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Eric P. Magnuson, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP Photo

Eric P. Magnuson

Co-Chair, Business Litigation Practice Group / Boston

Overview

Eric P. Magnuson co-chairs Nutter’s Business Litigation practice group. Blending practicality with tenacity and strategic thinking, Eric helps clients solve legal challenges so that his clients can focus on what they do best: pursue their business goals. His nearly 20 years of experience in state and federal courts spans all stages of the litigation lifecycle—pretrial, trial, and appeal. Eric represents clients in class actions, multi-district litigations, and arbitral disputes. A diverse range of clients, including Fortune 500 companies, banks, law firms, governmental entities, trustees, directors, and officers, select Eric as their trusted legal advisor.

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Eric’s practice is not limited to any business vertical. Nor is his practice limited to any area of litigation. Complexity is the common denominator. He has litigated cases involving allegations of unfair competition, tortious conduct, contractual breach (including contracts of insurance), infringement of constitutional rights, negligent product design, violations of export-import laws, infringement of intellectual property, and breaches of data privacy laws. Eric has also litigated a number of bankruptcy matters, and he has served as a Special Assistant Attorney General.

Eric’s skillset goes beyond the direct sphere of litigation. Clients regularly rely on Eric’s expertise when negotiating the “front end” of business deals, including mergers and acquisitions. Eric also spearheads internal investigations on behalf of company clients. As a member of Nutter’s Privacy and Data Security practice group, Eric helps clients respond to data breaches and network intrusions. 

Reading Co-operative Bank v. Suffolk Construction Company, Inc., 464 Mass. 543 (2013), serves as an illustrative matter. Eric served as trial and appellate counsel to a bank in that litigation pursuing claims arising under Article 9 of the UCC. Prevailing at trial and on appeal, the bank was awarded a nearly $8 million judgment. Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly named the decision one of the most important commercial decisions of the year.

Another representative matter is OpenRisk, LLC v. Roston, 90 Mass. App. Ct. 1107 (2016), a case in which Eric represented defendants that were sued in Massachusetts for alleged misappropriation of trade secrets. Although the defendants had forum-related contacts, the defendants sought dismissal of the case based on lack of personal jurisdiction. The Superior Court (Kaplan, J.) dismissed the case, rejecting the theory that a defendant can be subject to personal jurisdiction based on the forum contacts of alleged co-conspirators. The Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed.

Other representative matters include:

  • Defending one of the nation’s largest defense contractors against claims for alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and receipt of fraudulent transfers totaling tens of millions of dollars. 
  • Representing a bank pursuing claims arising from the misdirection of millions of dollars in payments in violation of Article 9 of the UCC.
  • Defending a company in federal litigation involving claims for millions of dollars of damages based on alleged breaches of contract, product defects, misappropriation of intellectual property, interference, and unfair trade practices.
  • Defending a company facing class-action litigation for alleged violations of state statutes and regulations.
  • Representing a putative class of insurance companies pursuing claims for hundreds of millions of dollars of premium underreporting in connection with workers’ compensation risk pools.
  • Defending a bank against claims for alleged breaches of a data contract.
  • Defending high-tech company in trademark matters, including actions pending before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
  • Representing a financial institution in connection with internal investigation into matters relating to a portfolio of hundreds of millions of dollars in international loans.
  • Defending companies in bankruptcy-preference litigations across the country.
  • Representing directors and officers of defense contractor seeking coverage under D&O insurance.
  • Representing a financial institution pursuing coverage claims under export-import insurance.
  • Representing a company pursuing claims arising from a guarantor’s failure to pay millions of dollars on defaulted loans.

Eric is involved in numerous professional organizations, including the Boston of Inn of Court, the Boston Bar Association, the Federalist Society, the International Association of Privacy Professionals, and the Defense Research Institute.

Eric serves as the Senior Editor of the BLS Blog. His published articles include “ATM Nuisance Suits Should Be Thrown Out of Court,” American Banker (link here); “Apple v. Samsung Electronics: The Perils of Email Auto Deletion,” Nutter Advisory (link here); and “Supreme Court Avoids Deciding Consumer Standing Issue,” Nutter Advisory (link here).

During law school, Eric served as Executive Note Editor of the Arizona Law Review.

Outside the office, you may find Eric lining up at a cycling event somewhere in the woods or on the roads of New England.

Experience

Experience

  • Won Verdict and Multi-Million Judgment on Behalf of Bank in Article 9 Litigation

    Served as trial counsel for bank in a multi-week jury trial resulting in a verdict finding breach of contract and violation of Article 9 (Secured Transactions) of the UCC against a major construction company. The case arose out of the triangular relationship between the bank, the construction company, and its subcontractor. Despite receiving notice of an assignment of the subcontractor’s account receivables to the bank, the construction company issued multiple payments to the subcontractor. Overcoming a multitude of defenses, the bank was awarded a judgment of more than $3 million, plus prejudgment interest.

  • Won Summary Judgment on Behalf of Directors in Insurance Litigation

    Obtained summary judgment on behalf of directors in a litigation against an insurer that disclaimed coverage under a D&O policy.

  • Successfully Defended Bank in ATM Litigation

    Represented bank in an action arising under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. The plaintiff claimed that the bank violated EFTA by failing to post a physical notice of a $2.00 ATM fee. The plaintiff sought damages, costs, and attorneys’ fees. The bank counterclaimed, alleging that the lawsuit was commenced in bad faith. The bank also moved to dismiss the litigation, arguing that the plaintiff did not have constitutional standing to pursue the claim. Shortly after receiving the motion to dismiss, the plaintiff proposed that the parties dismiss their claims with prejudice, with the bank paying no damages, costs, or fees to the plaintiff.

  • Won Judgment in Favor of Defendant Facing G.L. c. 93A Claim

    Served as trial counsel for individual defendant who was facing claims for alleged violations of G.L. c. 93A. After trial and post-trial briefing, the court entered judgment in favor of the defendant, finding no legal or factual basis for 93A liability.

  • Won Asylum Trial

    Served as trial counsel for individual seeking asylum. The individual was in the United States after fleeing Cameroon because of political persecution. At the conclusion of the trial, the individual was awarded asylum.

  • Successfully Defended Company in Major Bankruptcy Litigation

    Successfully represented Fortune 500 company against claims in excess of $20 million for alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and fraudulent transfers.

News & Insights

Honors

Honors

Super Lawyers, 2014 - 2017, Rising Stars 2005 - 2007

Education & Admissions

Education

University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, J.D., cum laude

Calvin College, B.A.

Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First, Sixth and Eleventh Circuits

Notable Experience

Eric served as trial and appellate counsel to a bank pursuing claims arising under Article 9 of the UCC. Prevailing at trial and on appeal, the bank was awarded a nearly $8 million judgment. Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly named the decision—Reading Co-operative Bank v. Suffolk Construction Company, Inc., 464 Mass. 543 (2013)—one of the most important commercial decisions of the year.

In the Community

Eric is involved in numerous professional organizations, including the Boston of Inn of Court, the Boston Bar Association, the Federalist Society, the International Association of Privacy Professionals, and the Defense Research Institute.

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