Ianiri Law

Attorney James Ianiri

Norwell Executive Ctr.
167 Washington Street Norwell, MA 02061
cell 617-650-4520

Massachusetts Bar Association

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Notable Cases

Care and Protection:

  • In a Care and Protection (C&P) case involving a newborn who mysteriously suffered a fractured arm, Attorney Ianiri convinced DCF and the Court that it was more likely that the day care provider caused the injury and was able to get the child back home within months of the filing of the petition;

  • In a case out of Worcester Juvenile Court, successfully managed to get DCF to change the goal from adoption to reunification and the child reunited with his mother after both parents were accused of abusing the child (who sustained multiple fractures) and of abusing substances;

  • After a multi-day termination of parental rights trial in Brockton Juvenile Court, in which, unfortunately neither parent had any chance of regaining custody of their child, successfully convinced the judge to back father’s plan to have his mother adopt his child over the objection of both DCF and child’s counsel.

  • A Care and Protection proceeding in Quincy Juvenile Court arising from repeated abuse and neglect of a young boy (my client) which resulted, after considerable time and effort, in the successful adoption of the boy by the foster parents, who had previously taken the boy in several times in his short life.
  • Successfully represented in Boston Juvenile Court a baby allegedly the victim of Shaken Baby Syndrome (by her mother). After a six week initial, pre-trial custody hearing, custody was awarded to the father and after working with the family for several months thereafter, the family was reunited prior to trial.

Fair Hearings:

Attorney Ianiri has been representing parents, pre-adoptive parents, foster parents and professionals who work with children at fair hearings for over ten years.  He handles on average about two to three fair hearings a month. Here are some notable hearings that he has handled:

  • Successfully represented a principal of a charter school wrongly accused of neglected a badly behaved third grader;

  • Successfully represented a father accused of neglecting (after DCF could not support an abuse charge) his newborn who sustained a head injury when the father accidentally fell asleep with the child late at night;

  • Successfully represented a young mother who appealed a supported “Substance Exposed Newborn” (SEN) 51A because she used marijuana during her pregnancy to try to ameliorate the horrific effects of “hyperemesis gravidarum;"

  • Successfully represented an ABA-trained behavior analyst accused of abusing an autistic child at both a fair hearing and a BACB appeal in connection with her license;

  • Successfully gotten DCF to reverse over 25 supported 51A’s before a fair hearing, including one in which a baby died for unknown reasons at a home-based daycare and many in which a child falsely accused a parent of abusing him;

  • Successfully represented a father accused of sexually abusing his son in a highly contentious post-divorce situation by providing evidence of the child’s and the mother’s lack of credibility coupled with significant alibi evidence discounted by the original investigator;

  • Successfully represented a youth pastor of a conservative Christian church and a volunteer who were wrongly accused of engaging in “skinny dipping” with female high school seniors on a wilderness trip.  This case involved multiple subsequent 51As that were unsupported, attacking a specious smear campaign by some of the parents at the church and getting the pastor back to work.

  • After a fair hearing in which the appellant, a mother who had adopted a child through DCF but was later accused of Munchausen by proxy and medical neglect by Boston Children’s Hospital and DCF, and after submitting a binder of exhibits including medical records and DCF’s own records, the hearing officer was satisfied that the mother never neglected her son and was doing the very best that she could to help her medically-challenged son.  

  • Won a fair hearing in which a clinician at a hospital in the Greater Boston area was accused of sexually abusing a boy who had significant credibility deficits (as did his mother, who was driving the false claims and who apparently tried to manipulate her own son to make the false statements).  That case involved one or two other state agencies conducting a joint investigation with DCF (which is always a recipe for getting things wrong). A subsequent 51A making similar allegations against the clinician were unsupported.  

  • Successfully represented a principal of a charter school accused of neglect after a child left the school premises and walked to his father’s place of business.  The hearing officer rightly reversed the supported 51A after hearing evidence from several teachers who testified that the new superintendent was “cleaning house” and deliberately trying to get rid of various employees including the principal.  

Investigations/Family Assessments:

  • In addition to representing parents and professionals at fair hearings and in court, Attorney Ianiri routinely represents clients during 51B investigations and family assessments including in the following notable cases:

  • Successfully represented a law school professor accused of neglect after she left her nine year old boy in her car while she taught a class after convincing the DCF investigator that in doing so she did not neglect her child, who wanted to remain in the car, knew exactly where his mother was if he needed help, was a mature 9 year old, and that there is no specific age at which a child can be left alone, and statistically, the child was safer on a college campus with security present than at home.  

  • In a case in which a father engaged in rough-housing with his son that got out of hand that left bruises on the child, convinced the investigator that the conduct was not “intentional” under the Department’s definition of “abuse” and was purely accidental.

Personal Injury

  • Barnstable Superior Court case involving a young man seriously injured in a fatal car crash on Martha's Vineyard who had to be airlifted to Boston University Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. Despite many distinct injuries including a compound fracture of his leg and a cracked skull, my client's recovery was remarkable resulting in only several months of lost wages and only minor permanent disability. Due to the extent of the damage of the vehicle in which my client was a passenger and the displacement of my client and the driver upon impact, counsel for the estate of the deceased was not conceding that the deceased was in fact the driver and alleged that my client supplied alcohol to his under aged client. The case settled at mediation for $160,000.00.
  • Superior Court suit in Florida yielding a $120,000.00 settlement in a vigorously defended case involving a young woman who had been the victim of a car accident while a passenger in a VW Bus. She suffered multiple injuries, including post concussive syndrome, neck and back strain, TMJ, scarring on her back, and a knee sprain. The defendant, a car rental company, maintained that my client suffered a mild neck and back sprain, was chemical-dependent and that her emotional distress was attributable to a pre-existing bi-polar diagnosis.
  • Middlesex Superior Court action arising from an automobile accident in the Johnny's Foodmaster in Somerville. My client, an elderly gentleman, was pinned between two cars suffering a left tibia fracture and a severe hematoma of the right knee. He was in-patient at a Sun Bridge care facility for over two months. The case was settled after discovery for $50,000.00 (policy limit). An additional $5,000.00 was recovered from the driver of the at-fault vehicle.

In addition to the foregoing, Attorney Ianiri has handled many, many real estate transactions and disputes, negotiated many commercial leases, represented many landlords and tenants, successfully resolved numerous personal injury cases (auto, premises liability, products liability etc.) as well as contract disputes, and juvenile and district court criminal matters.