For Immediate Release - October 28, 2009


BOSTON - Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - Governor Deval Patrick today announced that Chief Legal Counsel Ben Clements and Deputy Chief Counsel Michael Pineault are departing the administration to return to private practice and jointly launch a new law firm. William "Mo" Cowan, a highly-regarded Boston attorney, will serve as the Governor's new Chief Legal Counsel.

"Ben and Mike have been trusted friends and exceptional colleagues for many years. Each brought extraordinary expertise and integrity to their work here on the public's behalf and they will be sorely missed," said Governor Patrick. "I thank them for their service and wish them the very best as they launch their new law firm."

"I am thrilled that Mo Cowan is coming on board," Governor Patrick continued. "Mo is an accomplished attorney, trusted advisor, and committed civic leader. He will be an excellent addition to our team."

Ben Clements was among the Governor's first appointments following his election in 2006 and has served as his Chief Legal Counsel since the start of the administration in January 2007. While managing the Governor's Office of Legal Counsel, Clements spearheaded the revitalization of the Judicial Nominating Commission, oversaw the judicial appointments process, and advised the Governor in the appointment of more than fifty judicial officers, including Supreme Judicial Court Justices Margot Botsford and Ralph Gants, and five new members of the Massachusetts Appeals Court. Beginning in November 2008, Clements also served as the Chair of the Governor's Task Force on Public Integrity, which Clements assembled and led to recommend legislation to improve the state ethics and lobbying laws. The Governor signed the landmark ethics, lobbying, and campaign finance reform law in June.

Michael Pineault also has been with the administration since January 2007. In his role as Deputy Chief Counsel, he has worked on several significant legislative and regulatory initiatives, including education and transportation reform and the restructuring of the state's labor relations agencies. He also has served as the principal attorney within the Governor's Office on matters relating to health and human services, education, labor and workforce development, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Both Clements and Pineault are former federal prosecutors in the Boston United States Attorney's Office, served together as law clerks on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and were litigators in private practice at a number of prestigious law firms. They will jointly be launching Clements & Pineault, LLP, a litigation firm, specializing in white collar criminal defense, business and appellate litigation.

Mo Cowan leaves his partnership in Mintz Levin's Litigation Section, where he serves as Chair of the Anti-Money Laundering Compliance and Counseling practice group, and works closely with the White Collar Defense group. He also served as a Special Assistant District Attorney with the Middlesex District Attorney's Office in 2000. Mo formerly chaired Mintz Levin's Hiring Committee and currently serves on the firm's Diversity Committee.

Mo is a former President of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association and of the Northeastern University School of Law Alumni Association. He currently serves as a member of the Northeastern University Corporation (the university's governing body). He has also served as a director and/or trustee of several non-profit organizations, including the Discovering Justice Foundation, Roxbury Preparatory Charter School, Project STEP, Boston Bar Association, Boston Bar Foundation, Boston Lawyers Group, Victim Rights Law Center, Volunteer Lawyers Project, and the New England Minority Purchasing Council, Inc. He is a graduate of Duke University and Northeastern University School of Law.