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Eric 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 20-plus 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 banks, Fortune 500 companies, law firms, governmental entities, trustees, directors, and officers, select Eric as their trusted legal advisor.

Complexity is the common denominator of Eric’s practice. He has litigated cases involving an array of allegations, including (among many others) bank fraud, unfair competition, tortious conduct, contractual breach, unfair insurance practices, 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 bankruptcy matters. 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 financial institutions and other 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 pursuing claims against a construction company 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 Formulatrix, Inc. v. Rigaku Automation, Inc., No. CV 15-12725-JGD, 2018 WL 5723149 (D. Mass. Nov. 1, 2018). The litigation arose out of a customer support agreement between the parties and involved complex contractual (and other) claims. Eric successfully represented the defendants/counterclaimants at the motion-to-dismiss stage (decided by Judge Wolf) and summary-judgment stage (decided by Judge Dein).

In OpenRisk, LLC v. Roston, 90 Mass. App. Ct. 1107 (2016), 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:

  • 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 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 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 a company sued for hundreds of millions of dollars arising from the alleged failure to disclose patent litigation to another party.
  • Defending insurer in putative class action from claims that the insurer failed to pay sales tax in connection with total-loss vehicles.
  • Defending a company in federal litigation product-liability claims arising from the use of a SWAT vehicle.
  • Defending a company facing class-action litigation for alleged violations of state statutes and regulations.
  • Representing a developer seeking to recover millions of dollars in damages arising from an architectural firm’s errors and omissions in the design process.
  • Representing a company seeking to recover millions of dollars in damages arising from construction defects in a modular building.
  • Defending high-tech company in trademark matters, including actions pending before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
  • 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. Besides his posts published there, Eric’s 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

  • Summary Judgment Victory: Adam Ercolini v. The Commerce Insurance Company

    After Adam Ercolini collided with a Commerce insured vehicle and suffered collision damage to his car, Commerce paid to repair Ercolini’s car and restore it to its prior condition. Ercolini nevertheless sued Commerce on his own behalf (as a third-party claimant) and on behalf of a putative class. According to Ercolini, Commerce had to pay for “inherent diminished value” damages (or IDV damages), the alleged difference in market value of a car that has been fully repaired after an accident compared to the market value of the same car before the collision. The underlying theory: there is an alleged stigma attached to vehicles that have been in an accident, regardless of repair. Ercolini asserted claims for breach of contract, declaratory judgment, and alleged violations of G.L. c. 93A.

    Commerce moved for summary judgement. Judge Salinger granted the motion. Judge Salinger grounded his decision, in part, on his synthesis of Massachusetts tort law: “[W]here damaged property has been fully repaired, and the responsible party has paid the full repair costs, . . . the property owner is not entitled to collect and the responsible party is not obligated to pay any additional amount for residual diminution of value.” He concluded: “[U]nless and until the appellate courts change this rule, the policy language at issue here does not give [Ercolini] any right to recover for alleged IDV damages in addition to recovering the full cost to repair [his] vehicle[].”

    Nelson Apjohn and Eric Magnuson led the Nutter team. Melanie Woodward and Joe Toomey assisted in early investigation of the facts and legal issues and in serving and responding to discovery. Nehal Khorraminejad and Maya Ginga assisted in preparing the motion for summary judgment. The entire team was assisted by Kate Johns, Paige Smith, Jennifer Catarius, Chris Feldman, Kelly Cannizzaro, and Lila Abraham.

  • 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

Publications

Blog Posts

Honors

Honors

  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers, 2014-2019
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers 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 Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circut 
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circut 

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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