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Scott O'Connell



Scott O’Connell is chair of the Litigation Department and a member of the firm's Management Committee. He is a trial lawyer known for his perseverance, strategic thinking and value driven service for clients. Scott focuses on trial work, class action and aggregate litigation, parallel proceeding and health service reimbursement litigation. He is currently representing financial services, life sciences, manufacturers and health care companies in high exposure disputes with associated significant reputational harm in parallel civil, criminal and regulatory proceedings.

What do you focus on?

I currently focus my practice in the following areas of financial and reputational exposure (click each link below for a list of experience):

  • Trials, Arbitrations and Evidentiary Proceedings
    Telling compelling stories with effective witnesses and evidence is at the heart of trial advocacy. Taking complex commercial disputes and breaking them down into thematic and compelling narratives is what I strive to do. I have had the privilege to do trial and evidentiary hearings around the country for different clients in various subject matters. This is my passion and is indeed the best part of my job.
  • Class Action, Mass Torts and Aggregate Litigation
    Class actions are costly and disruptive because they attack products, services and business processes. The exposure can be substantial. I work closely with businesses to find and implement solutions that limit accruing exposure while also defending the case.
  • Crisis Intervention, Internal Investigations and Parallel Proceedings
    Catastrophic events, health and safety issues or corporate integrity matters can destroy a company. Intervening quickly to manage the parallel criminal, regulatory and civil proceedings as well as the challenges presented by social media is essential to restore the brand. I have considerable experience counseling companies through these types of emergent situations.
  • Health Service Reimbursement Litigation
    Many health service providers deliver considerable uncompensated care. These services have material negative financial impacts on these institutions. I counsel these providers with regard to reimbursements owed from Medicaid, Medicare and third-party payors. This work involves federal and state litigation as well as Administrative Procedures Act challenges.
  • Constitutional Claims
    Representation of individuals, business entities and political organizations in the defense of constitutionally-protected rights and liberties. I have developed a particular focus on protecting against the impairment of contracts through state action.
  • Domestic Violence Protection (Pro Bono)
    Practicing law is a privilege, not a right. With that privilege comes professional responsibilities. I consider providing pro bono service one of my professional responsibilities. As someone who grew up experiencing domestic violence, I devote time annually to helping abused spouses and children secure orders of protection and related assistance to remove violence from the home. It should not “hurt” to be a child and part of my commitment is to help those suffering escape the hurt.
  • What do you see on the horizon?

    Managing parallel proceedings is like playing three dimensional chess. Coordinating between criminal, regulatory and civil proceedings is not a linear process. Decisions in one sphere can have material impacts in another. Having a legal team able to identify these threats and navigate successfully through them is essential. Make sure that the team you use is able to operate simultaneously in these different forums.

    Social media adds a level of complexion to these parallel proceedings. Brand protection in high exposure litigation is very challenging. Now more than ever, a company needs to be ready to defend itself in the court of public opinion long before a court of law. This is a radically different mindset for most defense minded attorneys who want the luxury of time and analysis to consider options. Legal teams need to be nimble, strategic and very conversant with the brand objectives for your company. If you lose the brand, there might not be anything left for which to fight in the parallel proceedings.

