McLane Middleton has a broad and diverse trial practice and is viewed as the leading litigation and trial firm in northern New England. Our attorneys appear extensively in state and federal courts, increasingly being retained outside of New England. The wide-ranging courtroom and trial experience and background of our litigation group allows us to provide our clients effective counsel in obtaining the best result. We have a proven track record of success, providing practical and efficient advantages, and serving our clients intelligently.
Recognizing the financial cost and consumption of resources and time that come from legal proceedings, we strive to be efficient when developing client strategies for litigation and resolution. Our team plans aggressively and wisely, determining the evidence and testimony needed to operate with tenacity at trial or during settlement negotiations.
We represent companies and individuals in a wide range of litigation matters before federal and state courts, federal and state administrative agencies, medical panels, and arbitration. Our attorneys have also conducted internal investigations.
The experience of our trial team covers an array of areas in litigation, including:
- Business disputes
- Complex Commercial disputes
- Criminal Defense
- Intellectual Property
- Insurance coverage
- Land Use
- Personal injury
- Product Liability
- Real Estate Tax Abatement
- Shareholder disputes
McLane Middleton is viewed as the leading litigation firm in northern New England for commercial litigation and trial practice. Our skilled attorneys are admitted to practice in 16 states and appear extensively in state and federal courts, increasingly being retained outside of New England.
We work closely with our clients and in-house counsel to assess issues and risks, analyse business and legal objectives, and consider the best strategy for litigation or alternative resolutions. Our extensive courtroom and trial work and skill allows us to effectively achieve the best results for our clients in an efficient manner. We also have the ability to use the knowledge and experience of other lawyers across the firm where appropriate and the technical experience and ability to efficiently manage large-scale e-discovery in commercial litigation.
McLane Middleton is proud to have some of the most notable and outstanding trial lawyers in northern New England with substantial experience trying cases to juries and the bench. We count among our litigation attorneys a Regent and several Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers. We also have attorneys named in Best Lawyers, Chambers USA, Benchmark, and Super Lawyers.
Our litigation and trial experience spans a wide range of commercial litigation, undertaking all manners of litigation, including:
- Business Litigation disputes: Contract, business torts, unfair competition, nonsolicitation, computer software anti-trust, and shareholder disputes
- Environmental Litigation: Superfund (CERCLA), toxic tort, and manufactured gas plant (MGP) remediation
- Labor and employment matters: Discrimination, harassment, wage and hour, EEOC, ERISA, wrongful termination, whistleblower, employment agreements, contract, trade secret, nonsolicitation, and non-competes
- Intellectual Property: Patent infringement, trademark opposition
- Real estate: construction, lease, and land use litigation
- Product liability: design, implied or express warranty, warnings
- Securities arbitration
- Data privacy and security breaches
- Tax abatement
Recognizing the potential for expense and the considerable demand on resources in legal proceedings, we partner closely with our clients to develop strategies based on legal and business concerns and to manage litigation work plans and budgets. Our attorneys communicate frequently with in-house counsel and clients, discussing budget expectations, and, most importantly, striving for the most positive outcome possible.
With client-focus, in-house collaboration, and efficient planning, McLane Middleton’s litigation practice proficiently practices well in and out of the courtroom. We know that many cases settle prior to trial, and we work hard to achieve fair settlements for our clients.
Our Business Litigation Group consists of trained mediation professionals with extensive experience reaching settlements in the alternative resolution process. This experience gives us the insight to assess when mediation is the right course.
Here are summaries of our recent successes:
- Defending KeySpan in an action filed in New York Supreme Court, Suffolk County, by 117 plaintiffs, all of whom are property owners in Bay Shore, Long Island, claiming personal injury and property damages arising out of contamination emanating from a former manufactured gas plant in Bay Shore. Motions to dismiss were granted as to all but one of the 117 plaintiffs.
- Successfully dismissed company from an action brought by a city for a water tank constructed in 1985, obtaining ruling that nullum tempus does not render the statute of limitations inapplicable to claims brought by a municipality.
- Successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of National Grid in connection with injury by an employee of an affiliated company suffered during a pole climbing exercise, claiming failure of equipment caused the fall.
- Obtained a profitable settlement for an independent contractor insurance broker, allowing him to continue running his business. The insurance company sought to enforce non-compete and confidentiality provisions related to termination of exclusive contractual relationships with the broker
- Absolved a products-liability case in New Hampshire Superior Court against a manufacturer and distributor of glass safety spheres used for highway marking
- Successfully obtained jury verdict of no liability in favor of our client in action brought by Coach, Inc. claiming our client allowed sales of Coach knock-off good at a flea market and seeking over $2,000,000 in damages.
- Achieved summary judgment on behalf of a college, dismissing the employment discrimination claims of a professor
We represent our clients in a wide variety of environmental litigation in State and federal courts, including those throughout New England, New York, and beyond. We have extensive experience in large personal injury and property damage claims associated with manufacturing operations, CERCLA cost-recovery actions arising out of the former operations of manufactured gas plants (MGPs); and, representing policyholders in the pursuit of insurance recovery for substantial environmental liabilities.
