News and Commentary Archive

Explore recent scientific discoveries and news as well as CLBB events, commentary, and press.


The speed of technology in neuroscience as it impacts ethical and just decisions in the legal system needs to be understood by lawyers, judges, public policy makers, and the general public. The Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior is an academic and professional resource for the education, research, and understanding of neuroscience and the law. Read more

William Pietragallo, II, is a Founding Partner of Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP. Recognized as an accomplished trial attorney, he is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a Diplomat of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.

Mr. Pietragallo has the good fortune of a career supported by great clients and stimulating cases. He has achieved over 100 successful civil jury trial verdicts in lawsuits ranging from airline disasters, product liability, professional negligence, to antitrust and corporate takeover. While it would be indiscreet to identify all of the companies that he has represented, suffice to say they have included some of the largest corporations in the world and certain local entrepreneurial businesses. He has been awarded the “Lawyer of the Year” award by Best Lawyers for Bet-the-Company Litigation. He has also been recognized by Chambers & Partners as “highly recommended.” Mr. Pietragallo was selected as Best Lawyers’ Pittsburgh Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants “Lawyer of the Year.” For 25 consecutive years, he has been listed in Best Lawyers in America©. He is a  Pennsylvania Super Lawyer, and was listed by The BTI Consulting Group as one of 113 lawyers nationally who have been designated by Fortune 1000 companies as providing “superior client service.”

His recent trial calendar includes the defense of a significant antitrust case, litigation over the control over a major foundation, and an international trade secret misappropriation case.

However, his proudest accomplishment is the group of younger lawyers who have and will follow him into the courtroom, and who have gained the respect and esteem of the law firm’s many clients. They are his legal legacy, and the enduring strength of the law firm.

Mr. Pietragallo is a past chairman of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and before that a member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Civil Rules Committee.

Mr. Pietragallo served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, teaching Litigation Planning and Strategy. In addition, the University of Pittsburgh School of Law named Mr. Pietragallo a “Distinguished Alumni” for his exceptional service to the Law School and to the legal community in 2012.

Active in community service, Mr. Pietragallo continues to serve as the Chairman of the Board of UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital of Pittsburgh and recently received the Spirit of St. Anthony Award for promoting philanthropy and a culture of giving and volunteerism. Mr. Pietragallo also serves as an Advisory Board Member for the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Law, Brain and Behavior at Harvard University and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.

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Raluca Buttner graduated from MIT in 1996 with a Chemical Engineering major and Film Studies concentration.  Upon graduation, she worked at Merck’s Westpoint, PA location in the vaccine manufacturing division followed by their research division.  While deeply appreciative of the learning gained from her college and professional experiences, her love of art and design has always been strong and led her to pursue a career change, moving to a web management and design position at Thomson Financial (TF) in Boston, after a year away in Melbourne, Australia.

After several years at TF, and a summer term at the Berklee School of Music, Raluca’s desire for a more flexible schedule that would enable her to pursue her artistic and musical passions led her to work with her future husband, Ned Buttner, a researcher at Harvard University at the time, helping him with figures, writing, research and statistics for his scientific publications. 

Ned and Raluca were married in 2006, and had a beautiful life together, with their 3 beloved children, until his passing in 2015.  Today, Raluca’s life is full of music and art, and the happiness of continuing to raise her children.  She contributes creatively to the Waldorf School of Lexington whenever possible, which all of her children attend, and perform and sing with the Rolling Gnomes, a rock/jazz band created by several Waldorf school parents.

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Robert R. Hopper is the Founder and Managing Partner of Robert R. Hopper & Associates, a professional firm he founded in 1978. Robert R. Hopper & Associates, L.L.C. is a law firm based in Minneapolis, MN with shared offices in Washington D.C. Through his law firm, he has enjoyed diverse and rewarding practice as a trial lawyer, litigating and negotiating in both federal and state courts; working in corporate public affairs; and as a lobbyist – lobbying Congress and the Executive Branch, including various agencies of the federal and state governments; as an advisor and counselor to business; and, as an advisor in strategic communications and media relations. In these varied roles, Mr. Hopper’s 41 years of professional experience, with 33 years in private practice as a lawyer, focuses on varied areas of practice.

