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Our People

Shepard Law is one of the top personal injury law firms in Massachusetts environmental torts, such as major asbestos claims involving mesothelioma or lung cancer. The firm has been litigating mesothelioma lawsuits in both state and federal courts for nearly 20 years and has represented victims of asbestos exposure throughout New England and across the United States.

Helping You Through It All

The people we have helped tell us that Shepard Law is different. That’s because, as our client, we treat you the way we would want to be treated. We come to your house and meet with you on your terms. Taking the time to listen to your story, we offer personal guidance on what we can do to help. We explain in plain language how the process will unfold for your case, and what you can expect from us.

We understand that your “new normal” means dealing with doctors, hospitals, tests, treatments, medications, lost work, worried spouses and children, well-meaning friends, and numerous other distractions that you didn’t have before you were injured. We get it, and we try to help you through it.

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Our Focus

All lawyers say they fight for your rights. At Shepard Law, our clients say we do.

When pursuing a claim for personal injury or wrongful death, selecting the right legal professional can make a meaningful difference in your life and in the lives of those you love. If you’ve chosen Shepard Law, you’ve made the right choice. With special expertise handling environmental torts, such major asbestos claims involving mesothelioma or lung cancer, we commit the full resources of our firm to every case we take.

Our attorneys and staff are personally invested in your case. We care about you and believe every injured person deserves caring, compassionate, and capable representation. We take the time to get to know you, your family, your situation and your needs, because we believe you deserve respect and kindness – in addition to justice.

With the right balance of compassion and fierce advocacy on your behalf, we are with you every step of the way. We know you are relying on us, and we work as hard as possible to resolve your case so you can move forward.

"I could tell that Mike took things very personally and was invested... attorneys were always very accessible. Staff was very helpful and cordial."

Asbestos Exposure Sites in New England Map

Our Massachusetts Mesothelioma Lawyers provide a list of common asbestos exposure worksites, shipyards, naval vessels, and more in and around Boston.


Information on Asbestos & Mesothelioma

We understand that an asbestos lawsuit is not something that most people are familiar with, and the procedure can be confusing. In order to better inform our clients as to what to expect as we proceed with an asbestos claim on your behalf, we have assembled a variety of resources to that may help answer most of the questions you have about how asbestos cases work.

If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.  

Mesothelioma Legal Information

Is My Asbestos Case Part of a Class Action Lawsuit?

No, there is no asbestos class action in place pending right now. Your case is an individual lawsuit filed in Court.  You are not participating in the lawsuit with any other asbestos victims.  Your case is handled independently, just like any other civil lawsuit pending in court.

Where Will My Case be Filed?

That will depend on a number of factors, including where you live, where your exposure to asbestos took place, where the defendant companies are based, and the procedural and substantive law of the potential jurisdictions we are considering. We always try to find the best place to file your lawsuit, so that we can put your case in the best position for a successful outcome.  Some states require that asbestos cases all be filed with the same court.  For example, in Massachusetts, all asbestos cases are filed in Middlesex County Superior Court, and are heard by Judge Heidi Brieger.  Because of budget issues in Massachusetts, Judge Brieger moves around to different courts during different times of the year, so we appear before him in the court in which he is sitting at that particular time.

When Will My Case be Filed?

That will depend on the way in which the jurisdiction in which we file the case operates. In Massachusetts, we typically file asbestos cases toward the end of the calendar year, unless there is a statute of limitations expiring before then.  We do this because in Massachusetts cases are typically reached by the court in the order in which they are filed during the calendar year.  By waiting until the end of the year, we can file all of our cases in the order in which we would like to see them come up for consideration.  This allows us to put cases in the best possible position for success.  In other states, we file the case whenever we have enough information to put the case in suit.  That usually means that we have to research and collect information about the injured party’s use of asbestos products, and try to determine which companies are responsible for those products.  We need to make sure we have enough information to go after the right parties, which can take time.

Once My Case is Filed, How Long Will it Take?

That depends on how quickly the court moves through its case docket. It varies by state, and by court.  In many states, like Massachusetts, asbestos cases take 3 years from the year of filing to be reached by the court.  So if your case is filed in 2012, you can expect that it will be reached by the court sometime in 2015.  It does not matter in what month in 2012 the case was filed, just the order in which it is filed.  So cases that are filed in January of 2012 do not have an advantage over cases that are filed in December of 2012.  That is why we usually wait until the end of the year to file cases, so that we can put them in the order we want to see them appear in 2015.

Three Years Seems Like a Long Time—Are There Any Exceptions?

There are certain exceptions for people who are living with mesothelioma. Some states allow living mesothelioma victims to move to the front of the trial line, a process called “exigent advancement.”  However, that varies by state, and it still usually means that a case will take at least 9 months to a year to get to trial.  Whether your case is appropriate for exigent advancement depends on many factors.  If we think your case qualifies, we will discuss that with you in more detail.

Does that Mean That I Won’t See Any Money Until Years From Now?

No, it doesn’t. Asbestos lawsuits name a number of companies as defendants.  We try to identify all of the responsible companies, and name them in the lawsuit.  That means that a typical asbestos lawsuit has anywhere from a handful to a long list of companies listed as defendants.  Most of those defendants will wait until the case is reached by the court before they will talk about settlement.  But some companies are interested in negotiating a settlement of your case sooner than that.  In that case, we can get you some compensation earlier on in the process.  And as will be explained in more detail below, not every defendant in your lawsuit will pay a settlement.

What Happens When I Settle With a Defendant Company? How Long Does it Take to Get the Money?