    Selected recent experience

    Trials, Arbitrations and Evidentiary Proceedings

    • Lead trial counsel in a two-week bench trial and related appeal challenging the competitive bidding procedures in connection with a 20-year state contract.
    • Lead trial counsel in defense verdict after five-day bench trial in which the jury demand was successfully stricken and affirmed on appeal. Plaintiffs sought $10 million in damages for alleged unfair and deceptive trade practices under RSA 358-A arising from the termination of rights to use and sell products because of the improper diversion of products to the gray market. Because one of its major witnesses had significant prior criminal conduct, which would have been a distraction for the jury, L’Oreal successfully struck the jury demand because there is no right to a jury trial for statutory claims. During trial, the court bifurcated liability from damages. After five trial days of the liability case, the trial judge ruled that L’Oreal’s anti-gray market and anti-diversion campaigns resulted in the termination of the plaintiff’s rights to its product. New Hampshire Supreme Court affirmed that the plaintiffs had no right to a jury trial. Hair Excitement v. L’Oreal USA, Inc., 158 N.H. 363 (2009).
    • Lead defense attorney in six-week jury trial in Oahu, Hawaii, for breach of partnership agreement, fiduciary duty and violations of Hawaii’s unfair and deceptive trade practices act.
    • Lead counsel in successful two-week wrongful death trial.
    • Co-counsel in four-week bench trial in cellular partnership dispute securing a $1 million judgment and successful dismissal of $6 million counterclaims.
    • Lead trial counsel in two-day bench trial securing dismissal of a Canadian refinery for lack of personal jurisdiction in MtBE mass tort/aggregate litigation.
    • Successful defense in arbitration after five hearing days in a confidential arbitration involving a closely held business dispute. Plaintiffs originally sought $10,000,000. Damages reduced before arbitration to $3,000,000 based on successful motion practice. No damages awarded after hearing.
    • Successful defense in arbitration in New York of $4 million civil fraud and conspiracy case concerning alleged false postal documents and no-prosecution decision in related criminal investigation.
    • Lead trial counsel in five-day evidentiary hearing securing preliminary injunction for health system clients challenging changes to state Medicaid reimbursements.
    • Lead trial counsel in two-day evidentiary hearing defeating preliminary injunction brought by shareholder in closely held Vermont business developing solar arrays.
    • Lead trial counsel defeating an effort of an Israeli company in a three-day evidentiary hearing to enjoin a former employee from working for a competitor under a claim of inevitable disclosure of trade secrets.

     
    [Back to Focus Areas]
     

    Class Action, Mass Torts and Aggregate Litigation

     
    Class Actions: Consumer Claims

    • National counsel for 15 class actions alleging truth-in-lending, fiduciary and consumer protection actions and civil RICO and related claims pending in 11 states against a national bank.
    • Lead counsel in defense of national bank against alleged violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law brought by a putative class of individuals who received student loans from the bank. Secured precedent-setting victory from a Ninth Circuit panel, which ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts state laws that attempt to limit agreements to arbitrate. Dismissal affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals after a re-hearing, en banc. Click here to see the video of Scott O’Connell arguing the case on appeal. Kilgore v. KeyBank, 733 F.3d 928 (9th Cir. 2013). Co-defendants reportedly settled the same claims for in excess of $100 million.
    • Co-counsel for a consortium of over 300 health care providers and a class of 6,000 in multiple actions against quasi-governmental malpractice defense resulting in the return of approximately $195 million for the class.
    • Dismissal of putative national class actions in California and Utah concerning forced place insurance for leased equipment. Dismissal in Utah affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Ananpoell v. Key Equipment Finance et al., 2008 WL 2225849 (D. Ut. 2008), aff’d, 2009 WL 766532 (10th Cir. 2009).
    • Successful defense and settlement of two loan officer Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective actions against national bank brought in New Jersey and New York.
    • Defense of a national property management company concerning wage and hour claims of property managers pending in California.
    • Ongoing defense of diesel engine manufacturer in putative six-state class action for breach of warranty and state unfair and deceptive trade practices.

     
    Mass Tort and Aggregate Litigation: Nuisance

    • Dismissal of class action nuisance claims brought by parents of children who attend school in northwestern Indiana against steel manufacturers for medical monitoring. Morris v. Arcelormittal USA, Inc., et al. Docket No. 2:09cv00108 (2010).
    • Dismissal of international oil trading company (Swedish) from MtBE litigation brought by the State of New Hampshire for groundwater contamination.
    • Defense of international trading company (Swedish) and foreign refinery (Canadian) in MtBE litigation brought by the State of New Hampshire for groundwater contamination.
    • Defense of a chlorine manufacturer against city residents’ claims resulting from a gas cloud occurring from a fire at a storage facility.

