration, arguing that, under an employment agreement Mr. Bossé signed in 2004 (which was then terminated in 2005), Mr. Bossé’s claims must be dismissed in favor of arbitration...

10 Things to Know About New Hampshire Defamation Law

New Hampshire defamation law can often be a confusing area to learn about and understand.  People say and write things about other people and topics on a daily basis without so much as thinking about the consequences of stating something that is false.  Despite the rapid flow of information online and in social media, people should often pause and reflect on what they intend to say or publish online to ensure it is fact-based or a true opinion.  To that end, the following list identifies and explains 10 things to know about defamation law in New Hampshire (and elsewhere). Contact us for a FREE consultation! 10 Things to Know About New Hampshire Defamation Law 1) What is Defamation? The term “defamation” refers to any statement that hurts someone’s reputation.  If the statement is in writing, it is known as “libel.”  Statements made on social media fall within this category.  If the statement is spoken, it is known as “slander.”  Defamation is considered a tort, which is a civil wrong.  A person about whom a defamatory statement is made may sue the person who made the statement. 2) How do you prove defamation? To prove defamation, you must demonstrate the following elements: (a) a statement was made; (b) the statement was false; (c) the statement was published to a third party; (d) the statement caused you to suffer damages; and (e) there is no privilege that excuses you from the defamation. Let’s look at each of these elements in more detail. 3) Statement It goes without saying that there must be an actual statement that was spoken or written, or otherwise...