William Joseph Flanagan is a partner in the Boston office of Morrison Mahoney and an elected member of the firm’s five-member Executive Committee.  He is a trial lawyer who specializes in civil litigation defense and is a member of the Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire bars.  He has tried over 100 civil cases, over 70 of which were jury trials, in product liability, professional liability, construction, premises liability, and transportation cases. Joe joined the firm in 1989 and was elected to the firm’s Executive Committee in 2010.

Joe was named a lawyer of the year for the year 2000 by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly/Massachusetts Bar Association, has achieved an A-V Preeminent peer review rating (highest) by Martindale Hubble, and was voted by his peers as a Massachusetts “Super Lawyer” in 2005 and 2006 in surveys of the Massachusetts bar conducted by Law & Politics/Boston Magazine.  He was given the 2012 “Gladiator Award” by Farmers Insurance Co. for achieving success in the courtroom in high exposure cases.

PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY:  Successfully defended hospitals and nursing homes as well as numerous professionals including physicians, psychologists, dentists, podiatrists, optometrists, and nurses, as well as many in the allied health fields such as biotechnology laboratories, tissue banks, and mental health clinics.  Joe has also defended a number of non-medical professionals in malpractice cases including engineers, architects, contractors, realtors, and home inspectors.  He has also represented professionals in a wide variety of licensing issues before administrative boards.

PRODUCT LIABILITY: Obtained defendants’ verdicts in a variety of product liability lawsuits including successful representation of manufacturers of automobile lifts, food processing equipment, and electricity generators in serious injury cases.  He has also represented pharmaceutical, health product, HVAC equipment, and chemical manufacturers.  Joe is well versed in benzene litigation.

PREMISES LIABILITY:  Defended hotels and property owners in sexual assault/negligent security lawsuits.  His expertise in this area is reflected in his authorship of a published law review article, Negligent Security, 24 New England Law Review 1193 (1990).  Joe is also experienced in food-borne illness claims, and he has successfully defended food service establishments in foreign object/product liability claims.  He has also handled the defense of several liquor liability lawsuits and obtained a defendant’s verdict in a wrongful death lawsuit involving an allegedly intoxicated guest who later killed an innocent motorist in a car accident.

FIRE SCIENCE:  Extensive experience in fire science and has successfully tried large fire losses.  He has defended chemical fire cases and regularly coordinates pre-suit cause and origin investigations involving commercial and residential fires and explosions.  Joe has defended several carbon monoxide poisoning cases involving defective, improperly installed, or poorly maintained HVAC equipment.

CONSTRUCTION:  Represented a variety of contractors in cases involving work place accidents, construction defects, freeze ups, and consumer protection claims.

TRANSPORTATION: Obtained successful verdicts in transportation cases involving FELA, trucking, fleet vehicles, livery drivers, and other high exposure transportation cases involving wrongful death, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries.

Noteworthy Accomplishments, Honors & Awards

  • First Chair in over 100 civil trials in state and federal courts.
  • Lawyer of the Year, 2000, Massachusetts Bar Association/Mass. Lawyers Weekly
  • Selected to the Massachusetts Super Lawyers magazine list in Civil Litigation: Defense (2018–2020)
  • Super Lawyer 2005, 2006, Law & Politics/Boston Magazine.
  • Adjunct Faculty, Stonehill College, 1994–2005.
  • Lead Articles Editor, New England Law Review, 1990.
  • Authored, Negligent Security, 24 New England Law Review 1193 (1990).
  • AV rated (highest) by Martindale Hubble
  • Elected by his peers to The Best Lawyers in America© Product Liability Litigation – Defendants guide (2023)
  • Elected by his peers to The Best Lawyers in America© Professional Malpractice Law guide (2023)
  • Massachusetts
  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • United States District Court for the District of Maine
  • United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire
  • United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) (Advocate level, requiring over 50 jury verdicts)
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association
  • New Hampshire Bar Association
  • B.A. — Boston College
  • J.D., magna cum laude — New England Law | Boston