• EDUCATION
  • ADMISSIONS

    Bar

    Massachusetts, 1985

    Courts

    U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts

    U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit

    United States Supreme Court

  • DISTINCTIONS

    New England Super Lawyer, 2008-present

    Massachusetts Super Lawyer, 2006-present

    Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating, 1989-present

    Boston Globe’s 2015 Top Rated Lawyers of 2015

    American Board of Trial Advocates

    International Association of Barristers

    American Society of Legal Advocates

    Best Lawyers in America

    Phi Beta Kappa

    Alpha Sigma Nu

    Phi Alpha Theta

  • PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

    ABA/TIPS Trial College, Faculty 2016

    American Board of Trial Advocates

    • Masters in Trial Program, Faculty
    • National Secretary, 2012 – present
    • National Board of Directors 2009 – present
    • Eastern Regional President 2011-present
    • Massachusetts Chapter President, 2008- 2010
    • Massachusetts Chapter Executive Committee, 2008 - present

    Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association (1985-present)

    • President 1998-1999
    • Executive Committee, 1993-1999

    International Association of Defense Counsel (1994 – present)

    • Faculty, IADC Trial Academy, 2010

    Defense Research Institute

    Boston Bar Association

    National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Faculty

    Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Trial Advocacy, Faculty

  • COMMUNITY SERVICE

    Originator of the Justice Cup Golf Challenge, a golf tournament for the benefit of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. This tournament raised over $400,000 for St. Jude's.

    Board of Directors, The Charitable Irish

    Founder and Director of the James Otis Lecture Series

    Member, Supreme Judicial Court Civil Rules Advisory Committee (2009 – present); Subcommittee, E-Discovery Rules; Subcommittee, Expert Discovery Rules

Christopher A. Duggan, Partner

Chris Duggan loves courtrooms. He is one of the most active trial and appellate lawyers in Massachusetts. He has tried more than 75 cases to jury verdict in federal and state courts across Massachusetts and in several other New England states. His clients include publicly traded and privately held companies, insurers and reinsurers, and individuals in complex, large risk litigation across a broad variety of matters including product liability, premises liability, professional malpractice, aviation, insurance coverage disputes and other high profile, media sensitive matters. Ironically, his love for trying cases often results in quicker resolution of cases that can be settled, much to his personal dismay.

Chris regularly appears for consumer product manufacturers and large retailers in matters across New England. He has won verdicts for clients in several states in cases involving the design and manufacture of power tools, industrial products, hand tools, electronic sensors and consumer appliances. In these cases, a thorough knowledge of science, design principles and industry standards is critical, and the ability to translate those concepts to a jury is central to achieving favorable outcomes.

Chris’s aviation practice includes representing a Part 139 certified airport and FBOs throughout Massachusetts for over two decades. He has represented aircraft manufacturers and manufacturers of component parts in high stakes litigation involving alleged defects in both fixed wing and rotocraft accidents. He also has successfully litigated cases involving interpretation of aviation insurance policies, including a recent precedent-setting decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

Chis is a trusted and experienced appellate advocate. He has argued over 25 cases in several federal and state appellate courts.

An avid historian, Chris enjoys representing universities, museums and collectors in cases involving authenticity and title to works of art and historic artifacts. Recently, he prevailed in a case tried in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia for an owner of a highly coveted Civil War Tiffany presentation sword that had been stolen from a museum and appeared almost four decades later in the possession of a noted Virginia collector. The case garnered national interest among museums and collectors of art and historic artifacts.

Chris is an active member of several bar associations. He is the national Secretary for the American Board of Trial Advocates, an organization of trial lawyers whose mission is to preserve the Seventh Amendment right to a civil jury trial, foster courtroom excellence and promote civility and professionalism among trial lawyers across the country. Membership to ABOTA is by invitation only. He served as the Massachusetts Chapter President for two years and has been on the national Board of Directors since 2008. He created the James Otis Lecture Series, now in its eighth year, in which scholars, judges and lawyers present a free program on law or legal history on Constitution Day to high school students. The program has since been duplicated across the country.

