Eric Howard Serves as Professional Development Faculty for ACEC/MA Courses

Donovan Hatem is excited to announce that Eric Howard, Partner and Co-Chair of the firm’s Litigation practice is sharing his specialty legal expertise within the architecture and engineering professions in Massachusetts.  As part of the ACEC/MA Leadership Education curriculum, Eric brings his 30+ years experience to help design professionals manage risk and avoid legal pitfalls through careful contracts, eye-opening understandings, and precise writing to avoid “wording-dangers”. 

Eric is the instructor for two courses: Emerging Leaders – Risk Management session,

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Patricia Gary to lead the MassBar Association Climate Change Program

Patricia Gary is the Program Chair and speaker at the upcoming MassBar Association Climate Change program on Wednesday, June 2, 2021.

The program “Climate Change: Recent Developments in Massachusetts Law” is presented by the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Development and Construction Law Practice Group and will focus on recent developments in Massachusetts law relating to climate change.

This program is part one of a two-part series and will address:

  • The new and historic Massachusetts climate change law,
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Now Available! Public-Private Partnerships and Design-Build: Opportunities and Risks for Consulting Engineers. P3 3rd Edition

Click Here To Purchase!!

As P3 and DB approaches on bridges, roads, transit, water supply and treatment, tunnels, rail, and other public infrastructure projects continue to increase, consulting engineers need access to vital knowledge and reliable expertise to make conscientious and prudent decisions about P3 and DB project opportunities and risks.

The third edition of Public-Private Partnerships and Design-Build: Opportunities and Risks for Consulting Engineers presents new industry information and experience on P3 and DB approaches,

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Retail Tenants Assert Frustration Of Purpose To Avoid Lease Payments Based On Covid-Related Closing

The New York Appellate Division in Manhattan recently issued an important decision for commercial landlords and retail tenants suffering through store closings and diminished business as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  In The Gap v. 44-45 Broadway Leasing, the Court affirmed the lower court’s issuance of a “Yellowstone” injunction (issued to maintain the status quo) which permitted continued occupancy of two high profile retail locations while the parties continue to litigate the question of whether the doctrine of “frustration of purpose” applies to terminate or alter leases as a result of state-mandated closure orders due to COVID-19. 

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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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Commercial Tenants May Be Excused for Non-payment of Rent Due to Covid-19 Related Government Shutdowns

A Massachusetts trial Court recently issued a favorable decision for commercial tenants suffering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.  The Court applied a legal doctrine called “frustration of purpose” to excuse the tenant’s non-payment of rent during the state-mandated shutdowns in the Spring and Summer of 2020.

The case arose from a dispute between a commercial landlord (UMNV) and its tenant, Caffé Nero. The lease was signed in 2017.  Caffé Nero then spent a year and considerable money building out the space for its intended purpose of serving customers with food and beverage service on premises,

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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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Massachusetts High Court Issues New Ruling on the Statute of Repose in a Multi-phase, Multiple Building Project, Overruling Federal District Court

Jon Cowen authored the article, “Massachusetts High Court Issues New Ruling on the Statute of Repose in a Multi-phase, Multiple Building Project, Overruling Federal District Court” which was published in the ACEC/MA’s Winter Insights Newsletter. The article the Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling on Statue of Repose in a multi-phase project.

Read the full article here.

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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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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 (New York) and Shaun Loughlin (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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