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AP&S Wins Among The Most Important Decisions of 2013

The list of 100 Most Important Decisions of 2013 by Massachusetts and Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly included 8 client victories won by AP&S attorneys, including:

  • Stafford v. Levine, et al. – The dismissal of class claims against an attorney accused of misleading advertisements achieved by Geoff Millsom and Brenna Force was named one of the Top Ten Decisions of 2013 largely because it created new law in Rhode Island holding that the Deceptive Trade Practices Act does not apply to attorneys acting within the scope of their profession.
  • Marano v. RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc. – Geoff Millsom and Kyle Zambarano achieved the dismissal of negligence and breach of contract claims brought by a customer against its bank, because the Court determined that the Rhode Island Uniform Commercial Code displaces common-law causes of action.
  • Bernkopf Goodman LL v. Hebert et al – Geoff Millsom and Leslie Parker successfully moved to dismiss a law firm’s claim against Citizens Bank.  The law firm’s payroll company was a Citizens Bank customer who embezzled over $500,000 in money designated for federal employment taxes from the law firm.  The Massachusetts federal district’s court’s decision significantly clarified and the narrowed the scope of a commercial bank’s duties to non-customers.
  • Innercity Recyling Service LLC v SMM New England Company – In a commercial class action matter, Geoff Millsom, Richard Beretta and Brenna Force successfully protected a client’s computer database from expedited electronic discovery by arguing that the plaintiffs had not sufficiently demonstrated their entitlement to this information.
  • Kaczorowski v. Town of North Smithfield, et al. – Lori Caron Silveira obtained summary judgment for the former Director of the Department of Public Works for the Town of North Smithfield. The Court ruled that the Town violated its municipal charter when it effectively eliminated the position of the DPW Director by reducing the Director’s compensation in the Town’s budget to $1.
  • Klairmont v. Gainsboro Restaurant, 465 Mass. 165 (2013), in which the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held, contrary to language in an Attorney General regulation, that a violation of the state building code does not constitute a per se violation of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Statute, G.L. c. 93A, was recognized as one of the most significant decisions of 2013 by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.  Michael Riseberg and Michael Gilleran drafted an amicus curiae brief on this issue on behalf of the Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association.
  • The First Circuit’s decision in Swarovski Aktiengesellschaft, et al. v. Building #19, Inc.was designated as a most important opinion in patent and trademark law for 2013.  In this case the First Circuit confirmed that a trademark defendant has no burden of proof to show fair use unless the plaintiff first demonstrates sufficient evidence that the defendant’s use of the plaintiff’s trademark is likely to confuse consumers.  Michael Gilleran, Michael Riseberg and Rory Fazendeiro represented Building #19, the prevailing party in the appeal to the First Circuit.
  • Employers Mutual Casualty Co. v. ELJ, Inc., et al.:  Beth Noonan and Nicole Benjamin successfully defended against the plaintiff insurer’s motion for summary judgment and obtained a ruling that a pollution exclusion clause in a commercial general liability policy does not relieve the insurer from its duty to defend the policyholder in a suit alleging that the policyholder’s rock-crushing and loam-screening business caused an accumulation of stone dust on neighboring property, which was alleged to constitute a private nuisance, continuing trespass and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
  • Michael Chittick successfully argued in Rhode Island Superior Court that an agency decision which would have likely resulted in over $1 million of overtime pay liability against our client should be reversed.

Frito-Lay, Inc. v. Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, et al.,

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