BLC has handled a wide variety of business and commercial disputes – as litigation counsel, in negotiations, as mediator, and as arbitrator.
Jim Grumbach has more than four decades of experience with a wide range of business disputes, including:
- Breach of fiduciary duty claims in closely held companies and partnerships
- Chapter 93A claims for unfair and deceptive acts and practices
- Claims for accountings involving partners, shareholders, trustees and/or beneficiaries
- Claims arising from freeze-outs in small businesses
- Chapter 176D claims for unfair insurance claims practices
- Legal malpractice claims
- Insurance broker errors and omissions claims
- Professional liability claims involving various professionals
- Family-business disputes
- Real estate and construction disputes
- Bankruptcy and antitrust cases
- Real estate and construction disputes
- Land use and environmental claims
- Stock option disputes
- Contract and tort claims
- Unfair competition claims
David Hoffman was a trial lawyer in the Litigation Department at Hill & Barlow for 17 years, where he handled a similar range of cases. Jody Newman has also handled commercial cases as counsel in her prior work as a partner at Collora, LLP. Jim Grumbach, Jody Newman, and David Hoffman also serve as mediators and arbitrators in commercial cases.
BLC has handled a wide variety of cases involving insurance issues.
Jim Grumbach has extensive experience with all types of insurance including property and casualty (liability), disability, life and health. Earlier in his career, Jim defended insurers and insurance brokers; in recent years his practice has more often focused on representing insured clients who are suing or being sued by insurers or third parties. He works frequently with public insurance adjusters, having served for ten years as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (“MAPIA”), assisting insureds in obtaining insurance coverage when they have suffered property losses. He also represents insureds seeking a defense when thy have been sued and their insurer denies coverage and/or a defense.
Jim frequently represents building, business and homeowners that have sustained losses from fire, water, theft, collapse, and other hazards. He defends clients at Examinations Under Oath (EUOs), a procedure similar to a deposition but without procedural safeguards. EUOs are a feature of all Massachusetts insurance policies, assisting insurers to investigate losses, but posing significant risks to unprepared or improperly represented insureds. He also represents insureds in ‘reference proceedings,’ similar to arbitrations but limited in scope to the value of the loss under the policy – also a feature of all Massachusetts property insurance policies.
Personal Injury and Torts
BLC has extensive experience with personal injury and tort claims.
Jim Grumbach has significant expertise and success in representing clients and their families who have suffered serious personal injury (death or permanent impairment). For the past three decades Jim has represented primarily injured plaintiffs in Superior Court, state District Court, Federal District Court, and in arbitrations and mediations. His cases have included large, complex matters as well as smaller ones. He has represented:
- Clients who suffered serious physical and emotional injuries, and permanent impairment;
- Wrongful death clients;
- Plaintiffs in malpractice suits against insurance brokers, attorneys, and other professionals;
- Insureds, homeowners and businesses in matters involving property damage, including buildings, real estate and environmental claims.
- People who have been sued in claims involving sexual assault and harassment; automobile, premises and construction claims; land use and environmental claims.
One of the reasons why Jim is so effective in such cases is that, for many years, Jim represented insured defendants on behalf of their insurers in such matters as general liability, auto accidents, construction, and product liability; insurers in coverage disputes with their insureds and reinsurers; and insurance brokers that had been sued by clients, employees and competitors. From that experience, he gained an understanding of how companies engaged in the insurance industry act and handle their cases. Additionally, he employs his litigation, negotiation and interpersonal skills to partner with specialists in various areas of the law and therefore represent clients in a wide range of cases.
David Hoffman served as litigation counsel for both plaintiffs and defendants during his 17 years at Hill & Barlow, and today serves as mediator and arbitrator in such cases.
Trust and Estate Litigation
Courts often are required to intercede to resolve disagreements that can divide families in the context of trusts and estates. BLC has handled many such cases.
Jim Grumbach is experienced in representing disputants in matters involving breach of fiduciary duty, overreaching by trustees, accountings, and the pursuit and defense of executors and trustees in claims brought by beneficiaries. He works in both the Superior and Probate Courts.
Jim and David Hoffman have served as mediators in numerous cases involving trusts and estates and probate matters.
BLC has extensive experience in litigating, arbitrating, mediating, and negotiating for clients in sensitive and complex employments matters, on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants, in all levels of the courts and administrative agencies, as well as providing training in workplaces. Cases have involved:
- Wrongful termination
- Discrimination cases
- Sexual harassment and sexual misconduct
- Breach of contract
- Severance negotiations
- Non-competition agreements
- Breach of shareholder agreements
BLC’s Jody Newman has focused most of her career on employment matters as counsel, and she, Jim Grumbach, Audrey Lee, and David Hoffman also handle employment matters in the role of mediator, arbitrator, factfinder, and other neutral roles. Jim Grumbach also litigates such matters, on behalf of employees, co-workers and employers.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
BLC’s entire staff has training in conflict resolution, and the firm has been a leader in promoting ADR. BLC’s attorneys have extensive experience serving as mediators and arbitrators in disputes involving businesses and individuals, as well as representing clients in such proceedings.
David Hoffman and Jim Grumbach have each co-authored books and articles on ADR, and Audrey Lee has authored articles on negotiation, managing diversity issues in the workplace, and other ADR-related topics. David teaches three ADR-related courses at Harvard Law School. David, Jim, Audrey, Jody Newman, Michele Keratsis, and Karen Richards have all served as trainers and panelists in a variety of ADR programs.
BLC has offered trainings on negotiation, dispute resolution, implicit bias, diversity, equity, and inclusion for businesses, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions.
BLC’s services for businesses and individuals include the following roles:
- Negotiation / Advice / Counseling
- Reference Proceedings
- Case Evaluation
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