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Susan A. Hartnett

Partner
(617) 227-3030
 

Education:

  • J.D., Northeastern University School of Law, 1984
  • B.A., Macalester College (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), 1978

Practice Areas:

A senior partner at the firm, Susan advises and represents insurers in complex coverage matters under general liability, business, homeowner’s and professional liability policies.  For over a decade, Susan has also devoted a substantial portion of her practice to representing reinsurers and insurers in reinsurance arbitrations and related litigation regarding a broad range of disputed issues, including claims arising out of long-tail exposures.  She is a founding member, past president and current director of the Massachusetts Reinsurance Bar Association (MReBA).  Reported decisions in reinsurance matters include:

  • National Casualty Co. v. First State Ins. Group, 430 F.3d 491 (1st Cir. 2005) (appeal under section 10 of the FAA arising out of cedent’s failure to comply with panel order to produce documents)
  • Employers Insurance of Wausau v. First State Ins. Group, 324 F.Supp.2d 333 (D. Mass. 2004) (addressing consolidation of arbitration proceedings)

Throughout her career, Susan has also regularly represented individuals and corporations in appeals in the state and federal courts in a wide variety of civil claims, including matters not tried in the first instance by SRBC.  Appeals have included issues arising out of insurance coverage, shareholder derivative actions, claims for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty, products liability litigation and “junk science,” contracts, civil rights and executive privilege, alimony and other aspects of divorce proceedings, and professional liability claims, including legal malpractice.  Reported appellate decisions include:

  • New England Forestry Foundation, Inc. v. Board of Assessors of Hawley, 468 Mass. 138 (2014) (amicus brief addressing statutory tax exemption for conservation land)
  • Osorio v. One World Technologies, Inc., 659 F.3d 81 (2011) (products liability, addressing design defect)
  • Rubin v. Murray, 79 Mass. App. 64 (2011) (shareholder derivative action, closely held corporation
  • Pierce v. Pierce, 455 Mass. 286 (2009 (domestic relations, addressing effect of retirement on alimony)
  • Hingham Mutual Fire Ins. Co. v. Mercurio, 71 Mass. App. 21 (2008) (insurance coverage, addressing rescission)
  • National Casualty Co. v. First State Ins. Group, 430 F.3d 491 (1st Cir. 2005) (reinsurance, addressing vacatur under the FAA)
  • Theresa Canavan’s Case,  432 Mass. 304 (2000) (amicus brief addressing reliability of expert testimony)
  • Jones v. Walter Kidde Portable Equipment, Inc., 183 F.3d 67 (1st Cir. 1999) (products liability, duty to warn)
  • Demoulas v. Demoulas, 428 Mass. 555 (1998) (fiduciary duty)
  • Demoulas v. Demoulas Super Markets, Inc., 428 Mass. 543 (1998) (shareholder derivative suit)
  • Demoulas v. Demoulas Super Markets, Inc., 424 Mass. 501 (1997) (shareholder derivative suit)
  • Babets v. Sec. of Human Services, 403 Mass. 230 (1988) (executive privilege)

Susan joined the firm in 1985 following a year as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Raya S. Dreben, Massachusetts Appeals Court.  She has been a partner since 1992. 

Recognition:  

  • Top Women Attorneys in Massachusetts, Massachusetts Super Lawyers 2016
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Appellate Law and Insurance Law, 2008-2017; Reinsurance Law, 2017 
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers (Insurance Coverage), Boston magazine, 2004-2007, 2009-2015
  • Top 50 Female Attorneys in Massachusetts, Massachusetts Super Lawyers 2012
  • Benchmark Appellate “First Circuit Litigation Star,” Massachusetts, 2013
  • Rated AV® Preeminent ™ by Martindale-Hubbell

Memberships:

  • Massachusetts Reinsurance Bar Association (Founding Member; Director, 2013-; President, 2012-2013; Vice-President, 2011-2012; Chair, Publications Committee, 2009-2011)
  • ARIAS – U.S. (AIDA Reinsurance and Insurance Arbitration Society)
  • DRI, Insurance Law Committee
  • Boston Bar Association
  • Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts (former Co-Chair, Amicus Committee)

Civic Involvement:

  • Greater Boston Legal Services, Executive Committee, 2013-; Board of Directors, 2000-
  • Boston Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project, Pro Bono Appellate Program, 2016
  • A Better Chance, Winchester, Board of Directors, 2000–2010

Admissions:

  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Related News:

October 24, 2016 -
Sugarman Rogers Makes the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's "Pro Bono Honor Roll"
As we celebrate National Pro Bono Week and Massachusetts Pro Bono Month, we are pleased to announce that Sugarman Rogers has qualified for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's (SJC) 2015 "Pro Bono Honor Roll."

...
Learn more

October 21, 2016 -
Nineteen Sugarman Rogers Attorneys Recognized as "Super Lawyers" and "Rising Stars"

Nineteen lawyers from Sugarman Rogers have been included in this year’s edition of the Massachusetts "Super Lawyers" and "Rising Stars" lists. 
 
Sixteen attorneys have been named to the 2016 "Super Lawyers" list, an honor based on peer review and professional ...
Learn more

August 15, 2016 -
Twelve Sugarman Rogers Partners Named 2017 Best Lawyers in America
Sugarman Rogers is pleased to announce that twelve of its attorneys – over 70 percent of the firm’s partners – have been selected for inclusion in the 2017 edition of  ...
Learn more

May 01, 2016 -
100% of Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen Female Partners Named “Top Women Attorneys in Massachusetts"
Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen is proud to announce that all of their female partners have been named “Top Women Attorneys in Massachusetts," by Super Lawyers® and were featured in the April issue of Boston magazine.

...
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January 28, 2016 -
SRBC Supports “Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid”
SRBC proudly supports the Equal Justice Coalition’s 17th Annual “Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid” on January 28. The walk is one of the largest lobby days at the Massachusetts State House, with a goal to urge lawmakers to approve a budget of $27 million for programs that provide civil legal aid to ...
Learn more

November 06, 2015 -
SRBC Lawyers Recognized as Massachusetts Super Lawyers

Twenty lawyers from SRBC have been included in this year’s edition of Massachusetts Super Lawyers. Super Lawyers annually publishes the results of a peer-survey and independent-research study designed to identify leading lawyers by state. In this year’s listings, SRBC ...
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August 21, 2015 -
Thirteen SRBC Partners Named to The Best Lawyers in America 2016 List
Thirteen partners from the Boston-based civil litigation firm Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C. received top rankings in the 2016 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® for their skills and expertise in their respective practice areas. 

...
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