Client Alert – Court Saves Building From Guillotine

At the Donovan Hatem January 21 Roundtable, we discussed the decision in The Committee for Environmentally Sound Development v. Amsterdam Ave Redevelopment whereby a New York trial court annulled a resolution of the Board of Standards and Appeal, thereby revoking a DOB permit, and directed the removal of many floors of a nearly completed high rise building. At our Roundtable we reported an appeal had been taken from that decision, and the appeal was supported by amicus briefs from the NY Building Congress,

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March Roundtable – Climate Change: New and Emerging Trends

Join us Thursday, March 18th to learn about new climate change policies during 2020-2021. Climate change considerations are increasingly important in the design process. Learn what is being done at the state and local levels to address the challenge and how effective risk management strategies incorporate resilience measures into design


  • The Commonwealth’s key initiatives to advance its net-zero and climate resilience goals, with a focus on the 2050 Decarbonization Roadmap, Resilient Massachusetts Action Team (RMAT) climate resilience tools and guidelines,
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January Roundtable – What’s New: A Review of 2020 and Recent Cases Involving Design Professionals

This new year let’s look back to see what’s ahead!   Join us Thursday, January 21, 2021,  for this timely case study presentation focused on common legal issues faced by design professionals including:

  • Statute of Limitations
  • Duty to Defend
  • Indemnification
  • Risk Exposure
  • Contractual Provisions
  • COVID-19 Impact


Eric Howard, Partner, Donovan Hatem LLP

Brian Newberry,

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Adam Benevides and Sean McCarthy Named Partners of Donovan Hatem LLP

Boston, MA (January 8, 2021) – Donovan Hatem LLP is pleased to announce the election of Adam Benevides and Sean McCarthy as new partners of the Firm.

Adam Benevides joined the firm in 2013 where he has focused his practice on representing plaintiffs and defendants in complex commercial litigation disputes, insurance and tort defense, premises liability, employment matters, construction litigation, and professional practices.  For over seven years, Adam has successfully managed complex cases from inception through trial preparation for Donovan Hatem clients.

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The Design & Construction Management Professional Reporter: December 2020

Inside This Issue:
“Rethinking and Recalibrating Design-Build”
By: David J. Hatem, PC
“Texas Court of Appeals Affirms Strict Compliance with Certificate of Merit Statute.”
By: Andrew S. Hassey
To read our December 2020 issue, please click here.

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Article: Rethinking and Recalibrating Design-Build

by David J. Hatem, PC
December 2020

For a PDF version of the article, click here

In the last 18 months, the signs and signals, if not alarms, that something is seriously veering off the tracks in Design-Build (“DB”) delivery on major public infrastructure projects have become increasingly evident by comments and actions of a number of diverse and important constituencies in the construction, design and insurance industries.  The root causes of many of the negative experiences and trends on those DB projects arise out of certain Owner procurement and contractual practices that are adversely,

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Donovan Hatem Obtains Important Victory For Beer Wholesaler in Connecticut

In one of the few cases addressing Connecticut’s Beer Franchise Law, a combined effort by Donovan Hatem attorneys Joshua Stern in New York and a small team in Boston was able to thwart a foreign brewer from terminating a local wholesaler’s distribution rights. The case was first argued in the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, Liquor Control Commission, and then affirmed by the Superior Court. Even though the foreign brewer had withdrawn the product from the marketplace for more than a decade,

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David Hatem to present for ACEC/MA on Current Issues in Design-Build for Design Professionals

David Hatem will be presenting a webinar for ACECMA, held on Tuesday, December 15, 2020, to discuss Current Issues in Design-Build for Design Professionals.

Topics to be addressed:

Understanding and mitigating risk issues for design professionals on Design-Build and P3 projects

Consider practices that can be employed to optimize an engineering design firm’s position in Design-Build and P3 projects.

Understand issues for approaching a Design-Build project when your firm is the consultant to the prime contractor – during the procurement phase as well as during the during the design &

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Jon Cowen presents at ACEC/MA Risk Management Forum

Jon Cowen recently spoke at the ACEC/MA Risk Management Forum to Discuss D’Allessandro Decision and 2 recent Board of Registration Policies/Advisories 

The Forum, held virtually on December 1, 32020, discussed:

  • Recent MA High Court Ruling on Statute of Repose in Multi-phase, Multiple Building Project, D’Allessandro v. Lennar Hingham Holdings, LLC 
    • ACEC/MA is grateful to Donovan Hatem for filing an amicus brief on our behalf in this case.
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Donovan Hatem Welcomes Eric Asquith and Kamilah Land to the Firm

Boston, MA (December 3, 2020) – Donovan Hatem is pleased to welcome Eric Asquith as Of Counsel and Kamilah “Kam” Land as an Associate to the Firm.

Eric joins the Firm’s Litigation group where he concentrates his practice on complex commercial litigation. He also brings to the firm extensive experience in employment law, product liability, professional liability and more.

