Peter J. Barrett, Jr.
Peter has nearly twenty years of experience providing litigation advice and counsel to insurers, policyholders, businesses and individual clients. He joined Stevenson McKenna & Callanan LLP in July 2015, and is resident in the Hingham, MA office.
Peter’s broad litigation and counseling experience includes representing businesses and individuals in commercial litigation, real estate disputes, securities fraud claims, products liability claims, employment disputes, and trademark and trade secrets disputes. Additionally, he has represented insurers and policyholders in all aspects of first and third-party coverage disputes and related litigation. He also has counseled liability insurers in a variety of claims disputes, including environmental and toxic tort coverage disputes, construction disputes, general liability coverage disputes, and homeowner’s and automobile coverage disputes. He has counseled insurers and policyholders at all stages of the claims-handling process, from initial investigations, providing coverage opinions and advice, to the litigation, trial and appeal of litigated coverage disputes.
He is a graduate of Bowdoin College (A.B. 1993) and Northeastern University School of Law (J.D. 1998). While at Northeastern, Peter interned with the Hon. Shane Devine, United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire, and with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
He is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He also has extensive experience appearing pro hac vice before the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Prior to joining Stevenson McKenna & Callanan in July 2015, Peter was a partner in the Boston office of Zelle, McDonough & Cohen LLP. He was previously associated with the Boston office of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi. He began practicing in 1998 with the Boston office of Nixon Peabody, where he was an associate in the litigation department.
- Peter has represented insurers and policyholders in a variety of different coverage disputes, including:
- Claims involving alleged property damage and business interruption losses, including appraisals of property damage claims and litigation of coverage disputes, many of which have been resolved prior to trial via summary judgment;
- Counseling regarding the extracontractual implications of the claims handling decisions made by insurers, and defending or prosecuting such claims where coverage disputes cannot be resolved;
- Claims involving construction defects and coverage for the same under general liability policies;
- Claims involving alleged errors and omissions under professional liability insurance policies;
- Claims involving homeowner’s and automobile policies;
- Subrogation and contribution claims.
Among others, Peter has enjoyed the following successful results on behalf of his clients:
- In 2016, obtained dismissal of a manufacturer’s petition in Suffolk Superior Court to compel its customer to submit to arbitration in Massachusetts over a dispute involving the sale of a piece of industrial machinery in Maryland, and involving novel issues of contract formation through the exchange of offers and counters via electronic mail;
- In 2015, obtained partial summary judgment on liability, followed by a successful negotiated resolution of the matter, for an insurance broker following its errors & omissions carrier’s denial of its demand for defense and indemnification;
- Obtained summary judgment for a property insurer under a policy’s flood exclusion and anti-concurrent causation provision for a claim involving alleged property damage and business interruption losses by a business claiming damage during the Mother’s Day Flood of May 2006. Albrite Carpets, Inc. v. Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. of Am., C.A. No. 08-cv-10723 (D. Mass. Nov. 2, 2009);
- Defeated an attempt to have an appraisal result vacated in a multi-million dollar property damage and loss of use claim brought by an additional insured under a property policy. Sun Microsystems, Inc. v. Electronic Services, Inc., 25 Mass.L.Rptr. 341, 2009 WL 987336 (Mass. Super. 2009) (April 13, 2009, Hinkle, J.);
- Obtained summary judgment for an insurer in a bad faith claim involving novel issues of the rights of third-party claimants to sue a carrier that issued a fronting policy to its insured. The court determined that the claim was time-barred and no statutory duty to settle ever arose because the insured did not tender the claim to the insurer before the underlying case was resolved. See Tilton v. National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA, 2008 WL 781921(D. Mass Mar. 20, 2008);
- Resolved through a favorable settlement a claim against a builder’s risk insurer brought by the insured contractor and involving a variety of subcontractors and allegedly responsible parties. See William A. Berry & Son., Inc. v. Travelers Property Casualty Co. of America, U.S.D.C. Mass., Civ. Action No. 1:07-cv-11027-GAO.
- Defended a bad faith claim against an insurer in a two-week federal court jury trial resulting in a defense verdict, which was upheld by the First Circuit Court of Appeals. See National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa. v. West Lake Academy, 548 F.3d 8 (1st Cir. 2008); and
- Worked extensively on a number of large property damage and business interruption claims brought by businesses located in Lower Manhattan as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. See, e.g., Citigroup, Inc. v. Industrial Risk Insurers, 336 F. Supp.2d 282 (S.D.NY. 2004); aff’d, 421 F.3d 81 (2d Cir. 2005).
- Peter also has also represented businesses and individuals with respect to:
- Real estate disputes;
- Partnership disputes;
- Personal injury disputes; and
- Trademark and trade secrets disputes.
Publications and Presentations:
DRI Bad Faith Compendium
Rhode Island section
Discovery in Coverage Litigation
Panel Moderated by Peter J. Barrett, Jr. at the Annual Meeting of the Property Insurance Law Committee of the Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section of the ABA.
Property Insurance 101 – Earth, Wind, Fire (and Flood)
DRI Teleconference presented by Peter J. Barrett, Jr. and Janet Brown of Boehm, Brown et al.
Personal and Community Involvement:
Peter resides in Hingham with his wife and three children. He is actively involved in local junior sailing programs, and also coaches youth soccer and lacrosse.