Richard M. Zielinski

Richard M. Zielinski


Goulston & Storrs PC

Recognized since 2005

Boston, Massachusetts

Practice Areas

Bet-the-Company Litigation

Commercial Litigation

Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants

Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants

Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants

Product Liability Litigation - Defendants

Professional Malpractice Law - Defendants

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2023 - Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants
Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2023 - Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2021 - Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2019 - Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2015 - Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2014 - Product Liability Litigation - Defendants Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2013 - Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2012 - Product Liability Litigation - Defendants
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Richard Zielinski, who practices in Boston and New York, is a nationally known ‘bet the company’ trial lawyer who handles a wide range of complex, high-stakes commercial litigation. He is also known for his specific expertise in legal malpractice defense.

According to Chambers USA, Richard is ‘very smart, thorough and knowledgeable. ’ Clients say he is ‘fantastic on his feet’ and ‘thinks seven steps ahead of everyone else.’

He has extensive trial experience in a wide range of business and real estate disputes, having handled cases involving the financing and construction of large office towers, breach of contract, partnership disputes, unfair competition, lender liability and cases under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act (Chapter 93A).

Richard is well known for his representation of major law firms throughout the United States in malpractice cases, disciplinary matters and intra-firm disputes. In 2015, 2019, 2021 and 2023 he was named Legal Malpractice Defense Lawyer of the Year by peer-reviewed Best Lawyers in America, recognizing his leading work in legal malpractice defense.

He also defends manufacturers in products liability, mass tort and class action cases, and has been named Lawyer of the Year in these practice areas in the past as well. Representative clients include those from the pharmaceuticals, electrical products and tobacco industries.

Richard is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, the highest professional honor a trial lawyer can receive.

Locations

  • 400 Atlantic Avenue
    Boston, MA 02110-3333
  • 885 Third Avenue, 18th Floor
    New York, NY 10022

Education

  • Harvard University , J.D., graduated 1980
  • Colgate University, B.A., graduated 1977

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts, Admitted
  • New York, Admitted
  • District of Columbia, Admitted

Affiliations

  • American College of Trial Lawyers - Fellow
  • Harvard Law School - Faculty Member, Trial Advocacy Workshop
  • Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers - Member, 1999-2002
  • Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. - Trustee, 2007-2016

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2023 - Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2021 - Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2019 - Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2015 - Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2014 - Product Liability Litigation - Defendants Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2013 - Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2012 - Product Liability Litigation - Defendants

Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:

  • Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants, Boston (2023)
  • Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants, Boston (2021)
  • Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants, Boston (2019)
  • Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants, Boston (2015)
  • Product Liability Litigation - Defendants, Boston (2014)
  • Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants, Boston (2013)
  • Product Liability Litigation - Defendants, Boston (2012)

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2023 for work in:

  • Bet-the-Company Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants
  • Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants
  • Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants
  • Product Liability Litigation - Defendants
  • Professional Malpractice Law - Defendants

Awards:

  • The National Law Journal, Litigation Trailblazer, 2019
  • Chambers USA, Litigation: General Commercial, Massachusetts, 2019 (Band 1)
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers: Massachusetts State Committee Chair, 2007-2009; Chair, Standing Committee on the Teaching of Trial and Appellate Advocacy, 2003-2005; National Trial Competition Committee, Vice Chair, 2021-2023
  • Martindale Hubbell Peer Review Rated AV Preeminent TM
  • Scholar-Mentor Award, MCLE, 2016
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers, 2004 - 2022: Top 100 in Massachusetts and New England, 2007-2016; Top 10 in Massachusetts, 2010
  • "America’s Leading Business Lawyers," Chambers USA 2006-2016

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Tell us a little bit about your practice and what makes it unique.

I defend many of the largest law firms in the country when they get sued in high stakes legal malpractice cases. I also defend lawyers in those firms on bar disciplinary complaints. And I represent large firms in partnership disputes. I also handle all forms of complex commercial and mass tort litigation, such as the opioid cases.

What common questions are you asked by clients, and what are your answers?

Q: How many cases have you tried to verdict?
A: About 75.

Q: What is your approach to discovery?
A: Take the least amount necessary to prepare for trial and seek admissions that are usable at trial.

Q: What is your approach to settlement?
A: The best settlement strategy is getting ready to try the case and letting you adversary know you are ready to try the case.

Describe one of your most interesting or memorable cases in the past year.

I obtained summary judgment for an Amlaw 100 firm in a high status legal malpractice case in Washington, D.C. on the statute of limitation grounds.

What is most challenging about your area(s) of expertise?

My clients are among the most intelligent and sophisticated lawyers imaginable. Also, my adversaries are getting more and more talented and sophisticated, and the stakes are very high. I need to bring my A-Game to every case.

Were there any particular inspirations (people or events) that spurred your interest in your practice area(s)?

My dear friend and mentor, Dick Renehan (now retired). He was the consummate “Lawyers’ Lawyer.”

What other interests do you have?

• Teaching: I have taught hundreds of litigation and trial practice seminars.
• I help run the National Trial Competition for the American College of Trial Lawyers.
• Playing guitar and singing. I frequently write and perform tribute songs for family, friends and colleagues.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I love trying cases with a passion.

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