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Litigation

Overview

Nutter litigators enjoy a national reputation based on their superior skills both in and out of the courtroom. We aggressively and effectively represent clients from pre-litigation counseling through the litigation process, including discovery, trial and appeal, as well as alternative dispute resolution where appropriate. We pride ourselves in achieving positive outcomes for our clients through sound strategy, intense preparation, and steadfast advocacy.

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Our Team

Our litigators are prominent and highly respected members of the legal and business communities. Many of them have served in leadership positions in the American, Boston, and Massachusetts Bar Associations, and the Commonwealth's Judicial Nominating Committee. Some of them appear in The Best Lawyers in America, teach at Boston law schools, and are nationally published. Among our partners are:

  • Two fellows of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers
  • A former first assistant U.S. attorney, chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston, and senior trial attorney in the Department of Justice
  • A former assistant U.S. attorney and chief of the economic crimes unit for the District of Massachusetts
  • A former justice of the Massachusetts Superior and Probate Courts
  • The former president of the Boston Bar Association, founding member of the Women's Bar Foundation, and chair of the SJC's Standing Committee on Pro Bono Services
  • Former Massachusetts assistant attorneys general
  • A director of the Environmental Business Council of New England

Who We Represent

Our clients represent a broad spectrum of businesses and individuals, including major publicly-held companies based in the United States and abroad, family-owned and other privately-held companies, professional service firms, including several of the Big Four accounting firms and numerous prominent law firms, major universities, hospitals, and other non-profit institutions, regulated businesses such as registered broker-dealers, money management firms and investment advisers, and governmental entities, including the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, various state agencies and numerous municipalities.

What We Do

Antitrust

  • Price fixing, market allocations, group boycotts and other conspiracies
  • Dealer terminations and other dealer/distributor disputes
  • Monopolization
  • Price discrimination
  • Government investigations
  • Defending and attacking proposed mergers, joint ventures and other business combinations
  • Unfair competition and other business torts
  • Tying and reciprocal dealing
  • Claims involving intellectual property issues, including standard-setting and restrictive licensing practices

Alternative dispute resolution

  • Arbitration of all types, including commercial, labor, construction and international
  • Mediation
  • Mini-trials and other court-sponsored ADR methods
  • Service as trained neutrals and arbitrators for AAA, court-sponsored privately arranged, and other ADR forums

Commercial litigation

  • Complex contract disputes
  • Tortious interference and other business torts
  • Common law fraud
  • RICO
  • Chapter 93A
  • Non-competition covenants
  • Partnership and close corporation disputes
  • Business valuation
  • Software disputes

Bankruptcy and workout litigation

  • Represent officers and directors of troubled companies both before and during bankruptcy proceedings
  • Obtain pre-bankruptcy injunctive and attachment remedies for creditors
  • Litigate in the Bankruptcy Court against estate representatives claiming preferences, fraudulent conveyances and breach of fiduciary duty
  • Represent buyers of troubled businesses in the Bankruptcy Court

Education

  • Tort claims arising out of campus security breaches for universities and secondary schools
  • Title IV
  • Civil rights
  • Student discipline
  • Claims under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
  • First Amendment issues, including freedom of speech and separation of church and state
  • Employment claims
  • Faculty disputes

Employment

  • Employment and labor relations matters
  • Contract disputes over employment contracts and non-competition covenants
  • Wrongful discharge
  • Discrimination and harassment
  • ERISA
  • Privacy
  • Defamation
  • Worker's compensation
  • Worker health and safety

Environmental

  • Ground water contamination
  • Environmental compliance actions
  • Superfund clean-ups
  • Wetlands protection
  • Hazardous waste disposal
  • Private party clean-ups
  • Environmental impact assessments
  • Sewage treatment and disposal

First Amendment

Intellectual property

  • Patents
  • Trademarks and trade dress
  • Copyrights
  • Trade secrets 

Insurance

  • Coverage disputes and bad faith claims
  • Asbestos claims
  • Environmental and other Massachusetts tort coverage issues
  • Directors' and officers' liability
  • Life, health and disability coverages
  • Complex coverage issues in bankruptcy context
  • Coverage audits and other proactive insurance counseling

Probate

  • Will contests
  • Trust disputes
  • cy pres proceedings
  • Custody
  • Adoptions
  • Paternity
  • Partitions of property
  • Claims against fiduciaries

Product liability

  • Medical devices
  • Blood products
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Motor vehicles
  • Heavy equipment
  • Computer equipment
  • Gases
  • Chemicals
  • Asbestos-containing products
  • Consumer products

Professional liability and malpractice

  • Accounting
  • Legal
  • Medical

Real estate and zoning

  • Construction claims
  • Land use disputes
  • Commercial lease disputes
  • Eminent domain

Securities and corporate

  • Securities fraud
  • Insider trading
  • Corporate disclosure issues
  • Claims arising out of mergers and acquisitions
  • Proxy contests and other corporate control disputes
  • SEC and state securities enforcement
  • Officer and director liability
  • Broker/dealer disputes
  • Claims involving investment advisory firms

White collar criminal defense

  • Criminal trials and appeals
  • Representing witnesses before federal and state grand juries
  • Claims such as procurement fraud, tax fraud, antitrust, mail and securities fraud, money laundering, and campaign contribution violations

View Practice Team

Representative Matters

Representative Matters

  • Automotive Products Liability Trial

    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 Apjohn’s client, Hyundai Motor America.

  • Represented pathology laboratory in qui tam case

    Represented pathology laboratory in qui tam case alleging fraudulent billing practices. Reached very favorable settlement with the U.S. Attorney's Office.

  • Top ten verdicts of 2011

    After an approximately two-week trial in April 2011, a Barnstable Superior Court jury awarded damages of $2,100,000 to the plaintiff landowners in an eminent domain trial resulting from various takings at the former Sagamore Rotary. Nelson Apjohn and Robyn Maguire represented the plaintiffs. According to Lawyers Weekly, the verdict was among the top ten verdicts in Massachusetts in 2011.

    The takings were made in October 2004 in connection with the Commonwealth’s construction of the Sagamore Flyover Highway Project. The plaintiffs’ land consisted of approximately seventeen acres just west of the former Sagamore Rotary, which had historically been used in part for residential housing. The plaintiffs presented evidence at trial that the highest and best use of the land was a residential housing development pursuant to G.L. c. 40B, along with a commercial development on the commercially-zoned eastern portion of the property. The Commonwealth contended that the highest and best use of the property was for a nine-lot residential subdivision.

  • Representation of a healthcare products and medical supplies company against claims for breach of contract

    Representation of a healthcare products and medical supplies company against multimillion dollar claim for breach of contract in connection with a supply agreement.

  • Representation of transportation company against wage and hour claims

    Representation of the limousine industry in numerous independent contractor-employee misclassification disputes including class actions, individual lawsuits and enforcement proceedings by state regulators.

  • Representation of insurance companies in class action litigation involving the workers compensation industry

    Represented insurance companies that wrote workers compensation insurance in class action litigation involving the entire workers compensation industry. This litigation, brought in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (in Chicago), involved claims of hundreds of millions of dollars of premium underreporting that affected the contributions of all class members to state-mandated reinsurance pools.

  • Top ten verdicts of 2010

    After an approximately two-week trial in October 2010, a Barnstable Superior Court jury awarded damages of $4,150,000 to the plaintiff landowner in an eminent domain trial resulting from various takings at the former Sagamore Rotary. Nelson Apjohn and Robyn Maguire represented the plaintiff. According to Lawyers Weekly, that verdict was among the top ten verdicts in Massachusetts in 2010.

    This case involved the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ takings of commercial property near the former Sagamore Rotary in Bourne, Massachusetts. The takings were made in connection with construction of the Sagamore Flyover Highway. The property consisted of approximately eleven acres of commercial property, a portion of which had been used as a gas station since the 1960s. The Commonwealth took approximately 2.5 acres in fee and approximately an additional 7.5 acres of property as a five-year easement, for use as a commuter parking lot during construction.

  • Won jury verdict in major business torts case

    After a client’s competitor acquired a client’s exclusive supplier and threatened to terminate the client’s supply of a key component, we sued the competitor and supplier. In a month long trial, we obtained a jury verdict holding the competitor and a supplier liable for breach of contract, tortious interference, and misappropriation of trade secrets, ultimately leading to a favorable judgment for declaratory and injunctive relief, double damages, and a multi-million dollar legal fee award under Massachusetts’ unfair trade practices statute.

  • Representing client in civil and criminal cases related to construction project

    Sarah Kelly was part of the Nutter team that represented many engineers involved with civil and criminal litigation arising from a major Boston construction project.

  • Defense verdict in U.S. District Court

    Sarah Kelly was part of a team that secured a defense verdict for its client after a four-week jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. A major European luxury hotel brought suit against Nutter’s client based on the client’s alleged connection to a significant fire at the hotel. The hotel claimed that the client was responsible for this fire because one of the client’s guests, a customer, negligently discarded a cigarette in her hotel room.

    After four years of discovery and motion practice, Nutter presented its case to a jury, demonstrating not only that its client was not negligent but that the hotel’s fire safety practices were inadequate. The trial lasted four weeks, while the jury deliberated for less than a day before rendering a verdict entirely in favor of Nutter’s client. "

  • Dismissal of litigation in both state and federal court

    Sarah Kelly has successfully represented a managing director of a private equity firm against breach of fiduciary duty claims. The claims, brought by various plaintiffs, have been litigated before both state and federal courts in California, and Nutter has successfully defended its client before all of them, including the Supreme Court of California. They arose out of the client’s position as an outside director of a California health-care company that eventually went bankrupt. The cases have all been resolved in the client’s favor, as a result of successful motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment.

  • Obtained favorable settlement on patent infringement claims

    Our client was sued for allegedly infringing a patent pertaining to the method by which our client’s product was packaged. Though the client denied any infringement, the client was able to settle the matter on favorable terms, including an advantageous license arrangement.

  • Won judgments in complex real estate litigation after related jury-waived trials in two courts

    One of the country’s largest retailers sued our client for millions of dollars in alleged damages and for an injunction based on a claimed breach of an easement agreement. After a jury-waived trial, we obtained a judgment dismissing the case. The court credited our client’s interpretation of the agreement and found there was no breach. In a related case, our client sued the retailer and a local permitting authority in a different court to overturn a decision that granted the retailer a permit to develop its property in a manner that would have been detrimental to our client’s adjoining property. After a jury waived trial, we obtained a judgment overturning the permit on the ground that the permitting authority abused its discretion. The combination of these two decisions later enabled the client to make an advantageous sale of its property to a third party.

  • Negotiated Favorable Settlement for Client Mid-trial in Unusual Will Contest

    After our client and her children had received one-third of a large estate through distributions of a relative's will, the executor decided that he had misread the will and that our clients were entitled to only a one-seventh share. The executors requested instructions from probate court to distribute the estate in sevenths; our clients opposed and counter-sued for breach of fiduciary duty. The court ruled that our clients were entitled to only one-seventh of the estate under the will’s clear language, but after a day of trial the executor’s insurer agreed to pay our clients the full amount they were required to return to the estate.

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