Nelson G. Apjohn is a partner in Nutter’s Litigation Department and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He regularly represents clients in civil litigation cases, focusing on business litigation and products liability claims. In addition, clients rely on Nelson’s extensive experience litigating a variety of matters such as eminent domain, insurance, executive compensation, legal malpractice defense, construction (both commercial and personal injury), trusts and estates, and various personal injury claims. Nelson has trial and appellate experience in both the state and federal courts, as well as experience in state regulatory proceedings and arbitration.
Notable Experience and Client Impact
- An automotive products liability trial in 2016 against Hyundai Motor America, involving a claim that the brake and accelerator pedal configuration of an automobile was conducive to simultaneous depression of the pedals and unintended acceleration, resulting in serious personal injuries. After a seven-day trial, the jury returned a defense verdict in favor of Nelson’s client, Hyundai Motor America.
- An eminent domain trial involving the Sagamore Flyover Highway Project, which was one of the top ten verdicts in Massachusetts in 2011, according to Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. A jury awarded damages of $2.1 million to the plaintiff landowners after a two-week trial.
- An eminent domain trial resulting in a $4.15 million verdict for the plaintiff landowner in a case involving the taking of land at the Sagamore Rotary; a verdict that Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly reported was among the top ten verdicts in Massachusetts in 2010. (A retrial in 2015 resulted in a verdict of $5.33 million for the plaintiff landowner.)
- A trial in 2010 in the Business Session of the Massachusetts Superior Court resulting in a judgment in excess of $3 million on behalf of a bank, as a secured creditor, against a construction company. In addition to the trial, Nelson successfully argued the appeal and the bank’s cross-appeal before the Supreme Judicial Court, ultimately resulting in a judgment in excess of $7.6 million, including interest. Reading Co-operative Bank v. Suffolk Construction Company, Inc., 464 Mass. 543 (2013). Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly chose this decision as one of the most important commercial decisions of 2013.
- Boone v. Commerce Insurance Company, 451 Mass. 192 (2008), which Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly selected as one of the most important insurance opinions of 2008. The case was an appeal that Nelson successfully argued before the Supreme Judicial Court, reversing a summary judgment and Appeals Court affirmance.
- The successful appeal before the Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of a Massachusetts motor vehicle insurer in a putative class action, overturning a lower court summary judgment holding that the Massachusetts standard motor vehicle policy provided collision coverage for so-called "inherent diminished value," in Given v. Commerce Insurance Company, 440 Mass. 207 (2003). Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly ranked the decision as one of the ten most important decisions of 2003.
A leader in the legal industry, Nelson is involved in numerous professional organizations:
- Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil and Appellate Procedure of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, chair
- Boston Inn of Court, co-president for the 2015-2016 term and a member of its Executive Committee
- New England Legal Foundation, member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee
- Boston Bar Association, member
- International Association of Defense Counsel, member
- Defense Research Institute, member
Nelson has lectured at continuing legal education programs for civil litigation and authored various legal works, including:
- “Product Liability” chapter supplement in the Massachusetts Superior Court Civil Practice Jury Instructions (J. D. Lipchitz et al. eds., 3rd ed, 1st Supp. 2016), co-author with Superior Court Judge Hon. Maynard M. Kirpalani
- “Dispositive Motions” chapter in the Massachusetts Superior Court Civil Practice Manual (Hon. T. P. Billings et al. eds., 3rd ed. 2013 and Supp. 2015), co-author with Superior Court Judge Hon. Patrick F. Brady
- Further Discovery of Expert Witnesses Under Massachusetts Rule of Civil Procedure 26, 88 Mass. L. Rev. 197 (2004)
- Expert Evidence, A Practitioner’s Guide to Law, Science, and the FJC Manual (Bert Black & Patrick W. Lee eds. 1997), contributing author
- Post-“Daubert” Admissibility of Expert Testimony on Mechanical Design and Engineering Issues, 23 Prod. Safety & Liab. Rep. (BNA) 553 (1995), co-author with S. M. Quill
- “Consider Legal Issues in Software Buys,” Mass High Tech, author
- “Internet Property Protection Derives from an Arcane Source,” Mass High Tech, author
During law school, Nelson served as the managing editor and articles editor of the Boston College Law Review.