Our environmental litigation experience includes, for example, the State court defense of toxic tort and diminution of property value claims, Clean Air Act permit appeals, Superfund enforcement, wetlands and shoreland appeals, and defense of EPA stormwater enforcement.
The attorneys in McLane Middleton's Probate Litigation Practice Group draw on their extensive experience to effectively litigate matters affecting the rights of the aging population and their heirs. We are well-versed in all types of probate litigation matters, handling such cases as:
- Will contests
- Petitions for Guardianships
- Petitions for Accounting (to investigate and redress wrongs committed by an attorney-in-fact operating under a power of attorney)
- Trust disputes
- Petitions for Civil Commitment
- Common law marriage and related tax issues
When necessary, our team can respond quickly, such as when assets of an aging family member are being depleted due to impaired judgment or exploitation.
Our attorneys are recognized leaders in probate litigation. For example, David Wolowitz is a pioneer advocate relating to mental illness and incapacity. He has advised clients on this area of law since 1975. He has also provided expert testimony on mental health issues related to probate litigation matters.
In addition to our advocacy skills, we understand the complex mental health issues related to aging. We have working relationships with geriatric psychiatrists and other medical and mental health professionals. We are sensitive to family dynamics and the unique pressures faced by families working hard to protect aging family members and their assets.
McLane Middleton operates one of the largest and most sophisticated business law practices in northern New England. Employment litigation is an important part of that practice. Our focused and experienced attorneys strive to understand their clients’ business, and participate in seminars and trainings for management, in-house counsel, and human resource professionals.
Our attorneys are adept at counseling clients on risk management and are highly skilled in mediation, arbitration, and related alternative dispute resolutions.
McLane Middleton's education group represents a large number of colleges and independent schools in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and provides consultation and training services to schools and school association in New England and nationwide. The Group has extensive experience in understanding the unique nature of the governance of educational institutions as well as in handling difficult issues that may arise such as relating to tax exempt status, restrictions on endowment, faculty compensation and tenure issues, and student discipline, to name a few.
Our product liability team has the knowledge and experience to identify and manage legal risks for businesses facing litigation. Our attorneys work to successfully retain qualified experts and to work with expert witnesses in preparation for effective testimony in litigation.
We have tried, brought to mediation, and resolved a variety of product liability cases, such as those involving industrial machinery, the automotive industry, pharmaceuticals, and toxic torts. Cases have ranged from design to improper warnings to warranty.
McLane Middleton’s significant work in product liability cases include:
- Defense of a continuing series of individual lawsuits brought against manufacturer of prescription medication where allegations include claims such as defective design, failure to warn, breach of implied and express warranty, negligence, fraud, loss of consortium, and unjust enrichment.
- Represented automobile manufacturing company in wrongful death lawsuit alleging negligent testing and design of airbag.
- Obtaining an early dismissal of a complaint in a case involving a brain-injured biker against the manufacturer of paint used for highway lane markers.
- Serving as coordinating counsel for a large oil refinery in New Hampshire alleging groundwater contamination.
- Representing a major utility company in several pending cases in the State of New York involving allegations of groundwater contamination.
Intellectual Property Litigation
McLane Middleton's Intellectual Property Practice Group possesses notable experience in handling disputes and litigation involving patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret and unfair competition.
Intellectual property infringement claims present complex legal and factual issues, and demand thorough understanding of both the law and science applicable to a case.
McLane Middleton’s intellectual property practitioners and trial lawyers possess the experience it takes to distill issues related to the case to their fundamental basics, and to meticulously identify the factors that help lead to a successful result.
Divorce and Family Law
Our family law litigation team focuses on complicated marital matters. Its clients are able to efficiently draw on the advice and expertise of the Firm’s many other practice groups for assistance with corporate, business valuation, real estate, trust, pension, tax, employment and criminal issues. We understand the deep financial and emotional impact that these cases have on the individuals involved, both before and after resolution of the case. If a family law issue is unable to be resolved and must be litigated, our team of professionals will work together to provide excellent client service and accessibility to minimize the upset and distraction imposed by the litigation upon our client. We will provide excellent yet efficient service, prompt responses to inquiries, practical advice and ensure that each client understands the case status, developments and available options as the case moves forward.
McLane-Middleton’s Construction Litigation team represents architects, engineers, construction managers, owners, general contractors and subcontractors in all phases of construction projects, such as:
- Forming business entities for construction projects
- Obtaining land use and environmental permits
- Providing aggressive representation in arbitration or litigation
The team works closely with our real estate, environmental, employment, tax, corporate and litigation departments, drawing on collective experience to provide comprehensive assistance to our clients.
When obstacles arise – such as OSHA issues, permitting challenges, delay claims, payment disputes – our team works efficiently to guide clients to the most practical resolution.
