Most of the partners in the practice group have over 25 years of experience in defending lawyers against legal malpractice claims. We have tried legal malpractice cases to verdict, and in other cases, have negotiated favorable, entirely confidential settlements after commencing a trial. Our trial experience results in more efficient and focused discovery and trial preparation efforts. Our familiarity with the substantive law of legal malpractice, and the defenses available to those claims, also has resulted in a very successful record with respect to dispositive motions.
The firm’s lawyers also provide ethical and risk management advice to lawyers and other law firms concerning ongoing client matters and claims not yet in a suit. In many cases, our advice has meant that an ethical issue is resolved in a way that is satisfactory to both lawyer and client, putting the matter to rest. In other situations, our advice has helped to ensure that the lawyer is best-positioned to defend against a subsequent malpractice claim or disciplinary complaint. Our perspective on ethical and disciplinary issues is enhanced by our lawyers’ service with the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers, both as members of the Board and as hearing officers on disciplinary and reinstatement matters. Our lawyers also write and regularly speak about ethics and legal malpractice defense.
Recent representative litigation matters include the following.
- The firm recently represented a global IP firm at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, obtaining a first-in-the-nation decision affirming dismissal of a complaint on the grounds that a lawyer’s representation of two clients seeking patents in the same technology space is not a per se conflict of interest;
- Lawyers at the firm obtained another first-in-the-nation decision from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court for a large Boston firm, in which the Court held that a lawyer’s communications with in-firm general counsel about a client matter are protected by the attorney-client privilege;
- The firm successfully moved to dismiss a legal malpractice complaint against a trusts and estate lawyer, on the grounds that the plaintiff had no attorney-client relationship with the lawyer as a matter of law;
- The firm also successfully moved to dismiss a legal malpractice complaint against a Boston partner of a national law firm, on the grounds that the plaintiff improperly had split her claims between two different lawsuits.
Our lawyers also have advised managing partners of small and medium-sized firms on risk management and law practice management issues, including issues of transition and succession planning, obtaining appropriate malpractice coverage, and the drafting and promulgation of firm policies and procedures.