Harvey Schwartz is one of Massachusetts’ leading civil rights attorneys. He tried cutting edge cases from the state’s trial courts to the United States Supreme Court, where he argued two civil rights cases. His clients included two Saudi detainees at Guantanamo Bay, teenagers challenging mandatory draft registration, neo-Nazis denied a parade permit, a single mother fired because she would not neglect her child, Catholic women fired for refusing to work on Christmas, a marijuana advocacy group refused the right to advertise on Boston’s transit system, a tattoo artist challenging the state’s ban on tattooing, and scores of employees discriminated against on account of their age, race and gender. Before starting his private legal practice Harvey was an assistant attorney general and the chief arson prosecutor for Massachusetts.
He has won awards from the American Civil Liberties Union and the President’s Award from the Boston Bar Association in recognition of his work representing Guantanamo detainees.
Prior to law school, Harvey was an award-winning investigative reporter for Gannett Corporation newspapers. He taught writing at both the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University and the Boston University School of Law. He taught constitutional litigation at New England School of Law. He holds an FAA glider pilots license and a Coast Guard Merchant Marine Officer license.
Since retiring in 2012, Harvey and his wife Sandra Hamilton have spent every summer cruising the rivers and canals of France on their 92 year old Dutch barge, Hoop Doet Leven. During the winter, when he’s not in France, Harvey builds small rowing, paddling and sailing boats at Marshview Boatworks. Harvey and Sandra live in a house on a salt marsh near the mouth of the Ipswich River in Ipswich, Massachusetts. From their kitchen table they look across a marsh creek at a farmhouse built by the foreman of the jury in the Salem witch trials.
Many of Harvey’s cases have been covered by the national media, including a front page lead Wall Street Journal article, several National Public Radio interviews, an Ellen Goodman column, numerous talk radio appearances, a New Yorker article and a chapter in Susan Orleans’ book “The Matador Wore Lipstick.” He is a frequent speaker on legal issues. Click here to listen to Harvey being interviewed by Liane Hansen on National Public Radio about representing a man fired because he smoked cigarettes at home. Ellen Goodman wrote a column in the Boston Globe about another fun case, challenging the male-only Selective Service registration law.