McLane Middleton has been a leader in litigation for nearly 100 years.
The firm 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 court throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and are 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, analyze 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.
Read about our success and what our clients and peers say in Chambers & Partners and Woodward/White’s Best Lawyers:
"McLane operates very efficiently and effectively. They regularly send updates on matters that may be relevant to our company and are quick to point out the most efficient solution to legal issues that arise."-- Chambers & Partners: America's Leading Lawyers for Business
To learn more, please contact Wilbur A. Glahn, Business Litigation Group Chairman.
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
- Resolved 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
An essential part of our trial practice is either upholding favorable rulings from trial courts and administrative agencies, or overturning those decisions where legal error has occurred. McLane Middleton’s trial lawyers are recognized throughout New England as also accomplished appellate advocates who routinely represent clients in appeals to the New Hampshire Supreme Court and in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and have successfully argued in the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Appellate Division for the State of New York. Two of our lawyers have argued cases in the Supreme Court of the United States.
Our appellate team includes Bruce Felmly and Bill Glahn (Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers and each of whom have been recognized for many years in Best Lawyers in America for their appellate advocacy) Mike Delaney (a former New Hampshire Attorney General who has also argued multiple appeals), Mark Rouvalis, Scott Harris, Andrew Botti, Jeremy Walker and Jennifer Parent.
Our appellate work encompasses many substantive areas including appeals in commercial cases, product liability, administrative and constitutional matters, energy, employment, environmental law and medical malpractice.
Recent appellate cases include:
- Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Town of Hanover, et al. __N.H.__ (2018) (awaiting argument). Appeal from Superior Court decision upholding planning board denial of building permit for major college sports facility in a properly zoned athletic complex.
- Appeal of Mary Allen et. al._ N.H._ (May 2018). Successful representation of Antrim Wind Energy, LLC in an appeal challenging the grant of a Certificate of Site and Facility by the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee permitting the construction of a wind project.
- Petition for Approval of Gas Infrastructure Project With Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC_N.H._(May 2018). Successful representation of Eversource Energy d/b/a Public Service Company of New Hampshire in an appeal from an order of the Public Utilities Commission denying the application of PSNH to enter into a contract to purchase gas pipeline capacity from Algonquin. Also argued on behalf of Algonquin.
- Petition of Reddam 170 N. H. 590 ( 2018). Appeal concerning whether the New Hampshire Banking Department had jurisdiction over a corporate officer based on his “control person” status.
- State of New Hampshire v. Actavis Pharma et al. 170 N.H. 211 (2017), cert. denied, __U.S.__(2018). Represented Endo Pharmaceuticals in an appeal challenging the ability of the State to retain contingency fee counsel in an investigation into marketing practices by pharmaceutical companies.
- Liberty Utilities v. City of Concord and City of Manchester, New Hampshire, Supreme Court 2017. Memoranda decision (unpublished) affirming claims of the Cities, which had imposed a cost system on utility companies for street excavations/repairs.
- Sullivan v. KeySpan, 155 A.D.3d 804, 64 N.Y.S.3d 82 (N.Y. App. Div. 2017). Represented KeySpan in affirming dimissal on statute of limitations grounds of approximately 80 property owners alleging subsurface contamination for former manufactured gas plant.
- City of Rochester v. Marcel Payeur, Inc., 169 N.H. 502 (2016). Successfully affirmed trial court's grant of motion to dismiss from litigation based on statute of limitations. On issue of first impression, Supreme Court held that doctrine of Nullum Tempus Occurrit Regi ("time does not run against the king") does not apply to municipalities in contract actions.
- Finn v. Ballentine Partners, LLC., 169 N.H. 128 (2016). Represented Ballentine Partners in sustaining a Superior Court order overturning an arbitration award and against an argument of preemption under the Federal Arbitration Act.
- Deere and Company v. State 168 N.H. 460 (2015). Served as appellate counsel for Husqvarna Group, an equipment manufacturer challenging statutory modifications to New Hampshire’s Dealer Bill of Rights Statute governing the relationship between national equipment manufacturers and local equipment distributors.
- Elizabeth Jewell v. National Grid, New Hampshire Supreme Court (2015). Memoranda decision (unpublished). Represented National Grid affirming Trial Court dismissal of claimant alleging personal injury in power line pole training class.
- Cardigan Mountain School v. N.H. Insurance Co., 787 F. 3d. 82 (1st Cir. 2015) Representation of the Cardigan Mountain School in an appeal establishing that the School could seek to prove and enforce the terms of an insurance policy issued fifty years earlier in the absence of the policy itself.
