Morrison Mahoney Partner Michael Aylward obtained summary judgment from a judge in the Essex Superior Court in case involving a serial litigator.

The plaintiff had successfully sued his former law school for defaming him and then sued the lawyer, who the law school had hired to defend itself, for allegedly defaming him in an interview with Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. After both of those cases were dismissed, the plaintiff sued the law school’s insurer and its CEO, alleging that it was vicariously liable for the attorney’s alleged misstatements to LW, and had conspired with the attorney to defame him.

The insurance company moved for summary judgment and presented evidence that defense counsel was independent counsel hired by the insured over whom it had not exercised any control. The judge agreed and entered summary judgment on July 26, declaring that lawyers are independent contractors over whom insurers have no right of control and that the plaintiff had failed to present affidavits to contradict the insurance company’s assertion that it had not controlled or directed the attorney’s actions in this case.