Archives: Appeals Court

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Appeals Court: No Bad Faith For An Insurer’s Legitimate Exercise Of A Contractual Right Or Its Settlement Within The Policy Limit Without The Insured’s Consent

In a Rule 1:28 decision applying New Hampshire law, the Appeals Court affirmed the entry of summary judgment dismissing a doctor’s suit accusing her professional liability insurer of improper settlement of a claim without her consent. Johnson v. Proselect Ins. Co., 17-P-109. The underlying trial had resulted in a $5 million judgment against the doctor … Continue Reading

The Scope of an Insurer’s Right to Control the Defense – OneBeacon America Ins. Co. v. Celanese Corp.

The scope of an insurer’s right to control the defense of an insured is an underdeveloped issue in Massachusetts case law, which the Appeals Court recently addressed in OneBeacon America Ins. Co. v. Celanese Corp., No. 16-P-203 (Oct. 16, 2017). The decision helps clarify the rights of an insurer when it has offered to provide … Continue Reading

How Long Will My Appeal Take?

Appellate lawyers are constantly asked (and asking themselves) some variant of the same question: “How long until we get a decision?” The reality is that it’s hard to know. Nevertheless, most will, after being pressed, venture a guess based on their informed experience. To supplement our informed experience, we conducted an analysis of twenty-one recent … Continue Reading

Intent to Injure Can Be Inferred as a Matter of Law Barring Coverage Under a Homeowner’s Policy for Bodily Injury Expected or Intended by an Insured

On November 7, 2016, the Appeals Court heard oral argument for Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company v. Ryan Casey & Another (16-P-32).  Defendants Ryan Casey and Evan Williams appealed a Superior Court’s summary judgment decision in favor of Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company (“Liberty Mutual”) that concluded that the insured, Casey, expected or intended to cause … Continue Reading

Not Quite a Final Judgment: Steering Clear of the Perils in Filing a Notice of Appeal

The Massachusetts Appeals Court recently decided two issues of first impression in a case arising out of a mediated settlement gone bad. See ZVI Construction Co. v. Levy, 90 Mass. App. Ct. 412 (2016) (“ZVI”). The court determined that there was no fraud exception to a written mediation confidentiality agreement, and that one party in … Continue Reading

Students Do Not Have Standing to Pursue An Injunction Against Harvard University From Investing in Fossil Fuel Companies

On June 7, 2016, the Appeals Court heard oral argument for Harvard Climate Justice Coalition v. President and Fellows of Harvard College (AC 15-P-0905). Harvard Climate Justice Coalition, an unincorporated association of students at Harvard University (“Students”), appealed from a Superior Court judgment dismissing their action for a permanent injunction requiring the President and Fellows … Continue Reading

Appeals Court Holds That An Employer’s Failure To Maintain Workers’ Compensation Insurance Results In An Automatic Three-Year Debarment

Addressing an issue of first impression, the Appeals Court recently held that an employer who fails to maintain a workers’ compensation policy in violation of the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act, G.L. c. 152, et seq., is automatically debarred from bidding or participating in any state or municipal funded contract for three years. New England Survey … Continue Reading

First Circuit Dismisses Fabrazyme Suits Without Prejudice To Re-filing

In an unusual ruling in a closely-watched case, the First Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a District Court’s dismissal of most of the plaintiffs’ claims, but on new grounds which will potentially allow the plaintiffs another bite at the product liability apple. Hochendoner v. Genzyme Corp., Nos. 15-1446, 15-1447( May 23, 2016). The cases … Continue Reading

Appellate Strategies: Massachusetts Appeals Court Single Justice Practice

  Recently we covered the basics of interlocutory appeals to a single justice of the Massachusetts Appeals. Court. Here are some thoughts on how you can improve your chances of obtaining review: Highlight why the issue presented is an important one not only for your case, but for other pending cases, or the development of the … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Appeals Court Single Justice Practice: The Basics of Interlocutory Appeals

Appeals of interlocutory orders from Trial Court Departments are reviewed by the single justice of the Appeals Court.  The interlocutory appeal process is governed by G. L. c. 231, § 118, which establishes a 30-day deadline for filing a petition for interlocutory review.  Importantly, this 30-day deadline is set by the statute and the Appeals … Continue Reading