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Trial Attorneys Specializing in Civil Defense Litigation 



Since its founding in1996, 

Coughlin Betke 

has been committed to providing its clients with unparalleled service, uncompromising legal skill, and enduring excellence in all aspects of civil defense litigation. 



Coughlin Betke is a boutique law firm specializing in civil defense litigation and trial practice. We counsel clients through all phases of risk allocation and avoidance and represent clients throughout all stages of State and Federal Court litigation in the Northeast and around the country. Our practice is guided by a consistent commitment to excellence in all we do.


We place high value on the relationships we cultivate with our clients and our approach is tailored to their unique objectives, business concerns, corporate missions and litigation philosophies. Our clients rely on our firm's extensive trial experience to guide the handling of each matter.  Whether a matter is best resolved by mediation, arbitration, settlement negotiations or trial, clients of Coughlin Betke know their matters have been strategically developed and positioned by experienced trial attorneys for a superlative outcome.


We are proud to work among our exceptional attorneys and support staff. We hold leadership roles in industry organizations including DRI (formerly known as the Defense Research Institute), the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), the Association of Defense & Trial Counsel (ADTA), the Litigation Counsel of America (LCA), the Counsel on Litigation Management (CLM) and numerous other state and federal bar associations. Coughlin Betke LLP holds an AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings.





Representing various professionals including attorneys, architects, engineers, insurance agents/brokers, real estate agents/brokers.


Litigation stemming from all types of personal injury.


Claims stemming from the defective design and manufacture of products and toxic chemical exposure.


Claims stemming from defects on premises against retailers, owners, property managers, security companies and/or employers for violent acts of third parties.


Defense of healthcare providers & employers in professional liability and employment matters, including medical malpractice, credentialing, discrimination, retaliation & general employment litigation.


Insurance defense, bad faith and coverage litigation.


Handling investigations and lawsuits related to property damage and personal injury stemming from fires and explosions.


Claims brought before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination as well as the defense of employment-related suits in state and federal courts.



All aspects of commercial litigation including debtor/creditor rights, contract disputes, internet commerce lawsuits, claims under the “unfair business practices” laws and fraud claims.



Representing insurers, owners, contractors, subcontractors and municipalities in disputes & suits arising out of on-site personal injuries, delay claims, claims for faulty design and construction and claims related to discharge of hazards on-site.



Tel: 617-988-8047

Tel: 617-988-8046

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Tel: 617-988-8040

Tel: 617-988-8018

Tel: 617-988-8039

Tel: 617-988-8050


Tel: 617-988-8043


Tel: 212-653-0380

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Tel: 617-988-8050

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Tel: 617-988-8041

Tel: 617-988-8045

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Tel: 617-936-0933

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Coughlin Betke Attorneys Win Summary Judgment

Coughlin Betke attorneys Andy Ferguson and Matt Lynch recently obtained summary judgment in Massachusetts Superior Court on behalf of a Massachusetts insurance agency. Plaintiff claimed that the insurance agency failed to properly procure general liability insurance for a landlord’s rental property and/or failed to advise the landlord that by allowing his personal homeowner’s insurance to expire, he no longer had general liability insurance covering the rental property. Plaintiff, a tenant at the rental property, was then injured when she fell down a set of stairs. Because the landlord did not have insurance for the rental premises, the landlord agreed with Plaintiff to an entry of judgment and assigned his purported claims against his insurance agency to Plaintiff.


In her lawsuit, Plaintiff asserted claims of (1) negligence, (2) breach of contract, and (3) negligent representation against the insurance agency. Through discovery, Coughlin Betke established that (1) the insurance agency properly informed the landlord of the effect of allowing his personal homeowner’s insurance to expire; (2) no special circumstances existed between the insurance agency and landlord, meaning the agency did not have an ongoing duty to ensure the landlord’s rental property was covered; (3) the insurance agency satisfied every duty owed to the landlord; and (4) the insurance agency neither breached any alleged contract nor made any misrepresentation of material fact. Coughlin Betke also established that Plaintiff had not proffered the required expert testimony to support her claims.   As a result, the court entered summary judgment in favor of the insurance agency and dismissed all of Plaintiff’s claims as a matter of law.