Our Construction Litigation Group’s successful history includes:
- Representation of a prominent college in litigation involving renovation of its state-of-the-art facility
- Presenting on behalf of a large manufacturing facility in litigation around design and construction of a co-generation facility in Manchester, N.H.
- Defending a general contractor against construction bond claims brought by a subcontractor concerning a local high school
- Representation of a private school seeking action against an architect regarding specification of exterior sheathing inappropriate for New Hampshire climate
McLane Middleton’s attorneys are accomplished legal professionals with a successful appellate practice and extensive experience in handling difficult, complex, and first-impression appellate cases for clients. Our lawyers routinely represent clients in the New Hampshire Supreme Court and in the U.S. Court of Appeals for First Circuit as well as other state and federal courts.
Our team includes three members of the American College of Trial Lawyers and two partners recognized by Best Lawyers in America for their appellate practice. We are also proud to count a previous New Hampshire District Court Judge and two former NH Attorneys General as members of our group.
Our expertise in appellate practice encompasses virtually every substantive area, including: administrative and constitutional laws (federal and state), commercial contract disputes, business torts, energy, employment, and environmental law.
Exemplary cases conducted by our Appellate Group include:
- Mullen et al v. Public Service Company of New Hampshire et al (NH 2014-0797)(July 6, 2015) – Successfully upheld dismissal of amended complaint against PSNH, Northern Pass Transmission, LLC, and Northeast Utilities regarding transmission line project to bring energy to the region.
- State of New Hampshire v. Hess Corporation et al (NH No. 2013-0591) – Serving as appellate counsel for Exxon Mobil Corporation and Exxon Mobil Oil Corporation in pending appeal from largest jury verdict in New Hampshire history and civil judgment in the amount of $236.4 million for cost of investigating and remediating past and future MTBE contamination.
- Lawrence v. Philip Morris USA, 164 N.H. 93 (2012) – Successfully reversed trial court decision to certify a class consisting of “all individuals who purchased Marlboro Lights cigarettes in NH from January 1, 1995 to date of trial.”
- Sabinson v. Trustees of Dartmouth College, 542 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2008) – upheld summary judgment for Dartmouth on discrimination claims based on age, gender, religion, and retaliation and refusing pendant jurisdiction over contract claim; Sabinson v. Trustees of Dartmouth College, 160 N.H. 452 (2010) – Successfully upheld summary judgment for Dartmouth on state contract claim by former employee.
- Appeal of Pennichuck Water Works, 160 NH 18 (2010) - Appeal of a decision of the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission concerning a taking of the assets of the water company
- General Insulation Co. v. Eckman Construction Co., 159 NH 601 (2010) - The New Hampshire Supreme Court affirmed the statutory time limitations for notice of claims against a payment bond issued in connection with a public building project.
- Appeal of Stonyfield Farm, 159 N.H. 227 (2009) - The New Hampshire Supreme Court dismissed an appeal challenging the N.H. Public Utilities Commission, finding that it did not have jurisdiction over the construction of a $400 million mercury reduction project.
- Appeal of Pinkerton Academy, 155 N.H. 1 (2007) - The New Hampshire Supreme Court found that Pinkerton Academy was not a public employer within the meaning of the New Hampshire Public Employee Labor Relations Board.
- Sherman v. Graciano, 152 N.H. 119 (2005) - A case that has been frequently cited on issue of contract interpretation, the New Hampshire Supreme Court reversed an arbitral decision and credited our client's claim in full.
Arbitration & Mediation
McLane Middleton’s Litigation Group has extensive experience representing clients in arbitration. We use our efficient approach to commercial matters coupled with our collective experience to help clients develop strategies for best determining their disputes. Our litigation team has successfully arbitrated sizable disputes in the areas of complex commercial litigation, business valuation cases, shareholder disputes, and environmental litigation. We have also represented clients in close corporations and employment matters.
Recognized as leaders in this area, McLane Middleton lawyers appear on the Panel of Commercial Arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association.
With an appreciation of the business cost of a trial and the increase in mandated mediation in many courts, McLane Middleton attorneys have a wide-range of experience in mediating disputes for clients.
Our lawyers successfully utilize our knowledge in a variety of commercial and tort matters to evaluate options, to determine potential risks and exposure, and to steer clients toward the right settlement. We also have experience in selecting neutrals for specific type cases to best represent our clients at mediation.
McLane Middleton lawyers have the distinction of being on the Mediation Panel for the United States District Court and New Hampshire’s Superior Court Mediation Panel. Additionally, McLane Middleton is experienced in mediating for the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights.
We are proud to count a previous New Hampshire District Court Judge and two former NH Attorneys General as members of our team, as well as selected Fellows of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers. Our litigation attorneys are affiliated with the Dispute Resolution Sections of the American Bar Association, Massachusetts Bar Association, and New Hampshire Bar Association.