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    Howard Merten

    Howard  Merten

    Howard Merten
    Managing Partner


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    • Boston University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 1984

    • Princeton University, B.A., cum laude, 1981

    Bar Memberships & Admissions

    • Rhode Island, 1984
    • Massachusetts, 2006
    • U.S. District Court, Rhode Island, 1985
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit, 1991
    Howard is Managing Partner of the Firm.

    He represents businesses, financial services institutions and individuals in complex civil litigation. His practice focuses on commercial litigation, insurance, products liability, media, and intellectual property matters.

    Howard is a Past President of Defense Counsel of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island State Legal Defense Organization affiliated with Defense Research Institute. Howard is an active member of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, whose membership is limited to select attorneys who have displayed achievement in their field and leadership in the practice of law. He is also a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honor society composed of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers.



    Representative Cases

    • Obtained dismissal of multi-million dollar arbitration claim against the State of Rhode Island in dispute over Tobacco Manufacturers Settlement Agreement.
    • Successfully recovered real estate and personalty valued at several millions of dollars from fiduciary alleged to have had improperly transferred assets from his siblings to his children over many years.
    • Lead counsel for local beer distributor sued for sponsorship claims in multiple suits filed following The Station Nightclub fire.
    • Obtained dismissal on eve of trial of biotech company sued over removal of high-tech equipment that landlord claimed were “fixture”.
    • Defended National restaurant chain against dram shop claims brought by representatives of severely injured child.
    • Obtained judgment for a chemical manufacturer alleged to have supplied contaminated chemicals that destroyed a jewelry manufacturing business.
    • Successfully defended a gas detector manufacturer against claims that its equipment failed, causing an explosion which severely injured plaintiffs.
    • Obtained a multimillion dollar judgment against, and helped federal authorities convict, a group of conspirators who diverted millions of premium dollars collected from independent truckers.
    • Obtained a judgment declaring that the Rhode Island campaign finance statutes respecting referenda were unconstitutional.
    • Convinced a federal district court to withdraw an order against a local newspaper because it was an unconstitutional prior restraint.
    • Recovered clean-up costs and other damages for biotech company from designer of tank alarm system which failed, causing environmental contamination.
    • Acted as liaison for the Media Committee formed by the Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court in Rhode Island during a high profile criminal trial.

    Representative Publications

    • For New Managing partner, Job in Beginning a Balancing Act.  A Quick Word With … Howard Merten
      Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly, April 27, 2017
    • Coauthor: “Can Proportionality Be An Effective Weapon to Control e-Discovery?”
      For the Defense, June 2013
    • Author: “The Case For Self-Interested Civility”
      62 Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC) Q 214, 2012
    • Coauthor: “The Pitfalls, Opportunities and Potential Landmines Presented by Federal Rule 30(b)(6)”
      FDCC Article of the Month (January 2011)
    • Coauthor: “Iqbal and Twombly – Reinvigorating the Substance of Rule 8”
      60 FDCC Q. 330 (2011)
    • Coauthor: “Skyrocketing Litigation Costs Compel Broad Revisions of The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure”
      61 FDCC Q. 346 (2011)
    • Contributor on Behalf of Lawyers For Civil Justice: White Paper: “Reshaping the Rule of Civil Procedure for the 21st Century The Need for Clear, Concise, and Meaningful Amendments to Key Rules of Civil Procedure”
      May 2010
    • Coauthor: “Rule 30(b)(6)” Chapter in A Practical Guide to Discovery & Depositions in Rhode Island”
      MCLE, 2010
    • Coauthor: “Protecting Confidentiality in Communication with Excess Carriers”
      56 FDCC Q. 399 (2006)
    • Coauthor: “Daubert in Rhode Island: The Admission of Expert Testimony under Rhode Island and Federal Law”
      District Court Annual Conference for the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island (2006)
    • Coauthor: “Aftermarket Aftershock: Assessing Kodak’s Effect on Business Planning for Parts and Service”
      Preventive Law Journal (Spring 1996)
    • Contributor: “An Overview of Vertical Restraints”
      27th and 25th Annual New England Antitrust Conference, Course Publication (1993 and 1991)
    • Contributor: “Horizontal Restrains and Collaboration Among Competitors”
      24th, 23d and 22d Annual New England Antitrust Conference, Course Publication (1990, 1989, 1988)

    Representative Speaking Engagements

    • FDCC 2013 Annual Meeting: Predictive Coding: Going on the Offensive Using Analytical Tools (August 2013)
    • Rhode Island Bar Association 2012 Annual Meeting: E Discovery Ethics – Staying Out of Trouble In A Digital And Contentious World (June 2012)
    • Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP Ethics CLE: Real World Ethics Challenges – A Conversation With Disciplinary Counsel (May 2012)
    • Defense Counsel of Rhode Island: Everything I Needed To Know About E-Discovery But Was Afraid To Ask (April 2012)
    • FDCC 2012 Annual Meeting: The Lost Colony Of Ethics And Professionalism (July 2011)
    • FDCC 2011 Winter Meeting: Fundamentally Reshaping The Rules of Civil Procedure An Opportunity for Real Reform (March 2011)
    • Lawyers For Civil Justice December 2010 Membership Meeting: Reexamining The Federal Rules Of Civil Procedure (December, 2010)
    • Rhode Island Bar Association 2010 Annual Meeting: Best Practices For 30(B)(6) Depositions (June 2010)
    • Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP CLE: Staying Out of Trouble in a Contentious and Digital World (May 2010)
    • FDCC 2010 Winter Meeting: “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride” – Surviving 30(b)(6) Depositions and Maybe Even Enjoying the Ride (March 2010)
    • FDCC 2010 Winter Meeting: “Federal Court or Fantasy Land?” (March 2010)
    • FDCC 2008 Annual Meeting: “Helping Jurors understand: Tips for Explaining the Unexplainable at the Eighth Grade Level” (July 2008)
    • FDCC Corporate Counsel Symposium: “Don’t Bring A Knife To The Gun Fight: Preparing The Corporate Representative For Deposition (September 2008)
    • FDCC 2007 Annual Meeting: “Corporate Internal Investigations – What do you do when OSHA or the EPA comes knocking at the door? (July, 2007)
    • District of Rhode Island Annual Conference: Daubert in Rhode Island: The Admission of Expert Testimony under Rhode Island and Federal Law,” (2006)
    • FDCC 2205 Winter Meeting: Trial Themes, Alternative Methods of Evidence Presentation And ‘Spicing Up’ The Commercial Case” (March 2005)
    • FDCC 2005 Annual Meeting: Bull Session With Big Daddy: Communication Dynamics In Major Litigation Between The Company, Carrier And Counsel.” (July 2005)

    Professional Affiliations

    • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel
      • Board of Directors, Member: Products Liability, Business Torts and Commercial Litigation, and Insurance Coverage Sections
      • Projects & Objectives Committee, Chair
      • Strategic Plan Compliance Committee
    • Defense Counsel of Rhode Island
    • Lawyers for Civil Justice
    • Litigation Counsel of America
      • Fellow
    • Defense Research Institute
      • Product Liability, Insurance Law and Commercial Litigation Committees
    • Rhode Island Bar Association
      • Rhode Island Federal Bench Bar Committee
    • American Bar Association
      • Litigation Section
    • Maritime Law Association
    • Media Law Resource Center

    Community Activities

    • Roger Williams University School of Law
      • Board of Directors
    • Rhode Island Zoological Society
      • Board of Directors

    Our approach to the practice of law provides a broad range of expertise to our clients Practice Areas


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