If you have any questions or issues concerning insurance agencies and the requisite standard of care owed to customers, please contact Andy Ferguson.

Emily Coughlin Elected President of DRI -

The Nation's Largest Organization of

Lawyers Representing Business

October, 2020

Congratulations to Emily Coughlin for being elected President of DRI at this year's first Virtual Annual Meeting. With nearly 20,000 members, DRI is the nation's largest organization of lawyers representing business. Describing her vision for a renewed DRI in her opening remarks, Emily stated that the future will be based on three pillars: Commitment, Clients, & Community.  First is a commitment to shaping, not just responding to public policy.  Second is a visible and lasting responsibility to enrich the relationships between lawyers and their clients so that we can better respond to our Clients' needs. And the third pillar is to expand on DRI's immense interconnected community of diverse individuals all working to do their best for their clients, companies, firms, themselves, and their families. In addition to the informative and  extremely well attended CLE programming with nearly 2000 attendees at this year's annual meeting, Emily made our firm proud with her interviews of political strategists, Paul Begala and Michael Murphy, and her fireside chat with the 37th United States Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Congratulations, Emily, and best of luck this year!


Emily Coughlin receives Mary Massaron Award at the Women In Law Seminar Awards

February, 2020

DRI-The Voice of the Defense Bar gave Emily G. Coughlin its Mary Massaron Award for the Advancement of Women in the Legal Profession for the 2019-2020 year. Attorney Coughlin will serve as President of DRI for the year 2020. This award is bestowed annually upon four innovators and role modes who have made significant efforts to advance women in the legal profession. The award is recognizes a DRI member or members who have demonstrated a high regard for diversity and commitment to advocating the inclusion and promotion of women, as well as fostering women's initiatives and actively promoting positive mentoring relationships with other women in the legal profession. Attorney Coughlin was presented with the award at the Women in Law Seminar Awards Luncheon on January 23 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Chris had the honor of speaking to defense lawyers from across the country on the importance of diversity in our law firms at this year's DRI Annual Meeting in San Francisco. Fast Company recently reported that while the diversity of law school students is steadily rising to nearly 30%, law firms are slow to catch up. Large firms boast no more than 15% diverse lawyers and small law firms even less. Chris spoke about Coughlin Betke's commitment to diversity and the strategy it has employed to attract a high performing diverse team of lawyers. 


Coughlin Betke is proud to congratulate Andrew on his recent election as President of the Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association. The MassDLA is a voluntary association of trial lawyers who defend corporations, 

individuals and insurance companies in civil lawsuits. The purpose of the MassDLA is to improve the administration of justice, legal education, and professional standards and to promote collegiality and civility among all members of the bar. Congratulations Andrew! 

Emily Coughlin Speaks at Annual Meeting 
Of Canadian Defense Lawyers

Toronto, Ontario - 

Emily was honored to speak on the art of jury trials at this year's Canadian Defence Lawyers' Annual Meeting held at King's One in Toronto, Canada. Canadian defense lawyers from all over Canada attended this year's meeting. Emily's talk was entitled Entering the Lions Den: Navigating the Jury Trial.

Emily Coughlin Is Named Massachusetts Defense Lawyer of The Year

Coughlin Betke proudly congratulates Emily on being named the 2017 Massachusetts Defense Lawyer of the year. The award was given by the Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association at its Annual Meeting held at Boston's Intercontinental Hotel. Congratulations Emily!



Main Office

175 Federal Street

Boston, MA 02110

Tel:  617-988-8050

Fax: 617-988-8005

Click Here to Find Us


100 Pearl Street

14th Floor

Hartford, CT 06103

Tel: 860-249-7020

New Hampshire

20 Trafalgar Square

Nashua, NH 03063

Tel: 603-589-4025

New York
Rhode Island

10 Dorrance Street

Providence, RI 02903

Tel:  401-519-3637

For any general inquiries, please fill in the following contact form:

1330 Avenue of the Americas 

Suite 23A

New York, NY 10019

Tel:  212-653-0380

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