On July 15, 2013, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly published an article entitled "Lawyer can't be sued over alleged misrepresentation." Christopher R. O'Hara, a partner with Todd & Weld LLP, and Ian Pinta, an associate with the firm, represented the defendants-lawyers in a suit brought by a plaintiff which claimed that the defendant lawyer had allegedly made false statements during a mediation but outside the presence of the mediator, thus inducing the plaintiff into agreeing to a settlement. The plaintiff alleged that it relied on representations by the lawyer on how certain funds would be disbursed.
Superior Court Judge Christine M. Roach agreed with the defendants' argument that the attorney's statements were considered privileged under the confidentiality provision of the mediation agreement, which was signed by all parties at the mediation and their respective counsel, and which covered "all communications between and among the parties and their counsel."
Christopher R. O'Hara, who represented the attorney accused of making the statements at issue in the case, noted that the plaintiff's allegations were "vigorously disputed." In granting the defendants' motion to strike, Judge Roach said that the "plaintiff, a sophisticated business entity that was represented by counsel, was free to bargain for more or less confidentiality than what was provided by statute, and it was not the court's job to make a better deal."
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