Neil Austin

Partner, Co-Chair, Advertising & Marketing Practice

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Neil Austin is a partner in the firm’s Litigation Department who specializes in handling complex cases involving alleged fraud, misrepresentation, misconduct, or deceit.  Whether in the context of advertising and marketing, the purchase and sale of securities, or corporate transactions, Neil has significant experience litigating cases and defending investigations alleging misconduct or deception. 

Neil has significant trial experience, including in state, federal, and bankruptcy court.  This experience has made Neil a practical and effective litigator, with an ability to develop a winning case strategy and execute on that strategy using a team-based approach.  Neil specializes in litigating and resolving business disputes, representing clients in government and internal investigations, and representing clients in false advertising litigation. 

Neil brings a commercial approach to dispute resolution and counseling, representing clients in a broad range of industries on key areas of litigation risk, including breaches of contract, business torts, intellectual property disputes, securities litigation, and class action defense. He has tried, arbitrated and mediated cases for corporate and individual clients on issues ranging from international commercial disputes to alleged business torts.

 

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Education:

  • Boston University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 2003
  • University of Georgia, B.A., summa cum laude, 1998

Representative Experience

Litigation and Trial

  • Represents leading teaching hospital and physicians’ organization in federal False Claims Act case alleging improper billing of Medicare and Medicaid for orthopedic surgical procedures
  • Represents Cambridge-based software company in Lanham Act false advertising litigation challenging competitor’s false and misleading claims in sponsored white paper
  • Obtained complete victory on behalf of Boston-based greeting card manufacturer following week-long jury trial against competitor for copyright and trademark infringement of card designs
  • Obtained complete victory on behalf of financial services company following United States Bankruptcy Court trial against principals of residential solar company that misappropriated customer funds and made fraudulent transfers prior to filing for Chapter 7 relief
  • Obtained complete victory on behalf of German medical device company following week-long jury trial against counterparty to repudiated international asset purchase agreement
  • Obtained series of favorable bench trial verdicts in federal court in Miami on behalf of foreign sovereign-owned company against international food trader that sold and delivered to client enormous quantities of melamine-contaminated powdered milk
  • Represented a national bank holding company and its subsidiaries in a federal lawsuit concerning the sale of residential mortgage-backed securities
  • Represented international pension funds in disputes with investment management firms over alleged breaches of fiduciary duty
  • Represented manufacturer of surgical products in trade libel suit brought by former distributor  

Government and Internal Investigations

  • Defends privately held educational institutions in investigations by the Massachusetts Attorney General and other government regulators
  • Conducted internal investigation for local teaching hospital reviewing allegations of professional misconduct by attending physician
  • Conducted internal investigation for private boarding school regarding allegations of past sexual abuse and the school’s response to those allegations
  • Represented manufacturer and marketer of genetically tailored health products in complex Federal Trade Commission investigation involving both advertising and data security/privacy issues
  • Conducted internal investigation for publicly held software company regarding allegations of stock options backdating
  • Represented software company in internal and SEC investigations regarding timing of stock option grants
  • Represented bank officer in U.S. Attorney’s Office investigation of insider trading
  • Regularly counsels clients on responses to subpoenas, civil investigative demands, and other government requests for information 

Pro Bono and Social Justice

  • Represented recently exonerated individual in obtaining a new trial after thirty-two years in prison for a crime he did not commit 
  • Currently represent exoneree in federal civil rights lawsuit alleging violations of his Constitutional rights by the City of Brockton and former Brockton police officers
  • Represent individuals recently exonerated of serious felonies in dealing with legal challenges after release from prison and steps towards vindicating their civil rights
  • Represent immigrants at risk of removal or deportation in Boston Immigration Court
  • Frequently draft amicus briefs on issues of social importance, and as co-Chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Amicus Committee, seek opportunities to develop the law on issues of social justice and equity through pro bono “friend of the court” advocacy
 

Honors

  • Recipient of the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Friend of Justice Award for amicus brief advocacy, 2017 
  • Recipient of PAIR Project, Inc.’s Detention Attorney Award for pro bono work on behalf of immigrant detainees, 2008
  • Edward F. Hennessey Distinguished Scholar, Boston University School of Law, 2003
  • Recipient of Dean’s Award for Securities Regulations, Boston University School of Law, 2003
  • Recipient of Dean’s Award for Criminal Procedure, Boston University School of Law, 2003

Involvement

  • Board Member and Executive Committee Member, Lawyers for Civil Rights
  • Co-chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Amicus Committee
  • Steering Committee Member of the Boston Bar Association’s Public Interest Leadership Program (2012-2013)
  • Alumnus of the Boston Bar Association’s Public Interest Leadership Program (2009-2010)
  • Recognized by the Supreme Judicial Court for pro bono representation of immigrant detainees (2007)
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Massachusetts Bar Association, Member
  • Boston Bar Association, Member
  • Speaker, “The Ten Commandments of Practical Lawyering,” TechGC New York/Boston, (June 2017 and March 2017)
  • Panelist, “Putting Clients Under the Microscope: The Mechanics of Business Investigations and the Challenge of Serving as an Independent Investigator,” Rhode Island Bar Association Annual Meeting (June 2017)
  • Speaker, “Ten Insanely Important FTC Advertising Enforcement Trends for 2016,” Webinar (February 2016)
  • Panelist, “Communicating in the Web 2.0 World: Social Advertising, Trademark and Copyright Strategies You Will Like,” Association of Corporate Counsel Technology Summit (March 2015)
  • Co-chair and Panelist, “An Insider’s View of False Advertising Disputes - From the FTC, NAD, and In-House Counsel,” Boston Bar Association Continuing Legal Education (December 2013)
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Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts