Brett D. Carroll is a Boston litigation attorney and a member of Holland & Knight's Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice. He represents clients in state and federal courts across the country (including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware and Florida). His practice focuses on a variety of complex commercial legal matters, including real property disputes such as complex commercial landlord/tenant disputes, challenging holdover guest disputes in the hotel context, title disputes and various real property disputes; product liability, including drug and medical device litigation; consumer protection violation claims; medical malpractice claims and wrongful death claims in the manufacturing, medical services, long-term care and food industries; commercial contract disputes; insurance coverage and broker negligence issues; and business torts, including fraud, tortious interference and noncompete violations.
In addition to managing active litigation matters, Mr. Carroll frequently counsels clients on the legal implications of proposed transactions in the consumer retail, landlord/tenant, and real estate contexts.
Mr. Carroll has comprehensive experience in arguing substantive motions, resolving disputes before arbitrators and arbitration panels, and he has prepared and tried cases for jury and non-jury trials. Mr. Carroll has a strong appellate practice arguing before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the Rhode Island Supreme Court, the Massachusetts Appeals Court and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, the latter including an appellate victory concerning a challenge to personal jurisdiction. He has obtained several appellate court decisions in his clients' favor on real property matters and recently argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court concerning a critical class action issue affecting national retailers.
Mr. Carroll works with national clients defending a wide variety of consumer class claims in various states around the country including matters involving consumer contract issues, deceptive advertising claims and consumer fee charges. Most recently, in representing a retail client in a case before the New Jersey Supreme Court (Spade et al. v. Select Comfort et al.), he helped establish a critical blow to the onslaught of consumer class claims filed against almost every national retailer in New Jersey pursuant to the Truth-in-Consumer Warranty and Notice Act (TCCWNA), which had been used to extract millions of dollars in settlements for alleged consumer contract violations even though the consumer had not suffered any adverse consequence, harm or damage. With Mr. Carroll arguing in a successful collaboration with a parallel action and several state and national amicus parties, the New Jersey Supreme Court's unanimous decision in April 2018 established new law whereby a consumer asserting a TCCWNA claim must establish that she/he is adversely affected by the alleged violation in order to substantiate a claim for relief. This win has set precedent for several pending class action matters to be withdrawn or favorably resolved, on dispositive motion, and avoided an alleged claim of more than $70 million for the client. He also has successfully avoided purported class claims, prior to the filing of responsive pleadings, asserted against national retailers regarding deceptive advertising and/or alleged improper imposition of fees and taxes.
Mr. Carroll also handles a variety of unclaimed property matters across the country, including defending clients with respect to government-initiated investigations; challenging the Delaware escheat statute and practices as unconstitutional; counseling clients on compliance issues in the rebate, foreign property and gift card contexts; and negotiating resolutions of complex, multiyear audits before various state escheators including Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware and Florida. He also has significant experience with internal investigations in a variety of commercial and employment contexts including claims.
Within the firm, Mr. Carroll currently serves on the Boston Hiring and Diversity Committees, is the coordinator of the Boston office's 9/11 Day of Service Initiative, and acts as the founding coordinator of the Holland & Knight Boston Alumni Program. He is the Boston Public and Charitable Services Partner, in which he is responsible for overseeing pro bono, charitable giving and community involvement endeavors. He has been named as special counsel to the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners to investigate the character and fitness of several bar applicants. In addition, Mr. Carroll is a past planning coordinator for the Holland & Knight Opening Doors for Children program and the 2001 winner of the Holland & Knight Opening Doors for Children Award. Mr. Carroll has an active pro bono practice representing clients in a variety of contexts, including landlord/tenant disputes, asylum, education, and post-conviction relief claims for juvenile offenders.
Within the community, Mr. Carroll serves on the board of a charter school in Hyde Park, Mass., where he is actively revising the school's strategic plan. He also is a board member of the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation.
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