When you get a settlement offer, we will communicate it to you, and send you paperwork. If you accept the settlement, you fill out the paperwork, and return it to us.  We get it back to the lawyer for the company who settled, and they in turn send it on to their client or their client’s insurance company for processing.  The paperwork process can take some time, as much as 3 to 6 months.  How long it takes depends on the insurance company.  Some insurance companies only cut settlement checks during certain months of the year, so we are put in a line of settlements to be paid when the checks are processed.  As a general rule of thumb, it takes about 30 days to complete the paperwork, and then it takes 3 to 6 months from the completion of the paperwork to get the check from the insurance company.

I’ve Received My First Settlement Check-Is That It?

No, that is not it. Since we name a number of companies in your asbestos case, we have to deal with them one at a time.  When you settle your case with a defendant, we just cross them off the list, and we continue on against the remaining defendants.  We do this until we have either resolved the case with each defendant, or the remaining defendants have been dismissed from the case because we didn’t have enough evidence to link you to their asbestos product.

There are a lot of defendants named in my lawsuit. Should I expect settlement money from all of them?

No, we aren’t able to achieve settlements with all of the defendants in your lawsuit. We name the defendants based on the information that we have at the beginning of your case.  How many stay in the case until the end will depend entirely on your history of exposure to asbestos.  In many instances, despite best efforts, we are not able to collect enough evidence to keep some defendants in the case.  They get out of the case through either a dismissal or through a process called summary judgment.  So if we are only able to identify a few asbestos products that you worked with or around, then we will only have a few settlements to go after.  If we can identify a lot of different asbestos products, then we will have a lot of settlements to go after.  Every case is different, since no two people were exposed to the exact same asbestos products.  You can’t compare your case to cases of your co-workers or friends, because the circumstances of everyone’s case varies depending on the number of products, years of exposure, severity of the injury, age of the victim, etc., etc.  Rest assured that we will do absolutely everything we can to try to maximize the recovery that we obtain for you.

What Happens if I Die Before My Lawsuit is Reached?

If something should happen to you before your lawsuit is reached by the court, it doesn’t end there. We would have someone appointed as executor of your estate, and the lawsuit would continue with that person standing in your shoes.  Any settlement money received from the lawsuit would go to your spouse and/or heirs, depending on how your will or estate is set up.  We recommend that all of our clients make sure they have up-to-date wills that name an executor who will be responsible for handling the estate.  We can refer you to a lawyer who specializes in wills and estate planning, if you would like more information on setting that up.

I Haven’t Heard From Your Firm in a While-Should I Be Concerned?

No, there is no need for concern. Asbestos cases take a lot of work, and a lot of time to put together.  We work with you at the outset of the case to gather the information and evidence we need to file your case and move forward with it.  We collect medical records from your health care providers, and search for documents and evidence from your working years.  We request documents and records from the defendants in your lawsuit, and we take depositions as needed to gather testimonial evidence.  When we make requests, we have to wait for responses.  We also have to wait for certain court deadlines.  While we are putting all of this information together, we may not need any additional information from you, or your signature on any documents.  As a result, many months may go by without hearing from us.  Don’t be concerned, for we are busy working on your case.  We won’t bother you unless there is something to report to you, or unless we need some information from you.  You have enough on your plate without having us calling you.  If you would like an update, don’t hesitate to give us a call.  Please don’t be frustrated if we don’t have any new news to report to you—the legal system can move slowly, and for the most part there isn’t a lot that we can do about it.

Is Settlement Money That I Receive Taxable?

The short answer is "No." Your asbestos lawsuit is seeking damages for personal physical injuries that you have received.  Settlements for physical injuries are not taxable as income.  There may be instances where settlements trigger some estate taxes, but that is rare.  When you die, your estate is allowed a tax exemption up to a certain amount.  In 2012, the exemption amount is $5,120,000  per spouse1.  If you have an estate that is worth more than that, you probably already have an estate planning lawyer to take care of tax planning issues!  If you don’t, you should, and we can recommend one to you.  (If you have any tax questions, let us know, and we will refer you to a tax professional who can provide detailed information.  We focus on helping people with injuries, so tax law is not our area of expertise!)

1The amount of the estate tax exemption may change year-to-year. The current exemption is set to revert back to $1 million per spouse on January 1, 2013 unless Congress changes it.  For questions about the estate tax and how it might affect you and your family, please contact an estate or tax professional.

Mesothelioma Resources

"I could tell that Mike took things very personally and was invested... attorneys were always very accessible. Staff was very helpful and cordial."

Asbestos Exposure Sites in New England

Our Massachusetts Mesothelioma Lawyers provide a list of common asbestos exposure worksites, shipyards, naval vessels, and more in and around Boston.


Refer Your Client to Shepard Law

Handled with Care

Many of our clients are referred to us by other attorneys, who recognize our proven track record in handling environmental torts, such as major asbestos claims involving mesothelioma or lung cancer. We welcome these referrals and the opportunity to assist you in providing your clients with the best representation possible. If you refer a case to us, you can be confident that your client will benefit from the utmost care, experience, and pursuit of justice that our firm brings to every case we handle.

We work tirelessly to bring each of our cases to the best possible conclusion.

A Positive Experience. A Positive Outcome.

We promise to make the referral experience smooth, positive, and beneficial for everyone involved. We will share in your mission to achieve the best possible outcome for your client. You and your client will be in good hands.

We handle referrals in a number of ways to suit your specific circumstances. We can serve as co-counsel or can take over the case completely. In every matter, we bring the dedicated legal staff and resources necessary to bring each case to the best possible conclusion.

If you are interested in referring a client to us, please complete the below form. After we evaluate the information, a firm representative will contact you to discuss the case in detail.

Contact Us

Contact Us:

Please fill out this form or call us at (617) 451-9191 to discuss the circumstances of your case.