Eric also brings deep industry experience to his real estate work, such as having run a real estate brokerage,

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Donovan Hatem Welcomes Sarandos Markopoulos as an Associate to the Firm

Boston, MA (November 17, 2020) – Donovan Hatem is pleased to announce that Sarandos Markopoulos has joined the Firm’s Professional Practices and Litigation groups as an Associate. 

Sarandos focuses his practice on analyzing claims to effectively participate in decisions related to resolution strategy and regularly advises clients on the strength of claims and defenses, dispute avoidance and resolution.

Sarandos received his J.D.  from Boston College School of Law and received his B.A. cum laude from Boston College.

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Client Alert: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Issues Decision Regarding Statute of Repose

On November 3, 2020, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) issued an important decision concerning the interpretation and application of the Statute of Repose. (The Statute of Repose bars claims asserted more than 6 years after an improvement to real estate is substantially completed or opened for use.) Donovan Hatem submitted an Amici Curiae brief to the Court on behalf of ACEC/MA and AIA/MA, representing the interests of the design professional community.

In the case, D’Allessandro v.

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Recent Win: Donovan Hatem’s New York Office Wins Pre-Answer Dismissal

Donovan Hatem attorneys Steve Willig and Josh Stern prevailed on a motion to dismiss a third-party complaint on behalf of one of our design professional clients. In the action, a laborer sought to recover for personal injuries alleged to have been sustained when a large slab of concrete fell on him during the course of underpinning work. Claims were asserted under the New York Labor Law against the owner and general contractor,

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Donovan Hatem Welcomes Of-Counsel Brendan Malvey to the Firm

Boston, MA (November 3, 2020) – Donovan Hatem is pleased to announce that Brendan Malvey has joined the Firm’s Professional Practices group as Of-Counsel. 

Recently serving as In-house Counsel for a high-end construction specialties company, Brendan brings over a dozen years of experience in business litigation, professional malpractice, breach of contract, unfair business practices, employment law and insurance coverage and more.  He specializes in defending design professionals throughout North America.

Brendan received his J.D. 

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November Roundtable: Contractual Indemnification and Insurance Procurement Provisions for Design Professionals

This month’s Roundtable focuses on risk management and allocation for design professionals through a review and evaluation of the spectrum of contractual indemnification provisions and insurance procurement provisions in project contracts.

Join us on Thursday, November 19th as David Rich addresses the following:

  • The universe of available indemnification agreements and insurance procurement provisions, as well as the differences in scope among the varying agreements.
  • Contractual indemnity and insurance procurement provisions are among the most important provisions that govern the scope of risk and responsibility for a given Project.
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October Roundtable: Contractor Involvement in Final Design: Varied and Evolving Roles, Responsibilities and Risk Allocation

Over the last several years, we have experienced new approaches that – to varying degrees – involve contractors in the arena of important roles, risks and responsibilities associated with the design process.  These approaches include design assist, design delegation, CM/GC, Progressive Design-Build and Design-Build.

In each of these approaches, what are the respective roles, responsibilities and risks of the primary project participants – the Owner, the Design Professional, and the Contractor (or Design-Builder)?

Join us Wednesday,

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Partner Jon Cowen and the recent SJC Covid-19 Order highlighted in Mass Lawyers Weekly

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article on an emergency rule adopted by the Supreme Judicial Court in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here to read the article on this unique decision in today’s climate.

Donovan Hatem argued that, even in a Covid-19 environment, its client should not be forced to give trial testimony.

The Donovan Hatem team included Jon Cowen

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September Roundtable: Measuring Design Professional Performance

Though we took a break, Donovan Hatem is still committed to providing our community with quality programming and we are excited to resume our Roundtable series for the rest of 2020! Please join us Wednesday, September 23 for our virtual Roundtable to discuss measuring design professional performance.

Topics include:

  • Standard of Care
  • Measuring Imperfection
  • Difference between Standard of Care & Owner-Implied Warranty
  • Role of Experts

Click here to register

Please email if you have any questions or concerns.

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Recent Win: NY Team Obtains Pre-Answer Dismissal for Client

Donovan Hatem’s NY team led by Scott Winikow and Steve Willig successfully secured a dismissal on behalf of our client from a $10 million suit in the United States District Court of New Jersey. Our client was engaged as an engineering consultant to a New Jersey municipality for a dredging project. The main contractor brought suit against its subcontractor claiming negligent work, and the subcontractor then sought to implead our client on the theories of contractual contribution and common law contribution and indemnification.

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Donovan Hatem Obtains Appellate Court Victory for Client!

Donovan Hatem secured an appellate court victory for a design professional client when the Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed the Superior Court’s dismissal of a lawsuit that alleged defective design and construction of a luxury condominium. The Appeals Court, in its June 23, 2020 decision, agreed with the Superior Court’s dismissal of the claims against the design professional finding that the plaintiff’s claims were time-barred based on the expiration of the three-year statute of limitations for claims of professional negligence and negligent misrepresentation.

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