William T. Bogaert Partner

     

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William Bogaert is the deputy regional managing partner of the firm’s Boston office. Bill has 30 years of experience as a litigator, during which time he has represented lawyers, non-medical professionals, insurers and others in litigation throughout New England. Bill has successfully defended lawyers and law firms in complex legal malpractice cases and disciplinary proceedings. He has also represented insurance agents and brokers in litigation, and registered representatives and life insurance agents and broker dealers in arbitrations and in litigation arising from sales practice disputes. In addition to defending claims against professionals, Bill advises professional malpractice insurers on matters of coverage and bad faith disputes under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act (Chapter 93A). Bill is often asked to serve as mediator in a variety of cases. As a trial lawyer, he brings years of experience to a practice that has concentrated in the investigation and defense of claims made against financial institution bonds and commercial crime policies, the representation of non-medical professionals and their insurers, and the representation of life and disability insurers. Bill is well-versed in the different forms of coverage often provided in today’s comprehensive general liability policies. He has successfully defended clients in a variety of actions related to general liability policies.

Bill’s national reputation as a thoughtful, thorough and practical attorney makes him unique in addressing the client base in diverse areas. The insurance community holds Bill in high regard when facing claims alleging financial institution commercial crime or fraudulent banking transactions, as well as a trusted adviser when drafting policies and instituting procedures. Bill frequently speaks and authors articles on Financial Institution and Crime Insurance. His articles have been cited in cases decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals, Third, Sixth and Seventh circuits. He is known among the Boston legal community as a go-to person for malpractice matters and defense before disciplinary bodies. Further, Bill represents major insurers in life, health, disability, ERISA and non-ERISA matters.

View Bill's exemplar jury verdicts.

Areas of Focus

Professional Liability
Bill has successfully defended lawyers and law firms in complex legal malpractice cases and in attorney disciplinary proceedings. His professional liability practice also includes the defense of accountants, real estate brokers and other miscellaneous professionals in litigation throughout Massachusetts. Bill has also represented insurance agents and brokers as well as registered representatives, life insurance agents and broker-dealers in arbitrations and in litigation.

Financial Institutions & Crime Insurance
Bill has more than 25 years of experience in the investigation and defense of claims made against financial institution bonds and commercial crime policies. He has been responsible for a number of the most important court decisions interpreting fidelity policies in Massachusetts. Bill is also a frequent author and speaker on issues presented by claims made against fidelity bonds, and he has assisted clients in drafting fidelity and related coverage for financial institutions and commercial entities.

Life, Health, Disability & ERISA 
Bill frequently consults with life, health and disability insurers regarding sales practice disputes, ERISA, class actions, agent misconduct and coverage issues. As a trial lawyer, he brings years of experience to a practice that has concentrated in the investigation and defense of claims made against financial institution bonds and commercial crime policies, the representation of non-medical professionals and their insurers, and the representation of life and disability insurers. Bill frequently consults with life, health and disability insurers regarding sales practice disputes, ERISA, class actions, agent misconduct and coverage issues.

General Liability
Bill is well-versed in the different forms of coverage often provided in today’s comprehensive general liability policies. He has successfully defended clients in a variety of actions related to general liability policies.

Employment
Bill has direct responsibility for employment cases in both state and federal courts and before administrative agencies such as the MCAD and EEOC. He has served as lead counsel on behalf of a school board in a class action alleging racial discrimination in the hiring of teachers. Bill successfully litigated ERISA cases in New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island as well as in Massachusetts and has successfully argued on behalf of ERISA clients before the U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit.

Representative Matters

Complex Commercial
Wrongful death action arising from an airline crash dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction.

Patent infringement case dismissed for lack of federal question and lack of personal jurisdiction.

Jury verdict after a three-week trial in favor of insurer in breach of contract/bad faith case defended on basis of arson. Verdict affirmed on appeal.

Legal Malpractice Coverage
Insurer’s disclaimer of coverage upheld as claim was not made during policy period, despite insured’s contention that he did not receive the policy.

Legal Malpractice
Summary judgment for lawyer in legal malpractice case upheld on appeal.
Unanimous decision upholding finding of Hearing Committee after five-day trial that client lawyer’s conduct in representation of two clients in bankruptcy matters did not violate Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct.
Summary judgment for defendant lawyer; successful jury trial of malicious prosecution counter-claim.
Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmation of Trial Court grant of summary judgment in class action for defendant closing attorneys for alleged violations of the good funds statute.
Motion to dismiss for insured lawyer upheld on appeal

Other Professional Liability
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court established Massachusetts law concerning release with a covenant not to execute and assignments against third parties.

Fidelity
No coverage under employee dishonesty policy for third-party loss.
Finding of no coverage under Financial Institution Bond for indirect loss.
Finding of no coverage under Financial Institution Bond for third-party loss as indirect loss.
Successful rescission of $25 million Financial Institution Bond due to material misrepresentations.

Life Insurance
Affirming successful rescission of $22 million life insurance policy and obtained judgment against agent for return of commission. Appeals Court upheld trial court’s grant of summary judgment to defendant insurer, general agent and broker-dealer on basis of statute of limitations; found no tolling for alleged fraudulent concealment.
Jury verdict for life insurer alleged agent misuse of investment funds.