State and Federal Cases

Federal Criminal Defense Cases

  • Not Guilty of white collar RICO conspiracy and Not Guilty of a Klein conspiracy in a case charging our client with participating in a criminal scheme which resulted in the death of 65 people nation-wide from adulterated drugs.
  • Not Guilty of RICO and RICO conspiracy. Attorney Jack Cunha successfully challenged the government’s claim that the group involved constituted organized crime.
    • He also successfully challenged use of the “ballistics” evidence, severely limiting the prosecution.

  • Not Guilty of RICO and RICO conspiracy. Attorney Jack Cunha argued 1) that the “group” was too disorganized to constitute a criminal enterprise, and 2) his client was not involved, no matter what.
  • Not Guilty federal bank robbery.
  • Not Guilty heroin trafficking. A Singapore native was charged after a large Chinese vase filled with heroin had been delivered to his house. Attorney Cunha developed evidence that his client angered powerful international drug kingpins, who retaliated by sending him the vase in order to provoke charges against him.

State Criminal Defense Cases

  • Not Guilty four-victim murder trial, Suffolk Superior Court, Boston. In the nationally publicized Mattapan Massacre case, Attorney Cunha represented one of two defendants. During a seven week trial, the defense demonstrated that the Commonwealth’s chief witness committed the crime.
  • Not Guilty first degree murder trial, Suffolk Superior Court, Boston. Attorney Cunha represented a young man charged with shooting multiple people. A different defendant had originally been convicted of the crime, but then released when the prosecution decided to rely on a new witness who claimed to have participated in the murder. Jack attacked the new witness, using cross-examination and evidence developed by our investigation.
  • Not Guilty domestic assault and battery, Boston Municipal Court. The wife of Attorney Holcomb’s divorce client accused him of assaulting her during a custody transfer of their young child. After Attorney Cunha successfully defended the client against the criminal charges, Attorney Holcomb resolved the highly contentious divorce with shared parenting time and a fair asset division.
  • Not Guilty domestic assault and battery trials, Taunton District Court and Dorchester District Court. Defending charges against our client on two different people, Attorney Cunha’s cross-examination of each alleged victim revealed the ulterior motives behind the allegations.
  • New Trial second degree murder, Bristol Superior Court, Fall River. During a five-day evidentiary hearing on a Motion for New Trial, Jack developed evidence that our client had not been competent during the trial. The trial judge ordered a new trial.

Drunk Driving/OUI

  • Not Guilty drunk driving, Cambridge District Court. Our client was arrested outside his home and charged with OUI and leaving the scene of an accident. He took a breath test, which indicated a blood alcohol level of .24 percent. At trial, we successfully argued that the prosecution could not prove that our client had actually driven while impaired, nor that he fled the scene of an accident.
  • Not Guilty drunk driving, Framingham District Court. Our client was charged with drunk driving after failing a breathylizer test. Using a combination of expert testimony and attack on the credibility of the arresting police officer, Attorney Cunha asserted the breath test reading resulted from illness, not alcohol.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident after Causing Personal Injury

  • Not Guilty, Hingham District Court. Our client was charged with driving to endanger and leaving the scene of an accident after causing personal injury, a very serious offense. Attorney Cunha’s investigation discovered that
    • 1) the complaining witness and friends had been jumping off high rocks earlier into shallow water;
    • 2) the complaining witness was playing sports incompatible with the supposed injuries; and
    • 3) the layout of the scene cast doubt on the claims made against his client.

    Using these facts, as well as photographs and diagrams of the area, Jack effectively cross-examined the complaining witnesses and friends of the complaining witness.


  • U.S. Supreme Court. Jack began representing our client in federal District Court, Boston charged with “carrying” a firearm in an automobile trunk. Jack fought the case all the way to the United States Supreme Court. A narrowly divided Court decided 5-4 that having a gun in the trunk of a car counted as “carrying” the firearm for purposes of the relevant federal statute. Muscarello v. United States, 524 U.S. 125 (1998).
  • Defense Victory in a case where the defendant was alleged by the government to have four predicate Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) offenses, Attorney Cunha convinced the trial court that ACCA did not apply, and received a sentence well under the minimum mandatory 15 years, and far less than the approximately 22 years the government was seeking. After prolonged litigation, the client’s sentence was drastically reduced.
  • Defense Victory In the appeal of a defendant convicted of the murder of a police officer, Attorney Cunha secured a new trial in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC). Commonwealth v. Patterson, 432 Mass. 767 (2000). Thereafter, preparing for the new trial in Boston, Suffolk Superior Court, Jack challenged the fingerprint evidence that allegedly placed our client on the scene. In a second appeal to the SJC, Jack persuaded the SJC that the evidence was unreliable and inadmissible. Commonwealth v. Patterson, 445 Mass. 626 (2005). Our client is a free man, saved from a life sentence without parole.
  • Defense Victory representing a defendant appealing from entry of a permanent 209A restraining order issued in Concord District Court. Attorney Hope convinced the Appeals Court that there is no right to a permanent order based solely on a previous restraining order having been issued. The Appeals Court vacated the order. The trial court then dismissed the case. Jones v. Gallagher, 54 Mass. App. Ct. 883 (2002).