• EDUCATION
  • ADMISSIONS

    Bar
    Massachusetts, 1985

    Courts
    U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
    U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
    U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
    United States Supreme Court

  • DISTINCTIONS

    Boston Globe’s Top Rated Lawyers, 2015

    Best Lawyers in America, 2014-present

    New England Super Lawyer, 2008-present

    Massachusetts Super Lawyer, 2006-present

    Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating, 1989-present

    American Board of Trial Advocates, Board of Directors 2010 -2017, 2018; National Secretary, 2012 - 2013; Chair, Amicus Committee, 2014 - 2016

    International Association of Barristers, Order of the Centurions (reserved for those who have participated in more than 100 trials)

    American Society of Legal Advocates

    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

    Founder of the James Otis Lecture Series, a honors program for high school students in which leading scholars and practitioners teach aspects of American law, legal history and biography; founded in 2007 in Massachusetts, it has now spread across the country and is in its 12th year in Massachusetts

    Created the Justice Cup golf tournament, a match play golf tournament of plaintiff v. defense lawyers to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and other worthy causes

    President of the Charitable Irish Society (2013 – 2017), the Oldest Irish Society in the Americas, founded in 1737, to provide critical support for immigrants who have no other means of support for emergency services

    Faculty of The Summer Institute, 2017, 2018, program for high school teachers pursuing advanced degrees in American History

    Appointed to the Supreme Judicial Court Civil Rules Advisory Committee and served two three- year terms (2011-2017); co-chaired subcommittee developing new rules for discovery of Electronically Stored Information ("ESI") among other committees

  • DID YOU KNOW?

    Chris is a member of the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Boston Athenaeum, and the Bostonian Society. He also enjoys golf, tennis, poetry and literature.

Christopher A. Duggan, Partner

Chris is one of the most accomplished trial and appellate lawyers in the United States. 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.

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. 

His 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. In fact, he has argued more than 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. He prevailed in a case tried in the U. S. 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 university 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 founded Smith Duggan with Scott Smith in 1989 as a two-lawyer practice, which is now ranked by U.S. News & World Report as among the “Best Law Firms.” 

 
  • Tried over 75 civil jury trials to verdict. His clients include Fortune 500 companies, privately held corporations and individuals in jury trials across New England and other states.
  • Argued over 20 cases to various appellate courts in Massachusetts, the First Circuit, the Eighth Circuit and other jurisdictions.
  • Secured a temporary restraining order from the U.S. District Court for the District of Central California preventing the owner of an on-line auction from selling, transferring or reproducing documents from the confidential student file of the late John F. Kennedy, Jr. Shortly thereafter, judgment was obtained in favor of Brown University, and the file was returned.
  • Obtained defense verdict for manufacturer in trial before the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island 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 made by NuTone, Inc.
  • Obtained defense verdict for manufacturer of automatic doors that were alleged to have malfunctioned causing serious orthopedic injuries to an elderly woman as she attempted to enter a CVS store in Cambridge.
  • Obtained defense verdict for manufacturer of ceiling fan alleged to have malfunctioned and caused multi-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.
  • Argued successfully 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 subscribed to by several Lloyds's syndicates and managed by United States Aviation Underwriters.
  • 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.
  • Tried successfully Declaratory Judgment case for insurer voiding coverage for material misrepresentation in policya pplication.
  • 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 sec.314 as state law.
  • Won defense verdict for press brake manufacturer in  multiple-amputation case. 
  • Secured directed verdict for Part 136 Airport in case alleging serious injury to an elderly woman from negligent design of terminal egress area.
  • Obtained recovery in replevin in Middlesex Superior Court in Massachusetts of a Civil War artifact unlawfully removed from a museum. at an Ivy League University.
  • Editor, Trial Strategy (Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education)
  • Third Party Practice in Massachusetts; Why More is Not Always Merrier
  • The Fundamentals of Expert Cross Examination; the Lawyer as Expert
  • Thinking Inside the Box: Critical Components of Effective Trial Advocacy
  • Effective Techniques in Closing Argument
  • Use of Industry Standards in Defending Designers of Ground Service Vehicles; AAAE, ANSI and the Unique Requirements of Airside Equipment
  • Kasels in the Air: Kasel v. Remington Arms, the Apparent Manufacturer Doctrine and Current Issues in Trademark Licensing Liability
  • The Promise and Reality of Expert Testimony after Daubert and Kuomo Tire (or why you should think three times before filing a Daubert Motion)
  • Magna Carta, Foundation of American Law (Voir Dire Magazine 2015)
  • Mifflin Gibbs, Maude Crawford, and the Unsung Heroes of the Arkansas Bar
  • Sailing, Sinning, Sex and Swinging: How Four New England Obsessions Helped Shape Hawaiian Law
  • Until My Dying Day: James Otis, the Writs of Assistance, and the Beginning of the Revolutionary Movement
  • James Purcell and Mitsuye Endo; Forgotten Partnership, Enduring Principles
  • Yawkey Way, International Society of Barristers Quarterly, 2016
  • The Seventh Amendment and the Confirmation Hearings: Reviving a  Constitutional Right (Voir Dire Magazine, Spring 2017)
  • Faculty on the ABA/TIPS Trial Academy in Reno, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • Faculty, Trial Advocacy, International Association of Defense Counsel Trial College at Stanford University
  • Faculty, Trial Advocacy, National Institute for Trial Advocacy
  • Multiple appearances on Faculties of various, Trial Advocacy presentations for Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education
  • Speaker, Trial Advocacy, Massachusetts Bar Association