Richard C. Nelson

As a trial lawyer since 1977, I have been in the business of collecting and evaluating evidence and finding ways to present it simply and powerfully in the courtroom. The facts involved can be complicated but the outcome usually turns on the way the judge, jury or arbitrator respond to a simple proposition. Drilling down to that point can sometimes be a challenge.
Fact patterns tend to repeat themselves within a particular industry or profession. While you always have to be on the lookout for surprises, experience helps a lawyer spot the strengths and weaknesses in a case and provides an informed basis for predicting how issues will play out.
Changes in technology have made this work even more interesting and they have created new opportunities. Construction projects, business transactions, and disputes of all sorts generate more documents and electronic records than ever before. We have, however, great new tools allowing us to organize and mine the data for helpful material and then present the evidence clearly and persuasively in the courtroom. 
My clients are businesses and professionals. They include contractors, engineers and manufacturers, as well as sureties and other insurance carriers. Since 1986, I have spent a significant part of my practice representing lawyers and law firms in legal malpractice and professionalism cases. This has been particularly rewarding as it has allowed me to work closely with hundreds of lawyers in New Hampshire, as well as in Massachusetts and other states. I have also represented lawyers in disciplinary matters pending before the New Hampshire Professional Conduct Committee and the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseeers.

My work as a professional malpractice defense attorney has also involved representation of Certified Public Accountants in a variety of cases arising from their work. In 1986, the Governor of New Hampshire appointed me to the Board of Accountancy, the agency that licenses and disciplines CPAs in this state.
Now that my children are grown up, or claim to be grown up, my primary outside interests are reading and travel. I love exploring foreign lands, learning just enough of the language to be dangerous and figuring out how to get around and adjust to local ways.

Representative Matters

  • Defended a Washington, DC law firm against claims that it gave improper advice to union members involved in a nationwide strike. This case established the rule that attorneys performing services on behalf of a union cannot be held liable in malpractice when their activities are part of the collective bargaining process.
  • Represented a manufacturer in a products liability case which established that the holding in Daubert v. Merrill Dow applied to civil actions in New Hampshire state courts.
  • Successfully represented an engineering firm in Massachusetts state courts against claims that its negligent design of a water processing plant caused a catastrophic flood and a multimillion-dollar property damage loss.
  • Represented a public utility in a case that established the rule that such entities are not subject to the Consumer Protection Act in New Hampshire.
  • Successfully represented a shareholder in a Federal Court Challenge to a hostile takeover bid for a Rhode Island Public Utility.
  • Successfully represented an engineering firm against 70 million dollars in claims arising from the defective design of a nuclear power plant. Eventually, the owner’s claims were dropped and the settlement resulted in engineer being paid its fees associated with discovering the problem and bringing it to the owner’s attention.
  • Successfully represented EPC contractor involved in building a state of the art power plant in Sub-Saharan, Africa against claims by the government-owner totaling $111,000,000.00.
  • Successfully represented a law firm in what is believed to be the longest civil jury trial in the history of the New Hampshire court system.
  • Successfully represented a law firm against claims totaling $70,000,000.00 which the law firm supposedly should have recovered in previous litigation against a New Hampshire town over development of a regional landfill.
  • Successfully represented an insurance carrier in federal court against a claim by a large New Hampshire manufacturing company for $33 million in environmental cleanup damages.

Speaking Engagements

Seminars in 2018

  • "Legal Ethics: Hot Topics and Current Events," National Business Institute, June 19, 2018

Seminars in 2017

  • "Legal Ethics: Conflicts of Interest in Case Studies," National Business Institute, June 21, 2017
  • "Ethics for In-House Counsel," NH Bar Association, May 10, 2017

Seminars in 2016

  • "10th Annual Ethics Program," NH Bar Association, June 24, 2016
  • “Construction Law Seminar,” Halfmoon Education, June 23, 2016
  • “Legal Ethics: Top Challenges,” National Business Institute, June 21 & 22, 2016
  • “Malpractice and Professionalism Issues for Real Estate Lawyers,” First American Title Insurance Company, May 10, 2016

Past Seminars 

  • "11th Annual Labor & Employment Law Update," New Hampshire Bar Association, April 13, 2012.

Community Involvement

  • New Hampshire State Board of Accountancy, Public Member
  • Domestic Violence Emergency (D.O.V.E.) Project volunteer
  • New Hampshire Bar Association, Legislation Committee

We Can Help You

Contact us today to learn more about how the attorneys at Devine Millimet can help you with your legal needs.

            Services & Industries

            Accountant & Real Estate Professional Liability


            Business, Commercial & Financial Litigation

            Engineering & Construction Law

            Insurance Defense

            Intellectual Property Litigation

            Legal Malpractice & Professional Conduct

            Personal Injury & Property Damage

            Trademarks, Copyrights & Licensing

            Bar Admissions


            New Hampshire

            New York


            Boston University School of Law, JD, 1977

            University of Massachusetts, BA, cum laude, 1974

            Awards & Affiliations

            New England Super Lawyers - Top Rated Professional Liability Attorney since 2007

            Included in The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of for his work in Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants since 2011

            Recognized by Best Lawyers® since 1995

            Selected as "Local Litigation Star" in Benchmark Litigation 2017