- American Federation of Teachers v. State, 167 N.H. 294, (2014) Served as appellate counsel for the New Hampshire Retirement System regarding a Contracts Clause challenge to legislative changes to the calculation of retirement benefits of members of the retirement system.
- Lawrence v. Philip Morris USA, 162 N.H. 93 (2012). Successfully reversed trial court decision certifying a class consisting of “all individuals who purchased Marlboro Lights Cigarettes in New Hampshire” after 1997.
- Anderson v. BNY Mellon, 463 Mass. 299 (Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts 2012) Successful constitutional challenge to a Massachusetts statute retroactively redefining the meaning of “child” for purposes of instruments of inheritance.
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. Learn more about McLane Middleton's employment law practice group.
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.
For more information about our education group, please visit the Education industry page.
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 has extensive experience representing a wide array of clients in disputes involving copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets and unfair competition.
Intellectual property disputes present complex legal and factual issues, and the costs associated with infringement litigation are typically higher than most other forms of litigation. Accordingly, our intellectual property practitioners work closely with our clients to consider each client’s specific business objectives and to formulate comprehensive and efficient legal strategies. Our intellectual property trial attorneys work closely with our attorneys who draft trademark, copyright and patent applications to assess all possible strategies, and we strive to secure the outcome that best matches our clients’ objectives. In some situations, that calls for strategic negotiation and resolution short of litigation, and in some cases, aggressive litigation is required.
McLane Middleton’s intellectual property trial lawyers have represented clients in federal and state courts throughout the region and have obtained notable successes in and outside the courtroom. We are proud of the reputation we have built for sophisticated, and efficient representation in all aspects of intellectual property disputes. A few of our recent representations include the following:
- Obtained jury verdict in federal court in favor of client accused of trademark and copyright infringement by Coach, Inc.
- Obtained successful settlement for client upon litigation against Christmas Tree Shops for copyright infringement.
- Obtained favorable resolution on behalf of large military equipment manufacturer against competitor upon litigation in federal court for misappropriation of trade secrets and unfair competition.
- Represented numerous clients in trademark opposition proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board.
- Defended numerous clients against claims of copyright infringement based on website content.
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.
Learn more about McLane Middleton's divorce and family law services.
McLane Middleton’s Construction 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;
- Drafting and reviewing contracts pertinent to all phases of construction projects;
- Obtaining land use and environmental permits; and
- Providing aggressive and efficient representation in arbitration or litigation.
When obstacles arise – such as OSHA issues, permitting challenges, delay claims, payment disputes – our construction trial attorneys guide clients to the most practical and efficient resolution. 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.
Our Construction Litigation Group’s recent history includes:
- Successfully representing prominent college in litigation involving design and renovation of its state-of-the-art science facility.
- Defending civil engineering firm to successfully resolve claims made against it relating to design of athletic field complex at high school.
- Successfully represented large manufacturing facility in litigation around design and construction of a co-generation facility in Manchester, N.H.
- Successfully defended a general contractor against construction bond claims brought by a subcontractor concerning a local high school.
- Obtained favorable resolution of litigation brought against large flooring subcontractor upon litigation in federal district court.
Complex Plaintiff's Litigation
McLane Middleton is a leader in New Hampshire in handling serious claims for personal injury or wrongful death suffered by our clients. In an age of more complicated machinery, dangerous and defective products, and high-speed transportation the reality is that any of us may suffer a personal injury, perhaps even a severe injury, due to no fault of our own. For decades we have worked diligently to obtain fair and just compensation for individuals from all walks of life that have been hurt in accidents.
McLane Middleton attorneys are rated among the finest trial attorneys in New England. We evaluate, prepare and advocate your personal injury claim. Most personal injury claims involve recovering funds to pay for medical bills and expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering damages, as well as any permanent disabilities or emotional or psychological injuries. We effectively negotiate settlements. However, when cases do not settle prior to trial our skilled trial attorneys will aggressively and effectively present your case in court. Because we are a full-service law firm, we can provide the precise expertise and professional background suited to your case.
The types of personal injury cases we handle include:
- Automobile accidents
- Medical negligence
- Wrongful death claims
- Head injury
- Slip-and-fall injuries
- Defective products
- Construction accidents
- Hazardous waste and environmental litigation
- Boating and aviation accidents
- Injuries to children
- Civil rights cases
- Insurance claims
- Job-related injuries
- Toxic torts
Your initial consultation with the firm is normally at no cost. Cases are most often handled on a contingent fee basis, which means our fee is based on a percentage of the recovery we achieve for you and is paid from the funds recovered in a settlement or court