     
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    Crisis Intervention, Internal Investigations and Parallel Proceedings

    • Coordinating counsel for a hospital in parallel criminal, regulatory and civil actions arising from the infection of patients with hepatitis-c allegedly by a former employee at the hospital. Acted as lead counsel in the defense against a putative class action brought by a plaintiff who claimed to be one of 32 patients infected while undergoing medical procedures at the hospital. The plaintiff sought formation of two sub-classes: one for patients that tested positive for the same strain of hepatitis-c as the former employee, and another for any patients of the hospital who were contacted in 2012 and told that they may be infected with hepatitis-c, but tested negative. Class certification was denied under both theories. Separate individual actions are pending.
    • Lead counsel for hospital system in an investigation conducted by a state attorney general and related administrative processes regarding the hiring of an unlicensed chief nursing officer. Matter resolved without an admission of wrongdoing or the filing of any criminal charges.
    • Counsel for outside directors of bank holding company and three subsidiary national banks located in Vermont in internal investigation of impropriety and related civil litigation alleging breach of fiduciary duty and civil RICO. Also represented the banks through concurrent regulatory examination and criminal prosecutions of inside directors for bank fraud.
    • Internal investigation of mailing company concerning alleged mail fraud and management of related criminal and agency actions.
    • Internal investigation of printing company concerning criminal allegations of currency structuring and related issues.
    • Internal investigation of import company regarding claimed fraud in the sale of imported produce.
    • Representation of fiber optic company in civil actions and proceedings before the state utility commission.

     
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    Health Service Reimbursement Litigation

    • Representation of health system to secure outlier payments wrongfully withheld by payor.
    • Representing a consortium of over 300 health care providers, on behalf of themselves and a class of more than 6,200 current or past policyholders in the New Hampshire Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriting Association (JUA), in multiple actions that successfully challenged state legislation on constitutional grounds that required JUA to transfer a total of $110 million in alleged excess surplus funds to the state’s general fund in fiscal years 2009, 2010 and 2011. Both the trial court and the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled in our clients’ favor, holding that the legislation constituted an impermissible impairment of clients’ contract rights in violation of the New Hampshire Constitution. In 2011–2012, successfully defended clients’ adjudicated rights in a sequence of judicial, administrative and legislative proceedings culminating in the prosecution of a precedent setting litigation class action. Class certification was granted, summary judgment was obtained and, after a fairness hearing, the plan of allocation to return the $110 million in funds to policyholders was approved. The resulting recovery, returned to more than 98% of the class, is among the most successful class recoveries in U.S. history. Now, after several years of follow-on judicial, administrative and legislative proceedings, reappointed class counsel and representing the class in seeking additional excess funds of approximately $85 million (a total potential recovery of $195 million). Class certification has been granted a second time and a final hearing scheduled for late summer 2018. Georgia Tuttle, M.D., et al. v. The State of New Hampshire
