Three Shepard O’Donnell Attorneys Recognized in the 2023 Edition of Massachusetts Super Lawyers

Shepard O’Donnell, one of the top asbestos personal injury law firms in Massachusetts for 25 years, announces that three of its attorneys were selected for inclusion in the 2023 edition of Massachusetts Super Lawyers, with two included on the Super Lawyers list and one on the Rising Stars list.

Founder Michael Shepard and Co-Managing Partner Erika O’Donnell were recognized on the 2023 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list in the Personal Injury – Products: Plaintiff practice area. 

Partner Michael McCann was recognized on the 2023 Massachusetts Rising Stars list in the personal Injury – Products: Plaintiff practice area. The Rising Star designation recognizes lawyers under the age of 40 years old or those in practice for less than ten years. Each year, no more than 2.5% of lawyers in each state are selected for inclusion on the Rising Star list. 

Super Lawyers is a research-driven, peer-influenced rating service for lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The mission of Super Lawyers is to bring visibility to attorneys who exhibit excellence in practice. The selection process, as detailed on the Super Lawyers website, is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and evaluations that identify a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

Plaintiffs Liaison Counsel

What is it and why does it matter?

The roles of Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel and Defendants’ Liaison Counsel have existed in the Massachusetts State Court Asbestos Litigation Docket for over 30 years. The Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel, sometimes called Lead Plaintiffs’ Counsel or Lead Counsel, helps determine what cases get trial dates, ensures the Judge has everything needed to get cases through the system, and liaises with defense counsel.

Roles and responsibilities

The attorneys appointed to serve as Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel by the Court are responsible for working with the Court and the Special Master on global docket management issues, including establishing and implementing pre-trial orders, setting cases on yearly trial lists, communicating the Court’s directions to the many litigants on the Plaintiff and Defense side, and managing the needs, expectations, and complaints of the lawyers who practice in the Asbestos Docket. In short, Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel is responsible—especially post-covid—for managing the backlog of cases and ensuring that things run smoothly.

Why it’s important

The Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel is crucial to the management of the Massachusetts Asbestos Litigation docket and is a central player in the organization and timeliness of the docket. They communicate on behalf of plaintiffs and coordinate all necessary discovery requests, motions, and subpoenas on a case. In a case such as a class action, this plays an important role in keeping the Plaintiffs and appropriate parties organized and on schedule. The Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel also manages the complexity of collaborating with the Defendants’ Liaison Counsel and works to find common ground to keep the docket on track.

How Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel is selected

The Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel can be court-appointed or selected by the plaintiffs. In many cases, each court or docket has appointed a Lead Counsel who should be available in the event of a case where they are needed. Typically, the attorney appointed is committed to their cases and the local and national court systems.

Benefits to our clients

Shepard O’Donnell team members have held the role of Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel for the Massachusetts Asbestos Litigation docket since 2017, positioning the firm as a leader in asbestos litigation in Massachusetts. Knowing that someone on your side will be there to represent the case within the court system should serve as peace-of-mind.

Mike Shepard – 2017-2022
Erika O’Donnell – 2022-present