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Michael Leard, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP Photo

Michael J. Leard

Associate / Boston

Overview

Michael J. Leard is an associate in Nutter’s Litigation Department. For nearly a decade, Mike has represented individuals and companies of all sizes from across the country in the areas of commercial litigation, product liability, pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, toxic tort, including talc and asbestos litigation, and regulatory compliance.

Mike has represented clients in a wide variety of industries, including automotive, construction, consumer products, heavy equipment, pharmaceutical and medical device, restaurant, supermarket, and telecommunications. He regularly practices in the Massachusetts state and federal courts and has substantial experience in multi-district litigation. Mike is experienced in all aspects of trial preparation, including written discovery, depositions of fact and expert witnesses, as well as dispositive motion practice, pre-trial briefing, and settlement negotiations.

Mike has also counseled clients in the areas of environmental and occupational safety and health issues. In this role, he often works with in-house counsel and corporate safety professionals to coordinate disaster response and recovery efforts.

In addition, Mike serves as an editor for Nutter’s BLS Blog, through which he reports on recent developments in the Massachusetts state court’s Business Litigation Session.

Notable Experience and Client Impact

  • In product liability matter brought against medical device manufacturer, successfully opposed plaintiff-petitioner’s request for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to exercise its superintendence powers over parties’ discovery dispute, resulting in the SJC ruling in medical device-client’s favor without the need for oral argument.
  • Successfully obtained judgment on the pleadings in favor of medical device manufacturer in response to third-party complaint for tort-based indemnification brought by physician due to his potential liability in underlying medical malpractice action. The Massachusetts Superior Court agreed with client’s assertion that tort-based indemnification was inappropriate because physician was “being held accountable for only his own negligence and, as such, is not blameless.” Woodard, Sr. v. Kueny, M.D., 2019 WL 5788368 (Mass. Sup. Ct. Aug. 1, 2019).
  • Obtained swift pre-suit resolution of licensor’s breach of no-contact and non-solicitation provisions of software licensing agreement, ultimately resulting in licensor’s issuance of “apology letter” to client.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a pharmaceutical manufacturer successfully rebutting plaintiff’s novel theory of cross-jurisdictional class action tolling. Patterson v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., 909 F.Supp.2d 116 (D.R.I. 2012).
  • Obtained dismissal of defendant’s counterclaim for violation of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, M.G.L. c. 93A, in favor of telecommunications service provider on grounds that the defendant’s c. 93A claims were rooted in contract and, therefore, the choice of law provision of contract at issue applying foreign law prevailed. EarthLink Business, LLC v. Hibernia Atlantic U.S. LLC, 2015 WL 13722627 (D. Mass. 2015).
  • Successfully resolved potential multi-million-dollar product liability matter in favor of industrial talc supplier due, in large part, to client’s compelling motion for summary judgment based on Massachusetts’ rejection of the market share theory of liability.
  • Successfully negotiated favorable settlement on behalf of a commercial paint manufacturer on the eve of summary judgment hearing.

Mike also has an active pro bono practice. He obtained legal status for three siblings who fled persecution and abuse in their native country, which required representation before the Massachusetts probate court, Boston Immigration Court, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Asylum Office. In addition, Mike successfully represented the widow of a veteran seeking Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (death benefits) due to the veteran’s suicide before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, which resulted in the Court vacating the underlying denial of benefits.  Mike also represents a client before the Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance and has participated in the firm’s Civil Appeals Clinic, through which he assisted low-income litigants assess whether to seek appellate review. In light of his commitment to pro bono legal service, Mike has been honored with Nutter’s Pro Bono Publico Award.

For several years, Mike served as an Adjunct Associate Professor at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, where he taught a course on occupational safety and health regulations. He has spoken on numerous panels sponsored by the Trial Attorneys of America, the Massachusetts Bar Association, and Perrin Conferences. He has also authored pieces for various trade journals.

From 2014 through 2020, Mike was elected to six consecutive terms as a member of the board of directors for the Young Lawyers Division of the Massachusetts Bar Association. In 2019, he chaired the MBA’s Young Lawyers Symposium, and, for five consecutive years, spearheaded the Young Lawyers Division’s “Survive and Thrive” program, the Division’s highest-attended CLE of the year. He also served as a member of the Planning Committee for the 2020 DRI Drug and Medical Device Seminar.  He is a Fellow of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, the Commonwealth’s premier legal charity, through which he works to increase access to justice for all Massachusetts residents.

Prior to joining Nutter, Mike was a Senior Associate at a regional litigation firm headquartered in Boston.

News & Insights

Honors

Honors

  • Fellow, Massachusetts Bar Foundation, 2018 - present
  • Board of Directors, Young Lawyers Division, Massachusetts Bar Association, 2014 - present
  • The Best Lawyers in America “Ones to Watch”, 2021 

  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2015-2019
  • Pro Bono Publico Award, 2018

Education & Admissions

Education

Tulane University Law School, J.D., magna cum laude
College of the Holy Cross, B.A.

Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts

Before Nutter

During law school, Mike served as Senior Managing Editor of The Sports Lawyers Journal and was a member of Tulane’s Entertainment Law Legal Assistance project, through which he provided pro bono legal aid to aspiring New Orleans musicians.

Noteworthy

  • Fellow, Massachusetts Bar Foundation, 2018 - present

  • Board of Directors, Young Lawyers Division, Massachusetts Bar Association, 2014 - present

  • The Best Lawyers in America “Ones to Watch”, 2021 

  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2015-2019

  • Pro Bono Publico Award, 2018

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