T. Christopher Donnelly
JD, with Honors, University of Michigan Law School, 1980
Hon. Lawrence W. Pierce, United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit and United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
T. Christopher Donnelly
T. Christopher Donnelly concentrates his practice in business litigation. His comprehensive experience covers disputes in virtually every commercial area, including intellectual property, contracts, corporate control and governance, fair competition, securities, defamation, employment, and professional and fiduciary liability. Since co-founding DCG in 1991, Mr. Donnelly has tried numerous cases before judges, juries and arbitrators, spanning hundreds of trial days. This substantial courtroom experience, all in business cases, distinguishes his credentials from other commercial litigators. In addition to adjudicated victories at trial, Mr. Donnelly has argued many preliminary injunction motions and successfully resolved countless disputes on summary judgment and other dispositive motions. Businesses and individuals have entrusted Mr. Donnelly with complex cases around the country. In addition to his substantial trial experience, Mr. Donnelly has argued appeals in several federal courts of appeals, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the Massachusetts Appeals Court and appellate tribunals in other states. Throughout his career, Mr. Donnelly has represented plaintiffs and defendants in roughly the same proportion.
Selected perennially as a Super Lawyer in business litigation, in 2010 Mr. Donnelly was recognized by his peers as a Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyer.
Representative engagements and successes include the following:
Corporate control and governance
Professional and fiduciary liability
As a supplement to his practice as a trial and appellate advocate, Mr. Donnelly provides commercial dispute resolution services as an arbitrator and mediator.
Arbitrator. Mr. Donnelly has served as an arbitrator in more than 130 cases. He has heard cases as a single arbitrator, as chair of three member panels and as a party-appointed arbitrator. The controversies heard and resolved by Mr. Donnelly span the spectrum of commercial topics including disputes regarding license of patents, software, technology and other intellectual property; contracts covering a wide variety of goods and services; securities; mergers and acquisitions, including post-closing disputes; and various employment disputes. Amounts in controversy have ranged from modest sums to tens of millions of dollars.
Mediator. Drawing on his experience as trial and appellate advocate and arbitrator,
Education. Mr. Donnelly is a 1977 graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1980, he earned his law degree, with honors, from the University of Michigan Law School, where he published a law review article that was later cited by the United States Supreme Court.
Judicial Clerkship. Following law school, Mr. Donnelly had the privilege of serving as a law clerk to the Hon. Lawrence W. Pierce in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, the nation’s premier commercial trial court. When Judge Pierce was elevated in 1981 to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, he offered Mr. Donnelly a second clerkship year. Thus, Mr. Donnelly had the unique experience of serving as a law clerk at both the trial level and appellate level.
Prior Employment. From 1982 to 1991, Mr. Donnelly worked in the litigation department of the Boston law firm of Nutter, McClennen & Fish, LLP. As a senior partner, he chaired that firm’s Technology Litigation Practice Group, co-chaired its Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group, and served as its hiring partner.
Publications, Speaking Engagements and Bar Association Activities. Mr. Donnelly has lectured and published widely in the fields of business litigation and intellectual property law. His most recent publications and appearances covered auditor liability, trade dress law, business torts, intra-corporate disputes, and reviews of the latest patent, trademark and copyright developments within the First Circuit. Mr. Donnelly is an active member of the Boston Bar Association's Business Litigation, Intellectual Property Litigation, and Alternative Dispute Resolution Committees; a member of the American Bar Association Sections of Litigation, Business Law and Science and Technology; and a former member of the Business Law Council of the Massachusetts Bar Association.
In 2012, Mr. Donnelly was appointed to the Rules Advisory Committee for the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
Mr. Donnelly has been recognized perennially as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer and New England Super Lawyer in the area of business litigation. Throughout his career, he has earned Martindale-Hubbell’s highest professional quality and ethical ratings.
Community. Mr. Donnelly is a member of the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast Regional Board of NPH USA, which supports Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH, Spanish for "Our Little Brothers and Sisters"), currently raising more than 3,400 boys and girls in Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru.
Mr. Donnelly is a former Trustee of The Rivers School, a grade 6 through 12 independent school in Weston. He is a former Board Chair and Trustee of Belmont Day School, a grade pre-K through grade 8 independent school in Belmont.
Over the years, Mr. Donnelly has enjoyed coaching youth sports and taking various responsibilities in University of Michigan Law School and MIT alumni activities.