His law partner Lee Goldstein came up with their firm's slogan, but it aptly describes Jeff Feuer's life work: We fight evil. Always have, always will. Often unpaid but always ready for the struggle, Jeff has been at the forefront of the defense of tenants, consumers, employees, political demonstrators, and other underrepresented people and groups.
His training began with his family. His family's always been progressive, and by the time he finished high school, he had been involved in anti-war and civil rights civil disobedience actions and demonstrations. During college he went to Chicago to organize welfare recipients in the Poor People's Campaign, and became active in the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). His first career was in social work, first as a drug rehabilitation counselor in New York City and then, for 15 years, with youthful offenders in Watertown.
Eventually Jeff grew dissatisfied with what social work could achieve and entered law school. "I kept seeing the same problems over and over again and I thought law would give me some additional tools to help bring about systemic change," he says. Plus, he admits, "I like arguing." Though an idealist, Jeff had a good business plan to finance his law school education, one that also satisfied his passion for music. He and a partner opened Rockit Records in Saugus in 1980. The plan paid off when he sold his half of the store and entered Northeastern University Law School in 1982.
Early in his legal career, Jeff represented children poisoned by lead paint and helped extend the protection of state lead paint laws to poor people living in federally subsidized housing. He continued his lead paint cases at Stern and Shapiro, but grew tired of litigating the same cases over and over again, and in 1995 teamed up with Lee Goldstein to form his current political community-based law office and partnership.
Goldstein and Feuer earn their bread and butter with tenants' rights, consumer, employment discrimination, and wrongful termination cases, as well as helping non-profits with incorporation, governance and taxes, and some family law cases. Both partners are also very active in the defense of political demonstrators and people losing their homes through foreclosure.
Jeff is the chair of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Committee. Before the 2004 Democratic National Convention, he was part of the NLG team who negotiated permits and parade routes for demonstrators. When the city tried to confine protests to a small caged-in area, he was on the NLG legal team that sued to allow demonstrators within sight and sound of conventioneers. He coordinated legal support for those arrested in the 2005 Justice for Janitors campaign and did the same for climate change activists who set up camp on the Boston Common in 2009. He also continues to defend community activists seeking to prevent foreclosures and evictions under the auspices of City Life/Vida Urbana. Jeff has great respect for how local police departments have been tolerant and even accepting of political demonstrations in these trying times and seeks to work cooperatively with them to prevent the kind of unlawful mass arrests of protestors that have happened in other urban areas around the country.
In addition, Jeff is very active in the National Lawyers Guild Street Law clinics, training lawyers and students and offering free clinics himself to community-based agencies on topics such as tenants' rights, foreclosure/eviction defense, and legal observing of demonstrations.
As a community-based attorney committed to serving people in trouble, and with the goal of helping people to achieve some measure of social and economic justice, Jeff's work is a model for private lawyers who want to make a difference.
Areas of Practice
- Landlord/Tenant 50%
- Consumer Protection 15%
- Employment Law -- Severance Agreements, Employment Contracts 20%
- Employment Discrimination
- Privacy Rights -- Video and Electronic Surveillance of Employees
- Business Contracts and Leases
- Administrative Hearings
- Litigation & Appeals 15%
- Personal Injury -- Plaintiff
- Motor Vehicle Accidents -- Plaintiff
- Trustee/Guardian Ad Litem for lead poisoned children
- 60% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- Massachusetts, 1985
- U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit, 1986
- U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1997
- U.S. District Court District of Massachusetts, 1986
- Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts
- J.D. - 1985
- State University of New York, Albany, New York
- B.A. - 1980
- Legal Tactics:Tenants' Rights in Massachusetts (one chapter), MCLE, 7th Edition, 2008
- Expert Testimony In Childhood Lead Poisoning Cases, Trial, March, 1991
- Ayala v. Boston Housing Authority, 536 N.E.2d 1082, 1989, Mass., 1989059183
- Families with lead poisoned children
- Small business owners
- City Life/Vida Urbana
- Hildebrand Family Self-Help Center
- Cambridge Multi-Cultural Arts Center
- Various trusts for minors
- Legal Aspects of Lead Poisoning, Georgia Tech Research Institutes, 1991 to 1992
- Landlord/Tenant Law Clinics, National Lawyers Guild Street Law Project, 1991
- Foreclosure/Eviction Defense Clinics, National Lawyers Guild Street Law Project, 2008
Professional Associations and Memberships
- National Lawyers Guild, Massachusetts Chapter, Member, Board of Directors, 1998
- Massachusetts Bar Association, 1990
- Addiction Treatment Center of New England, Treasurer, Board of Directors, 1988 to 1999
Past Employment Positions
- Stern, Shapiro, Weissberg & Garin, Boston, MA, Associate, 1991 to 1995
- Pressman, Hiller & Kruskal, Cambridge, MA, Associate, 1986 to 1991
- Justice Edith Fine, Massachusetts Appeals Court, Law Clerk, 1985 to 1986
- Rockit Records, Owner, 1980 to 1982
- Watertown Multi-Service Center, The Sanctuary, Delta Family Services, Roosevelt Hospital, Social Worker, 1970 to 1980
Pro Bono Activities
- National Lawyers Guild Street Law Clinic Project, 1991