Brien O’Connor and Rob Roberts Honored as Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s “Lawyers of the Year”

Rankings & Awards
February 17, 2022

Brien O’Connor and Rob Roberts were featured as “Lawyers of the Year” in the February 14 issue of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. The award and profile honor Brien’s role as Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Special Master and Rob’s leadership, as they were tasked by the Massachusetts SJC for helping mitigate COVID-19 spread in Massachusetts correctional institutions. 

The article details the magnitude and logistical challenges of the Special Master work. After Brien was approached by the Supreme Judicial Court about the special master role, he quickly formed a team at Ropes & Gray and got to work. Within five days, they had put together a report on how the Commonwealth should handle the virus’ impact on incarcerated people, corrections staff, and the community. “It was fascinating to see how all the different parts of the criminal justice system interacted with each other, particularly at such an early stage of the pandemic… We got a lot of agreement on many of the issues, but things weren’t always so unanimous,” Brien said. 

Rob was eager to get involved on the matter. “What struck me from those early days—and all the way through October 2021—was how genuinely everybody from all sides came at this problem and wanted to do the right thing for people detained, or in prisons or jails, despite all the different perspectives. Everyone had the same goal,” Rob said.