    • Lead counsel represented the New Hampshire Hospital Association, Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital, LRGHealthcare, Speare Memorial Hospital and Valley Regional Hospital, Inc. in lawsuit substantively and procedurally challenging specific federal third-party payment policies, first articulated in the form of answers to “Frequently Asked Questions” posted online, as violating the Medicaid Act and the Administrative Procedure Act. The federal policies threatened to cause the loss of millions of dollars both retrospectively and prospectively to New Hampshire’s hospital system. After cross-motions for summary judgment, the federal district court entered judgment in our clients’ favor and permanently enjoined the federal government from enforcing those policies. The First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the Federal District Court’s ruling, holding that the policies were substantive decisions that could not be adopted without notice and comment, in violation of the APA. N.H. Hosp. Ass’n v. Burwell, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29549 (D.N.H. March 2, 2017), aff’d, N.H. Hosp. Ass’n v. Azar, No. 17-1615, 2018 WL 1616956 (1st Cir. Apr. 4, 2018).
    • Lead counsel representing the New Hampshire Hospital Association, Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital, LRGHealthcare, Speare Memorial Hospital and Valley Regional Hospital, Inc. in lawsuit challenging the validity of promulgation of a new rule, through notice and comment rulemaking, to enshrine the same third-party payment policies articulated in the answers to “Frequently Asked Questions” at issue in Burwell. While the parties were briefing summary judgment motions, on March 6, 2018, the District Court for D.C. issued an order invalidating and vacating that new rule based on several of the same arguments raised by the hospitals in New Hampshire. Children’s Hospital Ass’n of Texas v. Azar, Civ. No. 1:17-cv-844 (EGS), 2018 WL 1178024 (D.D.C. Mar. 6, 2018), appeal docketed, No. 18-5121 (D.C. Cir. May 9, 2018). The New Hampshire federal district court issued a stay due to the vacatur. N.H. Hosp. Ass’n v. Hargan, No. 17-cv-349 (D.N.H. 2017).
    • Lead counsel representing Dartmouth-Hitchcock against the State of Vermont to secure parity reimbursement payments for Medicaid services as those paid to an in-state teaching hospital. Dartmouth Hitchcock v. Gobeille, No. 15-cv-453 (D.N.H. 2015)
    • “Bet the Company” case for many of the plaintiff hospitals who were not adequately reimbursed for uncompensated care. Represented New Hampshire Hospital Association and 26 of its member hospitals to settle a dispute with the State of New Hampshire over reimbursement for the hospitals’ care and treatment of high numbers of indigent patients. Due to the vacatur of a CMS final rule on third-party payment policies by a District of Columbia federal court this spring, the state owed the hospitals $70 million more than it had budgeted for in fiscal year 2018. Following negotiations, the state agreed to pay an estimated $1.7 billion over seven years to the hospitals for their provision of uncompensated care to patients who lack insurance or are Medicaid-eligible. The state will reimburse approximately 90% of Medicaid Enhancement Tax revenues paid annually by the hospitals for each fiscal year from 2018 through 2024, which will be doubled by a federal match. The settlement agreement was filed in Merrimack County Superior Court on May 25, 2018, and incorporated into a consent decree issued May 31, 2018. Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital, et al. v. Meyers, et al., No. 217-2018-cv-303 (N.H. Super. May 25, 2018).
    • Ongoing representation of NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn in claim for declaratory and injunctive relief in federal court, and in an attendant proceeding in state court to enforce administrative due process rights, arising from recoupment of Medicaid funds based on an alleged overpayment assessed following a statutorily-mandated Medicaid audit. The defendants required the use of an erroneous calculation methodology, based on procedurally infirm third-party payment policies, to calculate uncompensated care costs, thereby unlawfully reducing the amount reimbursable to the hospital. The defendants also required the erroneously calculated numbers to be used as a proxy to estimate reimbursable amounts for the next audit cycle, resulting in identification of an additional substantial alleged overpayment, ongoing recoupment efforts and other irreparable harm. NYU Langone Hospitals v. Azar, et al., No. 1:18-cv-01912 (LGS) (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 2, 2018); NYU Langone Hospitals v. Zucker, et al., No. 500335/2018 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Kings Cnty. Jan 8, 2018).

