Our History

Hannon Lerner P.C.

Judge James Hannon

Judge James Hannon


After graduating magna cum laude from Boston University Law School in 1935, James Hannon opened his law practice at 71 Main St, Lee Massachusetts.

James Hannon was appointed Judge and served in the Lee District Courts in MA throughout the 1960's. In 1969, Judge Hannon portrayed himself in the movie Alice's Restaurant. Like the song goes, he was the blind judge who found Arlo Guthrie guilty of littering and made him pay a small fine for the crime. His seeing eye dog Susie accompanied him in Courtrooms as well as on movie sets.

Maurice I. Lerner

Maurice I. Lerner

Founding Partner

Maurice I. Lerner, who graduated from Northeastern University Law School, joined Judge James Hannon in 1937 and the firm relocated to 49 Main Street, Lee, known as Hannon Lerner.

Maurice Lerner was an exacting real estate practitioner, famous for his precision in conducting title research. He was well known as a "lawyer's lawyer" and was often approached by his colleagues at the registry for his valuable advice on difficult title issues. An absolute gentleman, Mr. Lerner was a well respected member of the real estate bar until his retirement in 1980.

James P. Dohoney

Judge James P. Dohoney


Jim Dohoney graduated from the College of the Holy Cross and Boston College Law School in 1966, and the partnership of Hannon, Lerner & Dohoney was formed in 1969. He was appointed first justice of Southern Berkshire District Court in 1980 and was presiding justice of the western district's appellate division before being appointed to the Berkshire Superior Court.

Cowhig, Scully and Bell

Hugh Cowhig


Hugh received his law degree from Western New England College of Law in 1967, and joined the firm in 1972 which became Hannon Lerner Dohoney & Cowhig. Hugh was an important part of the firm until he retired in 2003.


Jerome Scully


After graduating from The College of The Holy Cross in 1960, Jerry was commissioned an Ensign in the US Navy.

While serving as Selectman of the Town of Lee from 1966 to 1969, Jerry worked closely with James Hannon who was then Town Counsel for Lee. Their close relationship sparked his interest in a career in law. He returned to school, graduating cum laude from Western New England School of Law in 1973, then joined the firm in 1974.

In 1980 Jerry was appointed Town Counsel for the Town of Lee, a position he held until his retirement in 2007. He also served as Town Counsel for the towns of Sandisfield, New Marlboro, Otis, Egremont, Tyringham, Sheffield, Lenox, Monterey, Savoy and Tolland.


Sarah H. Bell


After commuting to the Western New England College of Law while working as a legal secretary, Sally Bell received her law degree in 1979 and subsequently joined the firm which became Hannon Lerner Cowhig Scully & Bell. She served as vice chairman of the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission and as a consultant to the Berkshire Natural Resources Council and was very involved in Berkshire planning and environmental organizations. Sally was instrumental in the acquisition of vast tracts of conservation land throughout the Berkshires.

In 1988 the firm of Hannon Lerner Cowhig Scully & Bell relocated to 184 Main Street, Lee. Attorney Jeremia A. Pollard joined Attorney Bell as partner in 2006, then acquired the business from the partners in 2012, returning to its original name of Hannon Lerner.

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