Chris was selected by the Supreme Judicial Court to serve on the SJC Civil Rules Advisory Committee in 2009, and is currently serving in his second term. In that capacity, he helped craft the new Electronic Discovery Rules adopted by the Supreme Judicial Court to be implemented in 2014.

Chris was elected to membership in the International Society of Barristers and the Litigation Counsel of America. He has held a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent rating since 1990, and is listed in Best Lawyers of America. He was elected to membership in the International Association of Defense Counsel in 1999, and taught trial advocacy at the prestigious IADC Trial College at Stanford in Palo Alto. He is a regular participant in programs run by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, the Massachusetts Bar Association and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA). He has been a member of the Defense Research Institute since 1984.

Chris founded Smith Duggan with Scott Smith in 1989. Beginning with two lawyers, the Firm now has 20 practicing attorneys. The Firm’s lawyers have appeared in almost every state and have represented clients in several foreign jurisdictions.

  • Obtained defense verdict for manufacturer in trial in Rhode Island Federal District Court in an action arising out of a fire in a bathroom restaurant against subrogation insurer who claimed the fire was caused by a defect in a bathroom fan/light.
  • Obtained defense Verdict for manufacturer of automatic doors that were alleged to have malfunctioned causing serious orthopedic injuries to an elderly woman.
  • Obtained defense verdict for manufacturer of ceiling fan alleged to have malfunctioned and caused multiple million-dollar loss in a New Hampshire office building.
  • Obtained defense verdict for a manufacturer of a heater alleged to have malfunctioned causing multi-million dollar loss at a condominium complex.
  • Obtained Judgment in Detinue (replevin) under Virginia law of a Tiffany Silver Civil War presentation sword stolen in the 1970s that appeared in the possession of a private collector almost 40 years later.
  • Successfully argued for reversal of summary judgment and entry of judgment for the defendant on Constitutional personal jurisdiction grounds before the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
  • Argued successfully for the affirmance of judgment for aviation insurer before the First Circuit Court of Appeals in a precedent-setting case involving interpretation of an aviation insurance policy.
  • Obtained defense verdict for manufacturer of pneumatic fastening tool that plaintiff claimed was defective because it lacked a sequential trip trigger and caused severe injuries to user.
  • Obtained defense verdict for restaurant / entertainment chain in action by adult claiming serious injury using recreational product with child.
  • Successfully tried Declaratory Judgment case for insurer voiding coverage for material misrepresentation in policy application.
  • Argued successfully before the Supreme Judicial Court and obtained judgment affirming summary judgment for commercial premises owner in catastrophic accident, and adopting Restatement (Second) of Torts §314 as Massachusetts law.
  • Won defense verdict for press brake manufacturer in multiple-amputation case
  • Won directed verdict for Part 139 Airport in case alleging serious injury to an elderly woman from negligent design of terminal egress area.
  • Obtained recovery in replevin in Massachusetts of Civil War artifact from Middlesex Superior Court unlawfully removed from Rhode Island museum.
  • Magna Carta, Foundation of American Law (Voir Dire Magazine 2015)
  • Sailing, Sinning, Sex and Swinging: How four New England Obsessions Helped Shape Hawaiian Law
  • Kasels in the Air: Kasel v. Remington Arms, the Apparent Manufacturer Doctrine and Current Issues in Trademark Licensing Liability
  • Until My Dying Day: James Otis, the Writs of Assistance, and the Beginning of the Revolutionary Movement
  • Third Party Practice in Massachusetts; Why More is not Always Merrier
  • Use of Industry Standards in Defending Designers of Ground Service Vehicles; AAAE, ANSI and the Unique Requirements of Airside Equipment
  • Effective Techniques in Closing Argument
  • The Fundamentals of Expert Cross Examination; the Lawyer as Expert
  • Mifflin Gibbs, Maude Crawford, and the Unsung Heroes of the Arkansas Bar
  • Thinking Inside the Box: Critical Components of Effective Trial Advocacy
  • The Promise and Reality of Expert Testimony after Daubert and Kuomo Tire (or why you should think three times before filing a Daubert Motion)
  • James Purcell and Mitsuye Endo; Forgotten Partnership, Enduring Principles