     
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    Constitutional Claims

    • New Hampshire class action, unconstitutional state taking and impairment of contract—Acted as co-counsel for a consortium of over 300 health care providers, on behalf of themselves and a class of more than 6,000 current or past policyholders in the New Hampshire Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriting Association (JUA), in an action that successfully challenged state legislation that required JUA to transfer a total of $110 million in alleged excess surplus funds to the state’s general fund in fiscal years 2009, 2010 and 2011. Both the trial court and the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled in our clients’ favor, holding that the legislation constituted an impermissible impairment of clients’ contract rights in violation of the New Hampshire Constitution. In 2011–2012, successfully defended clients’ adjudicated rights in a sequence of judicial, administrative and legislative proceedings culminating in the prosecution of a precedent-setting litigation class action. Class certification was granted, summary judgment was obtained and, after a fairness hearing, the plan of allocation to return the $110 million in funds to policyholders was approved. (Georgia Tuttle, M.D., et al. v. The State of New Hampshire, Belknap County Superior Court, NH, Docket No. 09-E-148(2009); NH Supreme Court Docket No. 2009-0555 (2010) and related judicial, administrative and legislative proceedings.) Click here to read a full case study. A companion case is ongoing and it may result in the return of an additional $85 million to the class
    • Guantanamo Bay detainee—Successful representation of Libyan national held for four years at Guantanamo Bay as an enemy combatant. Client released to Libyan custody. Muhammad Abdallah Mansur Safrani Al Futuri Rimi (“Petitioner” or “Mr. Rimi”), (ISN #194), age 39, is a citizen of Libya. In 2002, Mr. Rimi was taken into custody by United States armed forces in Afghanistan and brought to Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba (“Guantánamo Bay”), where the United States continued to hold him for the next four years. Mr. Rimi’s detention at Guantánamo was unlawful, as Mr. Rimi was not and never had been an enemy alien, lawful or unlawful belligerent or combatant of any kind, and had never been “part of or supporting forces hostile to the United States or coalition partners in Afghanistan and who engaged in an armed conflict against the United States.” Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507, 516 (2004). Mr. Rimi filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in this court on December 19, 2005, challenging his designation as an enemy combatant under Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507 (2004). On December 20, 2006, the government filed a Notice of Transfer in this matter, which stated that “the United States ha[d] relinquished custody of petitioner Mohammed Rimi, a.k.a. Mohammad Rimi, (ISN 194) and transferred him to the control of the Government of Libya.” See Notice of Transfer of Petitioner (Dkt. No. 13). Received the Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award from the Law Office of the Southern Center for Human Rights. Rimi v. George W. Bush, United States District Court for the District of Columbia, No. 1:05-CV-02427.
    • Election contest—Represented former county attorney Peter McDonough in multi-day hearing challenging election results and appeal to NH Supreme Court. The challenge focused on the propriety of counting straight ticket ballots with marks inconsistent with such a straight ticket vote. Ballot law commission ruled 2 to 1 against Mr. McDonough. Supreme Court accepted an emergency appeal under Rule 11, issued a restraining order against the swearing in of the new county attorney and held an expedited hearing. In re McDonough, Supreme Court of New Hampshire, No. 2002-814, 149 N.H. 105, 816 A.2d 1022 (2003).
    • Redistricting—Senators petitioned for Supreme Court to exercise jurisdiction over state senate redistricting. The Supreme Court held that: (1) standard applicable to federal district courts, rather than state legislatures, applied to state Supreme Court’s redistricting plan; (2) the Supreme Court needed to redraw the districts to correct violation of equal protection and equal voting rights; (3) the submitted plans were flawed by failure to rest them entirely upon the federal census data; and (4) the existing senate districts provided the appropriate starting point for the Court’s redistricting plan. So ordered. Below v. Gardner, et al., New Hampshire Supreme Court, No. 2002-0243, 148 N.H. 1, 963 A.2d 785, 2002

     
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    Recorded Arguments, Publications, Articles and CLEs

    Appellate Oral Arguments

    • Kilgore v. KeyBank, National Association, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, En Banc, (9th Cir. 2013) (Mr. O’Connell argues beginning at approximately 14 minutes).
    • State of New Hampshire v. Hess Corporation, et al., Merrimack County Superior Court, Docket No. 03-C-0550 (2011); see State v. North Atlantic Refining Ltd., 160 N.H. 275 (2010) (The “MtBE Litigation”) (Successful dismissal of Canadian refiner for lack of personal jurisdiction).
    • Hair Excitement v. L’Oreal USA, Strafford County Superior Court, judgment aff’d, 158 N.H. 363 (2009) (no right to jury trial for claims arising from RSA 358-A).
    • Jassmond v. Green, Rockingham County Superior Court (NH), Docket No. 04-E-0375 (2005) (Successful remand for a new trial).

     
    Publications

     
    Books

    • From the Trenches III: Pretrial Strategies for Success, ABA Publishing, 2018 (contributing author)
    • From the Trenches II: Mastering the Art of Preparing Witnesses, ABA Publishing, 2017 (contributing author)
    • From the Trenches: Strategies and Tips from 21 of the Nation’s Top Trial Lawyers, ABA Publishing, 2015 (contributing author)
    • “Preventing a Corporate Death Sentence: Governance After Sarbanes-Oxley” (with Richard F. Langan, Jr.), in ICC United Kingdom, Guide to Global Corporate Social Responsibility, 122-23 (Cyworks plc 2004)
    • “Preventing Corporate Criminal Responsibility Under The Sarbanes-Oxley Corporate Responsibility Act” (W. Scott O’Connell et al.), in Corporate Governance, 281-92 (Glasser LegalWorks, 2003)
    • “SEC Enforcement of CEO and CFO Certification Requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002,” in Corporate Governance, 293-95 (Glasser LegalWorks, 2003)
    • “SEC Brings Enforcement Action against a Customer for Aiding and Abetting its Vendor in Booking a Phony Sale,” in Corporate Governance, 365-68 (Glasser LegalWorks, 2003)
    • “Civil Rico And Professional Liability” (with Robert S. Mueller, III), in Civil Rico Practice: Causes of Action, 1993 Cumulative Supplement, 124-74 (Wiley Law Publications, 1993) (Robert S. Mueller, III, is the former director of the FBI)

