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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Insurance Defense and Litigation

Pro Hac Vice Counsel; Only as Good As Their Local Counsel

Thursday, March 26, 2015

By: Dennis Lindren

Pursuant to G.L. c. 221, §46A, out of state counsel may seek permission to practice law temporarily in Massachusetts pro hac vice. While the provisions of that particular statute clearly allow the Court wide discretion in deciding a pro hac vice motions (see e.g. Diluzio v. United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, Local 274, et al., 391 Mass. 211 (1984), in practice, opposing counsel rarely oppose, and the Courts routinely grant, pro hac vice motions to out of state counsel who satisfy the requirements of the statute.  The operative question then is not whether out of state counsel can represent their clients in Massachusetts Courts, but whether the best interests of the client are advanced by doing so.

To even the most experienced out of state lawyer, the legal landscape in Massachusetts can be confusing, if not somewhat intimidating.  From the unique procedural requirements of Superior Court Rule 9A, to the considerable remedies (in theory) allowed pursuant to the Massachusetts Consumer Protection statute, G.L. c. 93A, developing a basic understanding of Massachusetts law in any given practice area is no small task.  In addition, there are very important cultural, economic and geographic considerations unique to Massachusetts to be taken into account in formulating litigation and trial strategy that the uninitiated lawyer may likely overlook to their client’s detriment.  In short and not surprisingly, there is a considerable home field advantage for the client who is represented by a Massachusetts attorney in a Massachusetts action.

Nevertheless and for a variety of reasons, it often makes sense (or the client simply prefers) that their out of state counsel seek to be admitted pro hac vice. In such instances, the first and most critical step is to identify and retain experienced, local trial counsel.  Not only are local counsel required to enter an appearance in the matter and sponsor the pro hac vice motion, but much more importantly, when allowed, they act as procedural guides and local legal experts, invariably saving the client time and money in the prosecution or defense of their action.  At Pierce & Mandell, P.C., we are experienced trial lawyers who try cases.  We have broad experience trying the most sophisticated civil litigation matters.  We have worked with a variety of small, medium and large out of state firms, both as co-counsel and local counsel, in the prosecution and defense of civil actions here in the Commonwealth.  If your client is in need of Massachusetts counsel, or you are in need of local counsel to sponsor your pro hac vice motion, please contact Dennis Lindgren at (617) 720-2444.

OSHA Highlights Winter Dangers That Affect Construction Workers

Tuesday, February 12, 2013
by Dennis M. Lindgren

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the Federal Government Agency whose primary responsibility it is to protect workers from dangers or hazards in the workplace. OSHA accomplishes this by establishing many different guidelines, rules and requirements for employers in order to ensure that workers are as protected as possible. Unfortunately, not even OSHA can protect workers against Mother Nature.  As such, winter creates many workplace hazards for workers' across a variety of industries.

It is critical that persons that work outdoors and their employers are aware of the areas where there is added risk in the wintertime. This is especially important for those who work on construction sites who may be impacted more than most by cold weather and winter snow, sleet or ice.
Some of the hazards associated with working in winter storms include:

  • Driving accidents due to slippery roadways
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Hypothermia and frostbite due to the cold weather exposure
  • Exhaustion from strenuous activity
  • Dehydration
  • Back injuries or heart attack while removing snow
  • Slips and falls due to slippery walkways
  • Electrocution due to downed power lines or downed objects in contact with power lines
  • Burns from fires caused by energized line contact or equipment failure
  • Being struck by falling objects such as icicles, tree limbs, and utility poles
  • Falls from snow removal on roofs, or while working in aerial lifts or on ladders
  • Roof collapse under weight of snow (or melting snow if drains are clogged)
  • Lacerations or amputations from unguarded or improperly operated chain saws and power tools, and improperly attempting to clear jams in snow blowers

These are just a few of the many potential winter hazards that construction workers face on the job. If an employee does suffer an on-the-job injury from these or other winter workplace hazards, they may qualify for a workers' compensation claim and/or may be able to identify a responsible defendant to sue for injuries sustained.

For more information from OSHA on winter hazards, go to the following link: here.  If you or a loved one has suffered a construction injury in Massachusetts, contact the personal injury attorneys at Pierce & Mandell, P.C. for a free consultation to discuss your claim.  Call us at (617) 720-2444.

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