Attorney Michael J. Akerson has been selected by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, the leading legal periodical in the state, as a “Lawyer of the Year” for 2011. The prestigious award follows Attorney Akerson’s successful defense of a Lynn police officer who was terminated by the City based upon allegations of excessive force and improper conduct. Appealing the termination through arbitration, Attorney Akerson secured an award that ordered the officer’s return to work. When the City appealed that decision, Attorney Akerson represented the officer before the Superior Court, the Appeals Court, the Supreme Judicial Court and, ultimately, the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Judicial Court decision, City of Lynn v. Thompson, 435 Mass. 54 (2011), stands as one of the leading cases in Massachusetts on the authority of arbitrators and the binding nature of their factual findings. After years of litigation, the officer’s return to work was confirmed through the courts and the City was required to compensate the officer in an enormous way for his back pay and other lost benefits.