     
    Legal Industry Publications and Magazines

     
    Legal Development Alerts

     
    Continuing Legal Education Faculty

    • “Consumer Finance Class Action Litigation and Settlement Trends and New and Emerging Procedural Considerations,” American Conference Institute’s National Conference on Consumer Finance Class Actions & Litigation, January 29–30 2014, New York, NY
    • “Indemnification and Contribution in New Hampshire,” New Hampshire Bar Association Superior Court Civil Practice: New Rules & Far More, September 25, 2013, Concord, NH
    • “Predictive Coding and Electronic Stored Information,” New Hampshire Bar Association Superior Court Civil Practice: New Rules & Far More, September 25, 2013, Concord, NH
    • “Arbitration Clauses: Emerging Law From Follow-On Cases After AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion,” Law Seminars International Class Actions and Alternatives for Resolving Aggregate Claims, June 17-18, 2013, Boston, MA
    • “Consumer Finance Class Action Litigation and Settlement Trends and New and Emerging Procedural Considerations,” American Conference Institute’s National Conference on Consumer Finance Class Actions & Litigation, January 31 and February 1, 2013
    • Crisis Management for the In-House Counsel: Brand Protection in High Exposure Litigation,” Online CLE course, Lexis CLE, February 2013
    • The Continued Erosion of Overbroad Class Actions—The 9th Circuit Takes Action,” Online CLE course, Network of Trial Law Firms’ In-House Counsel Blazing New Trails, April, 2012, Scottsdale, AZ
    • “The Continued Erosion of Overbroad Class Actions—The 9th Circuit Takes Action,” Online CLE course, Network of Trial Law Firms’ Financial Services Litigation Supercourse, September 2012, New York, NY
    • “Protection in High Exposure Litigation,” Panel (moderator), DRI Corporate Counsel Round Table, January 20 and 22, 2011, New York, NY
    • “Crisis Management for In-House Counsel,” Online CLE course, Network of Trial Law Firms’ Litigation Management: Driving Great Results, May 2011, Naples, FL
    • “Compliance: In-House Counsel’s New Challenges,” Online CLE course, Network of Trial Law Firms’ Litigation Management with a Vengeance, November, 2010, Sanctuary Resort, Kiawah Island, SC
    • “We Are From the Government and We Are Here to Help,” Network of Trial Law Firms’ Uncorking Litigation Management Expertise, April 2009, Silverado Resort, Napa Valley, CA
    • “Class Actions: Winning up front by preventing certification,” Network of Trial Law Firms’ Rock Solid Litigation Management, October 2008, The Boulders Resort, Carefree, AZ
    • “Corporate Investigations and Parallel Proceedings,” Network of Trial Law Firms’ Litigation Management in a New York Minute, August 2008, City Bar Building, New York, NY
    • “Corporate Investigations and Parallel Proceedings,” Network of Trial Law Firms’ Litigation Management Putting on the Ritz, May 2008, Ritz Carlton Golf Resort, Naples, FL
    • “Corporate Governance,” Network of Trial Law Firms’ Watching Whales and Minding Minnows, April 2006, Montage Resort, Laguna Beach, CA
    • “Conflicts, Waivers and Other Things That Really Annoy Me About You!” Network of Trial Law Firms’ Litigation Management in a New York Minute, August 2005, City Bar Building, New York, NY
    • “When Civil Actions Becomes Criminal: Practical Considerations in Concurrent Proceedings,” Network of Trial Law Firms’ Litigation Management in a New York Minute, August 2004, City Bar Building; New York, NY
    • “Going Supersonic with Litigation Extranets: How Not to Crash and Burn,” Network of Trial Law Firms’ Top Gun Litigation, April 2003, Miramar, CA
    • “Am I Doing Business With a Terrorist: Practical Considerations in Complying with the USA Patriot Act of 2001,” Network of Trial Law Firms’ Trial Wars: The Company Strikes Back, April 2002, Marriott Camelback Inn, Scottsdale, AZ