As an experienced practitioner in each of these areas of law, politics and media, Mr. Hopper emphasizes the importance of integration between them. This philosophy and practice is based on a view that most legal problems and dilemmas facing individual and corporate clients alike, often require strategies which are concomitantly effective in both the courtroom and the court of public opinion, and when necessary, in the political and public policy arena. These strategies require thoughtful and persuasive communication to advocate a client’s interest or to creatively tell their stories. When litigation has ended or possibly been avoided and when negotiation is required, strategic communication is also imperative to ensure a desired outcome or resolution. Integrating these honed skills in all of these areas defines the uniqueness of Mr. Hopper’s practice and evinces the depth and breadth of Robert R. Hopper & Associates, L.L.C. as a firm.

Mr. Hopper has been involved in several high-profile cases. In this capacity, he has often represented clients when “crisis management” is necessary. By offering all of these skillsets simultaneously, Mr. Hopper may serve as a spokesperson and advisor in media relations, as an advocate in the courtroom and counselor at law, and as a lobbyist – all to assist clients in navigating through the crisis. If necessary, Mr. Hopper co-counsels with one of the country’s leading Crisis Managers, Mr. Lanny J. Davis, of Lanny J. Davis and Associates and formerly, White House Counsel to President Clinton and a Special Advisor to President George W. Bush.

For the past ten years, Mr. Hopper has placed considerable focus in his practice on Law & Neuroscience, litigating traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury cases, handling various legal matters implicated by brain tumors and brain injuries, representing clients with neurodegenerative disease involving the aging brain and representing clients in legal matters involving the adolescent, developing brain.

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Martin Garbus is one of the country’s leading trial lawyers. Marty Garbus has appeared before the United States Supreme Court as well as trial and appellate courts throughout the nation, in over 100 cases. Trial lawyer Martin Garbus has diverse litigation experience including copyright, intellectual property, commercial, corporate, criminal defense, First Amendment, free speech, estates, class action, entertainment, libel, and Internet law.

Time Magazine has called Martin Garbus “legendary,” and “one of the greatest trial lawyers in the country.” The Guardian, one of England’s leading newspapers, has declared him “one of the world’s finest trial lawyers” and “founder of one of the country’s most prestigious law firms.” Fortune Magazine, CNN, Business Week, legal magazines and journals, and other media have designated Mr. Garbus “one of the nation’s premier First Amendment attorneys,” “a ferocious litigator,” “a pit bull,” and an attorney “with an extraordinarily diverse practice.” Over the last 12 years, New York Magazine and Los Angeles Magazine have named Marty Garbus both one of America’s best trial lawyers and one of America’s best intellectual-property lawyers.

Martin Garbus’ courtroom skills have earned him a distinguished reputation as a trial lawyer. He is an expert at every aspect of litigation and trial, from jury selection to cross-examination to summation. His cases have established new legal precedents in the Supreme Court and in courts throughout the country. Martin Garbus has argued before the United States Supreme Court, testified before the United States Congress, and the New York and California legislative branches many times on many issues, as well as testifying before numerous federal and state agencies.

Mr. Garbus has also taught trial practice at the Yale Law School and Constitutional law at Columbia. His other teaching engagements include classes in Beijing, China, and Prague, Czech Republic. He has lived and practiced in China and Italy as well as in the United States. He is the author of six books and numerous articles that have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and various legal publications. He has given hundreds of speeches on various aspects of law before Bar Associations, corporations, and law schools, as well as on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, and other television and radio networks. Martin Garbus’ devotion to ethics, justice, free speech, and the law has garnered him enormous respect within the legal community, commercial and corporate sectors, and beyond. This has earned him numerous honors including designation in Who’s Who in America, a Profile in the New York Times, and inclusion in Who’s Who in Best Lawyers in America, as well as awards from his law school and college and praise from his numerous high-profile clients.

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Anne Peretz is the founder of The Family Center, Inc., a family therapy clinic and family support program geared to low income and immigrant families. The Family Center (now known as The Parenting Journey) extends its reach through the development of therapeutic curricula for parents and families, and by training front line human service workers and school liaisons. There are currently over 500 Parenting Journey sites in several cities and Anne has recently developed a comparable program in Burundi. Anne has been a consultant to the Massachusetts Department of Social Services Community Connections program and is a developer of the Boston Foundation’s Community Building curriculum. She has lectured on strategies for change in families and communities at Cambridge College and has led seminars for the Institute of Social and Economic Policy on the Middle East, Kennedy School, Harvard University and chaired the Phillips Brooks House Advisory Board for 18 years. She has been a board member of a number of community organizations, and worked with Al Gore to develop Family Reunion conferences over 12 years. Anne has a B.A. from Smith College and an M.S.W. from Simmons School of Social Work and is a family therapist. She is also a practicing artist whose work was represented by the Salander O’Reilly Galleries in New York City. Her most recent exhibitions have been at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.

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