What is one of your most memorable recent cases?
During the past year, our firm and co-counsel have resolved a number of cases, two of which are particularly significant: One was representing a child born with very serious birth defects caused by her mother’s exposure to toxic substances while working in a semi-conductor chip manufacturing facility in Arizona. The case was favorably resolved before trial, allowing the needs of this person with severe disabilities to be met for the remainder of her life. Another major case which we resolved with co-counsel was a class action against a major custodial bank for improper pricing of foreign exchange trades. This case returned over $500 million to the affected clients and has forever changed how this entire segment of the banking industry operates.
Both cases were the first of their kind. They were also reflective of the fact that much of our litigation is conducted nationally, outside of Massachusetts.
Could you explain what toxic tort litigation is, and what
drew you to it as one of your areas of expertise?
Toxic tort litigation is the representation of an individual or institution that has suffered harm because of exposure to toxic substances. I particularly like this practice area because it always presents new challenges for us as lawyers. As we are always at the forefront of developing areas of torts, our lawyers must build interdisciplinary strengths in areas beyond the law—including science, medicine, statistics, epidemiology, accounting, securities regulation, and more. It should also be said that a successful tort litigator benefits from having extraordinarily dedicated partners, associates, co-counsel, and staff. No one achieves great success on their own in this business.
What do you find most challenging about the work you do?
The institutions that we sue typically are defended by determined lawyers. Just because you are right doesn’t mean you are going to win. At the same time, we have the opportunity to provide real help to victims of injustice. We’re approaching our fortieth year of practice and have been extraordinarily fortunate to do what we love and love what we do.
What sort of charitable work do you do?
We support a number of local charities every Christmas, including Heading Home, a Boston non-profit working to end homelessness in Greater Boston. Our employees become highly involved in supporting these efforts and they’re a part of our tradition now.