Overview

Jessica Ragosta Early is a Boston-based attorney and member of Holland & Knight's Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice. Ms. Early is a trial lawyer with extensive experience in all phases of the litigation process. She has successfully represented clients in the prosecution and defense of claims in federal and state trial courts and courts of appeals.

In addition, Ms. Early advises companies and individuals regarding a variety of business disputes, including breach of contract, unfair trade practices, unfair competition and breach of fiduciary duty in both the corporate and trusts and estates contexts. Ms. Early has significant experience with commercial real estate disputes, including in those involving low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) partnerships and retail leases. Clients rely on Ms. Early to help resolve conflict short of litigation whenever possible and to vigorously represent them through all phases of litigation, including at the trial and appellate level.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Ms. Early served as a judicial clerk in the Massachusetts Appeals Court for the Honorable Scott L. Kafker, now a justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. She also interned as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Margaret R. Hinkle (Ret.) of the Business Litigation Session of the Massachusetts Superior Court.

Ms. Early is passionate about empowering women and girls, and served as lead trial counsel in a pro bono immigration matter to successfully obtain asylum for a mother and daughter fleeing persecution in Brazil. She also serves as a Holland & Knight Women's Initiative co-coordinator for the Boston office, as an active member of the Women's Bar Association and through her recently completed service on the board of directors of YW Boston.

Representative Experience

  • Achieved an important trial victory in Delaware Chancery Court as lead trial counsel for a syndicator by successfully challenging a minority limited partner's attempt to remove a general partner of a low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) fund for not contesting a non-profit's exercise of its right of first refusal to acquire a multifamily, affordable housing property; prevailed on the limited partner's counterclaims for breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract
  • Obtained summary judgment in two New York actions for an investment manager and limited partners of lower-tier LIHTC partnerships against the general partner and related entities for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and/or fraud related to the general partner's self-dealing and mismanagement of multifamily apartment complexes, and defended the judgments on appeal
  • Representing a major retailer in a COVID-19-related commercial lease dispute concerning a flagship store and discharge of rent obligations due to a contractual force majeure provision, frustration of purpose, or impossibility
  • Represented an international retailer in a construction dispute involving its first U.S. store

  • Represented a medical technology company in a Massachusetts arbitration of Wage Act, contract and fiduciary duty claims involving the former CEO
  • Defended a national consulting firm against misappropriation of trade secret and contract claims in Texas state court
  • Served as lead counsel at trial in defense of professional trustee against claims of breach of fiduciary duty
  • Representing an individual trustee in dispute involving allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and attempted removal of trustee
  • Represented a media company, television personality and former employees in a Massachusetts state court action involving partnership and contract disputes, as well as allegations of unfair competition, breach of fiduciary duty, defamation and misappropriation of trade secrets

  • Representing a large international oil and gas company in federal court in defense of a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Clean Water Act (CWA) citizen suit alleging failure to adequately prepare against potential impacts of climate change
  • Representing a large international oil and gas company at the trial and appellate levels in defense of product liability claims by various states and individuals for alleged contamination of groundwater caused by gasoline containing methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE)
  • Drafted an amicus brief on behalf of an energy consulting firm and various municipal agencies concerning a question of statutory interpretation before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Credentials

Education
  • University of Connecticut School of Law, J.D., with high honors
  • Boston College, B.A., cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Massachusetts
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • All State Courts in Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
Memberships
  • Supreme Judicial Court Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Appellate Procedure, Member
  • Women’s Bar Association
  • Boston Bar Association, Business & Commercial Litigation Steering Committee, Co-Chair
Honors & Awards
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers magazine, 2019-2021
  • Women’s Bar Association, Emerging Women Leaders in the Law Award, 2019
  • Top Women of Law, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, 2018
  • Holland & Knight Rising Star, Class of 2017; Coordinator, 2018
  • Rising Star, Massachusetts Super Lawyers magazine, 2016-2018 
  • Women’s Bar Association, Women’s Leadership Initiative, Class of 2013–2014

Publications

Speaking Engagements

News