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Michael Leard, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP Photo

Michael J. Leard

Partner / Boston

Overview

Michael J. Leard is a partner in Nutter’s Litigation Department. For over 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, and regulatory compliance.

Mike has represented clients in a wide variety of industries, including automotive, construction, consumer products, including talc, 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 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

  • Defend Fortune 500 pharmaceutical distributor from public nuisance claims brought by various Massachusetts municipalities seeking millions in costs purportedly associated with opioid addiction.
  • Represented leading dealer in classical Italian musical instruments in international arbitration, successfully resolving claims against purchaser of multi-million dollar instrument.

  • 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, against whom a medical malpractice action was pending. The Massachusetts Superior Court agreed with Nutter’s assertion that 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.

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 successfully appealed a decision by the Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance, resulting in an award of benefits to a Covid-19 frontline worker and has defended a local restaurant impacted by Covid-19 in various contract disputes. 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.

Mike serves as a Fellow of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, a charity dedicated to increasing access to justice for all Massachusetts residents, and has been actively involved in the Massachusetts Bar Association and Defense Research Institute’s Drug and Medical Device section. He is recognized in The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch, Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Stars, and Boston Magazine’s inaugural list of “Top Lawyers.”

News & Insights

Blog Posts

Honors

Honors

  • Boston Magazine “Top Lawyers”, 2021
  • The Best Lawyers in America “Ones to Watch”, 2021-2022
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2015-2021
  • Pro Bono Publico Award, 2018, 2021
  • Fellow, Massachusetts Bar Foundation, 2018 - present
  • Board of Directors, Young Lawyers Division, Massachusetts Bar Association, 2014 – 2020

Education & Admissions

Education

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

Admissions

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

Notable Experience

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, against whom a medical malpractice action was pending. The Massachusetts Superior Court agreed with Nutter’s assertion that indemnification was inappropriate because physician was “being held accountable for only his own negligence and, as such, is not blameless.”

Noteworthy

  • Boston Magazine “Top Lawyers”, 2021
  • The Best Lawyers in America “Ones to Watch”, 2021-2022
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2015-2021
  • Pro Bono Publico Award, 2018, 2021
  • Fellow, Massachusetts Bar Foundation, 2018 - present
  • Board of Directors, Young Lawyers Division, Massachusetts Bar Association, 2014 – 2020
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