Pierce & Mandell, P.C.

11 Beacon Street, Suite 800
Boston, Massachusetts 02108-3002

Phone: (617) 720-2444
Fax: (617) 720-3693

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Pierce & Mandell Attorneys Sponsor BBA Annual Meeting and Receive President’s Award

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Pierce & Mandell was a proud sponsor of the Boston Bar Association’s (“BBA”) Annual Meeting on October 20th at the Copley Westin Hotel, at which Pierce & Mandell partner, Michael C. Fee received the President’s Award from BBA President Carol Starkey in recognition of his work as a member of the Association’s Amicus Committee.

For more than twenty years, through the work of the Amicus Committee, the BBA has had a voice in some of the most important legal issues of our time. Most recently, the BBA filed an amicus brief in the case of Bridgeman v. District Attorney, urging the Commonwealth’s highest court to vacate all outstanding drug convictions in which disgraced lab employee Annie Dookhan was the primary or secondary chemist. The BBA argued that the SJC should now impose a global remedy that secures access to justice and the fair administration of justice for each of the defendants in these cases and, critically, takes a significant step toward bringing the Dookhan scandal to a final resolution.

Pictured from right to left, at the Annual Meeting, are Fee, Dennis Lindgren, Tom Kenney, Bill Mandell, Jessica Long from the Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals, and Zachary Badore, Northeastern student and P&M intern.

Pierce & Mandell Attorneys Achieve Defense Verdict

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Bob Pierce and Lena Finnerty obtained a defense verdict on behalf of their client in a jury trial in Middlesex Superior Court that concluded on September 19, 2016.

The plaintiff in the case claimed that he suffered serious head injuries when he fell on black ice in the parking lot of the office park owned by Pierce & Mandell’s clients.  Plaintiff claimed in excess of $1 Million in lost earning capacity, and asked the jury for an award of over $4 Million.  The firm defended the case on the basis that the property owner client was not negligent, and that if the plaintiff did fall on black ice, the fall was caused by his own negligence.

The case was tried over 7 days, and the jury deliberated for approximately 2 ½ hours.  The jury determined that Pierce & Mandell’s client was not negligent, and the plaintiff was awarded nothing.

Bob Pierce has now achieved complete victory for his clients in well over 80% of the cases he has tried.

Dennis M. Lindgren Participates in MCLE Roundtable on Practicing with Professionalism for New Lawyers - Boston, MA

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

On September 12, 2016, Pierce & Mandell shareholder Dennis M. Lindgren participated in a lunchtime roundtable discussion for approximately 100 newly admitted lawyers in a program sponsored by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE).  Pursuant to Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:16, newly admitted lawyers in Massachusetts must take a one-day professionalism course within 18 months of admission.  Throughout the day, new lawyers attended seminars and training on a variety of topics including ethics, court practice, managing a law practice and client funds, and successful attorney-client relationships.  During the lunch session, Lindgren and four other experienced attorneys (in both criminal and civil practice), spoke for about an hour, fielding questions from attendees on all manner of practical legal issues like managing difficult clients, interacting with court personnel, and the advantages to developing a mentor relationship with a more senior attorney.  “This is the fourth roundtable I have participated in for MCLE’s Practicing with Professionalism course.  Each time the questions are different, but what is constant is how enjoyable it is to talk directly with the newly admitted attorneys and hopefully, in some small way, help them along the road to developing a successful legal career.”   For more information on MCLE’s Practicing with Professionalism course, please click here.

Tom Kenney Comments on the Supreme Court’s Recent Decision to Trim Remedies for Copyright Owners

Friday, August 26, 2016

For copyright owners, a copyright registration provides substantial benefits.  A copyright registration grants the owner the right to collect “statutory damages” against the infringer – ranging from $750 to $30,000 per violation.  Additionally, a registrant may recover from the infringer the attorneys fees it incurred in prosecuting litigation against the infringer.  Traditionally, copyright owners have been able to use the threat of statutory damages and attorneys fees to quickly and efficiently stop infringers and effectuate beneficial settlements.

However, the copyright landscape is changing.  Recently, in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., the United States Supreme Court made it more difficult for copyright owners to recover their attorneys fees from infringers.  Previously, many courts awarded attorneys fees to the prevailing party in copyright cases as a matter of course – declining to award attorneys fees in only the rarest of cases.  The Kirtsaeng Court rejected that practice, ruling that a Court should award attorneys fees to the prevailing party only where the losing party’s position was “objectively unreasonable” – meaning that the party did not have a good faith basis to deny that it infringed or to vigorously defend against the lawsuit.

The impact of this shift is unclear.  Will infringers resist monetary settlements – knowing that copyright owners are less likely to recover attorneys fees and thus less likely to pursue litigation once the infringer ceases its infringing activities?  Will copyright owners need to consider accepting a prompt cessation of infringing activities and forego insistence on a monetary recovery?  Only time and experience will tell.

A company’s brand and goodwill, represented by its intellectual property, often are its most valuable assets. Pierce & Mandell counsels clients on all aspects of intellectual property law, including registration of copyrights and trademarks, as well as intellectual property disputes and litigation.Contact Tom Kenney at 617-720-2444 or tom@piercemandell.com to discuss protection of these vital business assets.