     
    Profiles

Consumer protection – preemption – eyedrops

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | August 28, 2018

Litigation Department head Scott O’Connell is mentioned in this case summary for his role as co-counsel for a group of pharmaceutical companies. The companies successfully defended a suit by a class of customers seeking to force changes to the design of the companies’ eyedrops bottles.

New Hampshire, hospitals strike $1.7 billion reimbursement deal

Reuters | June 06, 2018

Litigation Department Chair Scott O’Connell is quoted in this article on a “significant breakthrough” the Nixon Peabody team achieved in its representation of a group of 26 New Hampshire hospitals seeking reimbursement from the state for indigent care costs.

Hospitals threaten to revive lawsuit, charge 'reckless' state dug itself $38M hole

The Union Leader (New Hampshire) | April 25, 2018

In the following coverage, Litigation Department Chair Scott O’Connell is quoted discussing a dispute between the state of New Hampshire and a group of hospitals over tax and reimbursements for uncompensated care.

Lawmakers hospitals feud over millions of dollars in tax fight

WMUR-TV | April 24, 2018

In the following coverage, Litigation Department Chair Scott O’Connell is quoted discussing a dispute between the state of New Hampshire and a group of hospitals over tax and reimbursements for uncompensated care.

NH hospitals rebuff senator’s $38M escrow plan, demand payments from state

Concord Monitor | April 24, 2018

Litigation Department Chair Scott O’Connell is mentioned in the article for his representation of a hospital group at a hearing of the New Hampshire state Senate finance committee. The hospitals are in a dispute with the state over reimbursements for health care services provided to people who cannot afford them.

Eye drop suit must stay tossed, pharma companies tell 1st Circuit

Law360 | April 19, 2018

Litigation Department Chair Scott O’Connell is mentioned in this article as one of the attorneys for a group of pharmaceutical companies asking the First Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a U.S. District Court ruling that rejected a lawsuit aimed at forcing a redesign of eye drop bottles.

New Hampshire Hospitals Win Challenge to Medicaid Payment Rules

Reuters | April 05, 2018

Litigation department chair Scott O’Connell is quoted in this story involving Nixon Peabody’s representation of an association of New Hampshire hospitals in its successful appeal against the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The lawsuit relates to a policy change about how Medicaid payment are calculated.

NH hospitals fight to keep CMS suit win at 1st Circ.

Law360 | November 22, 2017

This article mentions Boston commercial litigation associate Morgan Nighan and Manchester commercial litigation partner and litigation department head Scott O’Connell for representing New Hampshire hospitals in an ongoing dispute involving a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services reimbursement policy. Scott is also quoted.

Children’s health org backs hospitals in 1st Circ. CMS row

Law360 | November 17, 2017

This article quotes Manchester commercial litigation partner and litigation department head Scott O’Connell and mentions him and Boston commercial litigation associate Morgan Nighan as counsel representing New Hampshire hospitals in a dispute involving a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services reimbursement policy.

Free speech and business: Understanding the limitations on commercial speech

New Hampshire Business Review | September 01, 2017

Manchester commercial litigation partner and litigation department chair Scott O’Connell authored this article about recent cases in New Hampshire Superior Court regarding the types of free speech protected under the constitution.

This time, insurance payout is $50 million

New Hampshire Union Leader | April 16, 2017

Manchester litigation department leader Scott O’Connell is quoted throughout this article about developments in an ongoing case involving the New Hampshire Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriting Association.

Letter: State risks federal funds

Valley News | April 04, 2017

Scott O’Connell, leader of the firm’s Litigation Department, is quoted in this article about potential budget repercussions from New Hampshire’s failure to create a dedicated fund for hospital reimbursements.

