Nov 6 2015

Courtoom Success 2015-43: Boston Partner Joe Desmond & Associate Philip Messier

Boston Partner Joe Desmond and Associate Philip Messier obtained an order for summary judgment in a commercial contract case after successfully excluding all of the plaintiff’s damages evidence during motions in limine before a federal judge in Boston.

The plaintiff sought to introduce all of its damages evidence (amounting to $1.5 million in allegedly unpaid invoices for services) by the use of summary evidence pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 1006. We successfully argued that the plaintiff’s failure to produce the underlying data during discovery precluded the plaintiff from relying on Fed. R. Evid. 1006 to introduce the summary spreadsheets. Having excluded all of the damages evidence, the court granted an oral motion for summary judgment on all of the plaintiff’s claims.

After that ruling, the parties settled our client’s cross-claims for damages under Section 11 of MGL c. 93A,  which allowed us to seek attorney’s fees as a result of being forced to defend a breach of contract case brought in retaliation for our client’s legal termination of the contract. Our client accepted a combination of cash and stock in the plaintiff’s company to settle the counterclaim. The success on the counterclaim was achieved after we successfully argued that, pursuant to the 7th Amendment to the US Constitution, we were entitled to a jury trial on the 93A claim in a diversity action in federal court despite the fact that such a right is not created in the state statute. 

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