As appellate counsel, we have represented clients in hundreds of appeals in both federal and state appellate courts across all of the firm’s substantive practice areas. While most of our work arises out of our trial practice, we are also regularly retained to prepare amicus (or “friend of the court”) briefs on legal issues of far-reaching significance, to evaluate the merits of potential appeals, and to provide second opinions in complex matters tried by other counsel.
For decades, our appellate team has represented clients in high-profile cases and in appeals that present issues of first impression, including appeals arising out of: environmental justice issues; the fiduciary duties owed by shareholders in closely held corporations; the assignability of legal malpractice claims; the standard for proving “defamation by conduct;” the standards governing attorneys in law firm dissolutions; the burden of proof in automobile crashworthiness cases; standards for expert testimony on alleged product defects; the circumstances under which insurers may be found to have waived coverage defenses, or to be estopped from asserting them; the scope of the executive privilege as applied to discovery requests; and the parameters of the “discovery rule” as applied to statutes of limitations. Whether we served as counsel from the outset of a case or were retained after trial, our seasoned appellate attorneys have the skills and expertise to achieve success on appeal.
Recent Reported Appellate Decisions:
- Rahim v. District Attorney for Suffolk District, 486 Mass. 544 (2020) (successfully represented individual seeking public records where Supreme Judicial Court held federal records created by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and received by the Suffolk County District Attorney are public records under Massachusetts law and neither the Supremacy Clause nor federal law compel withholding the records).
- Wellesley Conservation Council v. Pereira, 98 Mass. App. Ct. 194 (2020) (submitted an amicus brief on behalf of a land trust and a coalition of land trusts arguing that the holder of a conservation restriction may recover money damages if the restriction is violated)
- Students for Fair Admissions v. President & Fellows of Harvard, 397 F.Supp.3d 126 (D.Mass.) (2019); 980 F.3d 157 (1st Cir. 2020) (local counsel in cooperation with NAACP LDF representing amici intervenor Harvard student groups and alumni at trial in District Court and submitted amicus briefs in both the District Court and First Circuit Court of Appeals in support of Harvard’s race-conscious admissions).
- Thomas & Betts v. New Albertson’s, Inc., et al., 915 F.3d 36 (1st Cir. 2019) (in a multi-party a cost recovery action for response costs incurred under Chapter 21E, successfully obtained and then preserved on appeal a jury award of $3.7 million and an attorneys’ fee award of $1.7 million, and obtained an additional $275,000 award of appellate fees)
- Rawan v. Cont’l Cas. Co., 483 Mass. 654 (2019) (consent-to-settle clause in engineer’s professional liability policy did not violate insurer’s statutory obligations to effectuate prompt settlement after liability had become reasonably clear and was valid, even though policy lacked hammer clause allowing insurer to limit liability if insured rejected settlement)
- Chelsea Housing Authority v. McLaughlin, 482 Mass. 579 (2019) (auditor for fraudulently run public-housing authority had benefit of defense based on special statute apportioning liability according to fault; statute was implicitly intended to displace equitable defense of in pari delicto)
- Mullins v. Colonial Farms, et al., 95 Mass. App. Ct. 1105 (2019) (affirming dismissal of breach of fiduciary duty and related claims under G.L. c. 156D against shareholder in closely held real estate business)
- Christopher Anderson, et al. v. Attorney General, 479 Mass. 780 (2018) (represented original signers of a ballot question as interveners to support the Attorney General’s certification that ballot question met constitutional requirements of Article 48 of the Massachusetts Constitution).
- George Caplan v. Town of Acton, 479 Mass. 69 (2018) (submitted amicus brief on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts focusing on the purpose and history behind the Massachusetts Anti-Aid Amendment in support of citizens challenging the constitutionality of grants of public funds to renovate an active church that had been identified as a historic resource under the Community Preservation Act).
- Kain v. Department of Environmental Protection, 474 Mass. 278 (2016) (successful pro bono representation of plaintiffs in environmental justice case raising first impression issues challenging DEP’s failure to promulgate regulations under the Global Warming Solutions Act)
- Williams v. Techtronic Industries of North America, Inc., 600 Fed. Appx. 1 (1st Cir. 2015) (affirming summary judgment in favor of product manufacturer based on absence of specific admissible evidence of product defect)
- First State Ins. Co. v. National Cas. Co., 781 F.3d 7 (1st Cir. 2015) (appeal from denial of petition to vacate arbitral award in reinsurance dispute, raising issues of first impression regarding arbitral authority to fashion equitable relief)
- City of Brockton v. Energy Facilities Siting Bd., 469 Mass. 196 (2014) (presented state environmental justice policy issue of first impression to Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of affected residents, with support from civil rights and environmental amici curiae)
- Brockton Power Co. LLC v. Energy Facilities Siting Bd., 469 Mass. 215 (2014) (successful defense of board decision disallowing use of potable municipal water supply as source of cooling water for electricity generating facility)
- New England Forestry Foundation, Inc. v. Board of Assessors of Hawley, 468 Mass. 138 (2014) (authored amicus brief for conservation organization discussed at length in court’s decision, in landmark tax case confirming land conservation as charitable purpose and establishing legal standard for “occupancy” of conservation land sufficient to establish tax exemption)
- Hammond v. Kmart Corp., 733 F.3d 360 (2013) (upholding dismissal of claim for discrimination and negligent infliction of emotional distress brought against retailer by store customer)
- In re Volkswagen and Audi Warranty Extension Litigation, 692 F.3d 4 (1st Cir. 2012) (successful appeal from award of attorneys’ fees in class action litigation, resulting in order reversing and remanding the issue due to legal error)
- Shay v. Walters, 702 F.3d 76 (1st Cir. 2012) (upholding dismissal of plaintiff’s suit for defamation, tortious interference and negligent infliction of emotional distress)
- Bird Anderson v. BNY Mellon, N.A., 463 Mass. 299 (2011) (authored amicus brief on behalf of Boston Bar Association in appeal addressing constitutionality of legislative amendment giving retroactive application to statutory presumptions impacting testamentary trusts)