Kathleen M. O'Donnell
For over twenty-five years, Kathy O'Donnell has been an advocate for consumers both in and out of the courtroom. She concentrates her practice in all aspects of serious personal injury litigation, including construction site accidents, medical malpractice, automobile collisions, liquor liability and premises liability. A trial attorney with a proven record of success in the courtroom, her advocacy skills draw on her commitment to making a difference for her client and for the community at large. Kathy works for people not for corporations. She has taken on insurance companies, big businesses, cities and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
A frequent lecturer and published writer, Kathy has held executive and leadership positions with every major legal association in Massachusetts. She is past President of the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys and the Greater Lowell Bar Association. She was listed by the Massachusetts Lawyer's Weekly in 1995 as one of the top ten lawyers in Massachusetts and in 1997 as one of the twenty-five most influential lawyers in Massachusetts between 1972 and 1997. The National Law Journal also named her one of the twelve most influential lawyers in Massachusetts in 2000. In 1996 and 1997 the American Association of Justice (an organization with 60,000 members) awarded her the prestigious Weidemann Wysocki Citation of Excellence for her commitment to the civil justice system. She has been listed by Boston Magazine as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer since 2004 in the category of Best of Boston Personal Injury. Kathy was the first female member of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates and she has been listed consistently in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Law, Who's Who of American Women, and Who's Who in the East. Kathy's peers have given her the highest rating established by Martindale Hubbell's Legal Directory. This rating is only given to lawyers and law firms which are considered to have very high to pre-eminent legal ability and who are thought to embrace very high professional standards.
Lawyers and law firms from throughout the country seek Kathy's advice on cases they are handling and on trial and insurance issues. Kathy has been asked to speak to Congress and to numerous state legislatures about auto insurance issues and about the impact changes to automobile laws will have on consumers and on people hurt in automobile collisions.
Kathy has been involved in many community activities and after September 11, 2001 she led the effort of the Massachusetts Bar Association to ensure that civil rights and civil liberties would not be curtailed in the aftermath of the attack and she worked with other organizations in urging citizens throughout the Commonwealth to adopt a resolution opposing those parts of the U.S.A. Patriot Act and related Federal Executive Orders which curtailed civil rights and civil liberties. During her tenure at the Massachusetts Bar Association, Kathy also urged that organization to file an Amicus Brief in the Goodridge case (the decision of the highest Court in Massachusetts which recognized the legality of same-sex marriage) and, as MBA President, she appointed a task force to ensure that all laws impacted by that decision were changed.
Crane worker injured when jib of crane pinned him to the boom of the crane. Third-party and worker's compensation settlements for this worker (and his family) who sustained debilitating injuries to his major arm and back.
Electrocution cases. Recovered for an individual struck by lightning while working on top of a steel building during a thunderstorm. Also, recovered for an electrician injured when he touched a live wire on a construction site.
Successfully brought a claim against a ski area when a teenager fell from a chairlift and broke her hip.
Medical Malpractice Cases. Recovered for an individual when a doctor failed to see a growth on a routine x-ray of the client's knee. Recovered for the wrongful death of the mother of five children who did not receive proper medical treatment while a prisoner at MCI-Framingham.
Award for a person injured in automobile collision who was subsequently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.
Verdict in excess of insurance policy limits of $100,000.00 when no offer had been made in a rear-end collision resulting in a TMJ injury.
Settlement of a closed-head injury/traumatic brain injury case for $900,000.00 when there was no evidence of head trauma.
Resolution of injury aspect of case when a defective propane gas stove caused a sailboat to be destroyed completely.
Recovered for an injured railroad worker when equipment he was operating was rear ended by a piece of equipment operated by a co-worker.
J.D., Suffolk University Law School, 1980
B.A., Wheaton College, 1977
Doctor of Laws Honorary Degree, Wheaton College, 2007
United Sates District Court, Massachusetts, 1982
United Sates Court of Appeals, First Circuit, 1982
Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers recognized and keynote speaker at 2006 annual dinner.
Boston Magazine Super Lawyer, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007
National Law Journal: named one of the twelve most influential lawyers in Massachusetts, 2000.
Greater Lowell Bar Association: Lawyer of the Year Award, 1992.
Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys: Distinguished Service Award, 1994.
American Association of Justice Service Award: 1996 and 1997.
Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly:
1995: named one of the top ten lawyers of the year.
1997: named one of the twenty-five most influential lawyers in
Massachusetts between 1972 and 1997.
Essex County Bar Association: honored as one of leading woman lawyers in the state, April, 1997.
Supreme Judicial Court Appointment to Committee on Lawyer Advertising, 1997 to 1999
Who's Who in America, 2006, 2007 and 2008
Who's Who in American Law, 2005-2006, 2007-2008
Who's Who of American Women, 2006 and 2007
Who's Who in the East 2006, 2007 and 2008
Greater Lowell Rape Crisis Services - member of the Board of Directors: 1990 to 1994
Greater Lowell Pastoral Counseling Services - member of the Board of Directors: 1989 to 1994
Sohier Park Committee, York, Maine:
Member: 1989 to 1993
Chair: 1992 to 1993
Lowell Catholic High School Board of Directors: 1997 to 1999
Massachusetts Community Legal Education Board of Directors 1998-2005
(representative not complete)
Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee - presentation on automobile insurance, May and August, 1997
National Conference of State Legislators - presentation on automobile insurance, April, 1998
Institute for International Research - Auto Managed Care Forum, June, 1998 and July, 2000
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Center for Consumer Affairs: Auto Accident Compensation Project Auto Choice Policy Debate: October, 1998, New Orleans, Louisiana. Other Participants: Peter Kinzler and Daniel Miller
Perspectives on Federal Auto Choice Reform Legislation: January 1999, Washington, D.C. Other participants: Peter Kinzler, Senator Mitch McConnell, Senator Joseph Libermann, U.S. Representative Dick Armey, U.S. Representative Jim Moran, Andrew Tobias, Michael Horowitz, Frank Clemente, J. Robert Hunter, Stephen Carroll, Michael Miller, Daniel Miller, Professor George Priest, and Professor Jerry O'Connell
Auto Insurance Reform Debate: November, 1999, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Iowa Trial Lawyers: November, 1997, Presentation at Annual Convention
National Association of Trial Lawyer Executives: Presentation at Annual Legislative Conference in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998
Roscoe Pound Foundation - presentation on juror bias in low-impact collisions, January, 2000
American Association of Justice; National College of Advocates; Presentation: Different approaches in trying low impact collisions resulting in connective tissue injuries February 17, 2000
Auto Insurance Report, National Conference 2000: Presented the Lawyers' perspective on auto insurance to two hundred and fifty insurance executives; Newport Beach, California; April, 2000.
Vermont Trial Lawyers: Presentation on Juror Bias; July 2001.
National Conference of Insurance Legislators - Presentation on Rising Auto Insurance Costs, San Francisco, California, November 2002
American Association of Justice, Massachusetts Bar Association, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys: frequent lecturer on trial skills, insurance issues and recent developments in the law.
- Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts