Press Release April 19, 2006

FBI Informant Represented by Goodwin Procter Litigators Wins Constitutional Rights Case

BOSTON, April 19, 2006 — Goodwin Procter's Litigation Department client, Sheila Porter, received a significant litigation victory in the case of Sheila Porter v. Andrea Cabral. In January 2006, the firm's trial team secured a $610,000 verdict from a federal jury in Boston in favor of Porter, a nurse practitioner at the Suffolk County (MA) House of Corrections. The jury found that Cabral, the Suffolk County Sheriff, and Suffolk County violated Porter's constitutional rights by revoking her security clearance from the House of Corrections and awarded Porter $360,000 in compensatory damages and $250,000 in punitive damages.

In June, 2003, Porter was barred from the House of Corrections just weeks after Sheriff Cabral learned that she was an informant for the FBI.  For four years, Porter provided information to the FBI regarding potential criminal activity within the prison.  Porter filed her lawsuit in September 2004 and the case went to trial in January 2006. The seven-day trial included testimony from an FBI agent, former First Assistant United States Attorney Gerard Leone, Sheriff Cabral and Porter.  After deliberating for one day, the jury returned its verdict in Porter's favor, rejecting Sheriff Cabral's defense that Porter was barred for reasons other than her communications with the FBI.

Goodwin Procter partner Joseph Savage led the trial team on behalf of Porter.