Kinder Morgan: Federal regulations preempt state rules on proposed pipeline

Union Leader | March 02, 2016

Partner and leader of the firm’s litigation department Scott O’Connell is quoted in this article about the Federal Energy Regulation Commission and New Hampshire’s Site Evaluation Committee’s conflicting requirements for Kinder Morgan’s proposed interstate transmission pipeline.

Lawyers Weigh in on High Court's Class Action Ruling

Law360 | January 20, 2016

Litigation department co-chair and leader of the Class Actions & Aggregate Litigation practice Scott O’Connell reacts to the Supreme Court’s decision in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez that a settlement with individual plaintiffs does not foreclose on class claims against a defendant.

Contact

Scott O'Connell

Partner
Chair, Litigation Department

Boston

Phone: 617-345-1150

Manchester

Phone: 603-628-4087


Fax: 866-947-1393

Cornell Law School, J.D., 1991, (Editor, Law Review, Chancellor, Moot Court Board)

St. Lawrence University, B.A., 1987, cum laude

Harvard Business School, 2008, "Leading Professional Service Firms"

District of Columbia

Maine

U.S. District Court, District of Maine

Massachusetts

U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts

New Hampshire

U.S. District Court, District of New Hampshire

New Jersey

U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey

New York

Vermont

U.S. District Court, District of Vermont

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

  • Named “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers® for:
    • Appellate Practice, Boston (2019)
    • Litigation—Health Care, Manchester (2018)
    • Litigation—Securities, Boston (2016)
    • Litigation—Banking and Finance, Boston (2014)
    • Litigation—Securities, Boston (2013)
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© for work in:
    • Appellate Practice
    • Bet-the-Company Litigation
    • Commercial Litigation
    • Litigation—Banking and Finance
    • Litigation—Health Care
    • Litigation—Municipal
    • Litigation—Securities
    • Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions—Defendants
    • Product Liability Litigation—Defendants
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2008 to present)—Clients rate Scott O’Connell as an “expert on class actions.” He is commended for his “well-thought arguments,” his ability to “think on his feet” and his strong command of technical legal points.
  • “New England Super Lawyer” in Securities Litigation and/or Class Action-Mass Torts (2007 to present)
  • Litigation Star in Benchmark Litigation (MA and NH) (2008 to present)—A peer observes, “Scott has unbelievable energy, he bobs and weaves in and out of everything. When he presents, clients say ‘I would like him for my attorney.’ He has a very businesslike approach.”
  • AV peer rating from Martindale-Hubbell (2004 to present)

Scott is on the Board of Trustees for his alma mater, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY. He has been recognized by the New Hampshire Bar Association for his pro bono service to indigent clients. He is a former member of the Federal Court Advisory Committee for the District of New Hampshire. In January 2003, he was selected by New Hampshire state-wide paper, The Union Leader, as one of the state’s “Forty under 40.” Scott is a former vice chairman of the Farnum Center, a statewide alcohol and drug in-patient recovery program; former member of the Board of Directors of the New Hampshire Food Bank (a program of Catholic Charities); past president of the New Hampshire Task Force to Prevent Child Abuse; former captain, Heritage United Way Community Investment Process; founding director of the St. Lawrence University Alumni Lawyers Association; and is a past coordinator of the Cornell Law School Alumni Association. He is a graduate of Leadership New Hampshire.

As part of a commitment to give back to the community, Scott has dedicated substantial time to pro bono matters. He founded the Nixon Peabody Domestic Protection Team, which assists victims of domestic violence secure protective orders against their abusers. Scott also worked to secure the release of a client, who had been detained at Guantanamo Bay. For his work on this matter, Scott received the Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award from the Law Office of the Southern Center for Human Rights.

In addition, Scott is a recipient of the New Hampshire Bar Association’s 2011 Award for Dedicated Pro Bono Service for his exceptional work with the Domestic Violence Emergency Project (DOVE), a program that provides victims of domestic violence with emergency legal service

Groundbreaking Class Action Returns $110 Million to JUA Policyholders

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