Pierce & Mandell Takes to the Links for Children’s Charities

Monday, August 15, 2016

Pierce & Mandell partners Tom Kenney, Bob Pierce, Bob Kirby and Mike Fee tore up Woodland Country Club recently at the Newton Needham Chamber of Commerce’s annual golf tournament. This year’s affair was attended by over 120 committed Metrowest business persons, and raised thousands of dollars for Family Access of Newton (www.familyaccess.org), a 100 year old organization that empowers and strengthens families and the community through programs that nurture child development, promote effective parenting skills and support working parents. We were proud to take part and contribute to this very worthy endeavor.

Michael C. Fee Helps Boston Bar Association's Zoning Reform Bill Become Law

Friday, August 12, 2016

Pierce & Mandell, P.C. partner, Michael C. Fee, a member of the Council of the Boston Bar Association, recently participated in the BBA's efforts to pass a zoning reform measure that the organization has championed since 1995.  House Bill 3611 was signed into law by Governor Baker on August 5, 2016 and provides much needed clarification to the Massachusetts Zoning Act, G.L. c. 40A, § 7.

Most do not realize that the Massachusetts zoning statute was first enacted into law in the 1920's. While it underwent significant overhaul in both the Fifties and Seventies, in many ways it remains today an historical anachronism, full of dense language and land use principles perhaps better suited to less complicated times.  Every legislative session in recent memory has seen efforts to promote comprehensive zoning reform, however, there is rarely consensus among the most highly interested stakeholders. Neither, developers, builders, housing advocates or municipalities appear able to agree on what is right, and what is wrong with G.L. c. 40A.

Consequently, the more effective approach, and the one pursued by the BBA in this instance, is to propose legislation that tackles the most glaring ambiguities in the zoning statute, section by section. House Bill 3611 amends G.L. c. 40A, § 7, which requires municipalities to bring enforcement actions against non-compliant structures or uses no later than ten years after the inception of such structure or use. The problem with the old provision was that it was silent as to the legal status of those structures which survived the applicable statute of limitations. One would think that such structures would automatically become pre-existing, non-conformities, subject to the grandfather rights explicitly detailed in G.L. c. 40A, § 6. However, G.L. c. 40A, § 7 omitted any such explicit reference, and left non-compliant structures that had survived the statutory limitations period in a kind of legal limbo.

The issue came to the forefront recently, as several appeals court panels issued inconsistent rulings regarding the status of such surviving structures. The newly enacted legislation cures the section's ambiguity by granting these structures recognized legal status as a preexisting non-conformities protected under G.L. c. 40A, § 6. The change will provide greater clarify to owners, buyers and lenders that participate in transactions involving these types of property rights. To read the BBA's press release regarding the recent enactment of H3611, click here.

Curt Dooling Quoted in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Article on Recent SJC Decision DiCarlo v. Suffolk Construction Co., Inc., et al.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Pierce & Mandell attorney Curt Dooling was quoted in a Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article on the recent Supreme Judicial Court decision of DiCarlo v. Suffolk Construction Co., Inc., et al. In DiCarlo, the SJC held that pain and suffering damages were not subject to a workers compensation lien pursuant to G. L. c. 152, § 15.

In the article, Dooling discussed the implication of the case on the settlement of personal injury claims. Dooling noted that workers compensation insurers are less likely to take a hard line in settlement discussions because the SJC has made it clear that pain and suffering damages are not subject to a workers compensation lien. Read Curt’s comments and the full article.

Bill Mandell Revisits the Need for Clarity under Massachusetts Law for Permitted Health Provider Disclosure to Protect Public Safety

Friday, June 17, 2016

by Bill Mandell

In the wake of yet another senseless mass killing tragedy I am posting an article I wrote in 2013 for the Boston Bar Association Health Law Reporter on the need for a new law in Massachusetts allowing health care providers to report dangerous persons or situations. Click here to read the article.

Tom Kenney quoted in Boston Globe article regarding Commonwealth School trademark litigation

Friday, June 17, 2016

Pierce & Mandell partner Tom Kenney, who chairs our Trademark and Copyright Practice Area, was recently quoted in a Boston Globe article on pending litigation between Boston’s The Commonwealth School and Springfield’s Commonwealth Academy. Tom discussed one of the cardinal principles of trademark protection and trademark litigation: who prevails is often determined by the extent to which the parties market to the same or a similar customer base. Read Tom’s comments and the full article here.

Dennis M. Lindgren Joins Board of Directors of the Natural Resources Trust (NRT) of Easton, Massachusetts

Friday, June 03, 2016

On May 17, 2016, Pierce & Mandell shareholder Dennis M. Lindgren joined the Board of Directors for the Natural Resources Trust (NRT) of Easton.  The NRT’s mission is to educate about significant natural and cultural resources and to acquire and preserve land of special character for the benefit of the public. The NRT promotes a land ethic in the community through environmental educational programming for youth, while at the same time preserving Easton’s rural character and heritage.  The NRT is steward to over 250 acres in Easton. Lindgren, a longtime resident of Easton and neighbor of the NRT, was honored to be asked to join the Board.  “My wife and I have enjoyed the beauty of the NRT for years, and have always admired the important environmental educational work the NRT does not only with the children of Easton, but with children from towns and cities throughout Eastern Massachusetts.  The NRT is the jewel of Easton and as a Director, I look forward to doing whatever I can to help it further its mission.”  More information about the NRT and the great work it does can be found at the following link: http://www.nrtofeaston.org/


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