J. Nathan Cole

Nathan Cole is a Director at Kenney & Sams. He is an experienced trial lawyer who represents businesses and individuals before the Massachusetts Superior Court, Massachusetts Appeals Court, the U.S. District Court, numerous private mediators and arbitrators. He represents small businesses and regional companies, as well as major national corporations needing local counsel. His clients are a diverse range of individuals and businesses involved in construction, manufacturing, insurance, food services, retail, waste management and hazardous materials cleanup, and commercial landscaping, maintenance and snow removal.

Nathan has deep experience with construction litigation, representing general contractors, scaffolding manufacturers, subcontractors, building owners, property managers, snow plow companies, and others in contract disputes, jobsite defect cases, premises liability, product liability, and insurance coverage disputes.

He uses this experience to guide businesses in all phases of risk management and planning, including construction and business contract negotiations, indemnification agreements, and employee hiring and termination considerations.

Nathan started his career as an Attorney-Advisor in the Ethics Division of the United States Department of Commerce’s Office of General Counsel in Washington, D.C. He left the Department of Commerce to serve as a law clerk to the Justices of the Massachusetts Superior Court before entering private practice.

Nathan is rated AV preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell and has been named to the Massachusetts Super Lawyers list since 2013. Each year, no more than five percent of lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. He was selected for membership in the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) and is a 2015 graduate of the IADC Trial Academy—a premier defense trial advocacy training program associated with Stanford University Law School.

Nathan has been a trial tactics instructor for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and has presented and demonstrated on the cross examination of expert witnesses for Exponent and other expert witness providers. In 2019, Nathan presented on general contractors’ non-delegable duty for jobsite safety at the Annual Meeting of the International Association of Defense Counsel in Asheville, NC.

Representative Experience

  • Nathan convinced a Massachusetts Superior Court to dissolve a General Laws c. 254 mechanic’s lien on the basis that it had been improperly recorded and violated the highly technical Statute. The decision was significant and was the featured cover story for the June 25, 2018 Massachusetts Lawyer Weekly. Nathan argued that where the home improvement contract upon which the contractor had recorded its lien did not match the subject contract in the litigation, down to the exact dollar amount, it must be dissolved in favor of the homeowner.
  • Nathan recently won a jury trial in Middlesex Superior Court on behalf of his client, a snowplow and landscaping company. The plaintiff claimed that she sustained a serious injury when she slipped on less than 0.5” of snow during an active blizzard at a Market Basket parking lot. Nathan argued that the snow removal company, which was using six trucks to plow the parking at the moment she fell, had been reasonable in removing the snow and not strictly liable simply because the plaintiff claimed she has slipped on snow or ice. After a three-day trial, the jury returned a verdict for Nathan’s client less than one hour after he finished his closing.
  • Nathan recently negotiated a contract on behalf of his client, Polkadog Bakery, a Boston-based pet supply manufacturer, to supply goods to the charitable foundation of one of Bravo TV’s “Real Housewives.” In exchange for his client providing monthly donations of locally made pet treats to the celebrity’s Los Angeles-based charity, the celebrity agreed to monthly mentions of Polkadog’s Facebook, Twitter, and website address, reaching millions of the celebrity’s social media followers.
  • Nathan obtained summary judgement on behalf of a Massachusetts-based hazardous waste cleanup contractor. He argued that the “limitation of liability waiver” clause in the contract with the property owner blocked the property owner from bringing a claim for personal injuries and property damage, and helped his client obtain a victory without the expense and uncertainty of trial.
  • Nathan also uses his experience working for insurance companies on the defense side to obtain efficient results for individuals who are injured on jobsites, in car accidents, and in premises liability cases. Some of his recent victories include a $275,000 settlement for a client who suffered a broken wrist when she caught her foot in the crack of a parking lot and fell. Although his client was never deposed, and no lawsuit was filed, Nathan advocated on behalf of the client and convinced the commercial property owner’s insurance carrier to make a sizeable offer that his client accepted.

Professional Associations

  • Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association (Member, Board of Directors)
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (Construction Law/Litigation and Professional Liability Committees)
  • Massachusetts Bar Association (Judicial Administration Committee)

Publications

Contact

Practice Areas

  • Business Litigation

  • Personal Injury

  • Construction and Real Estate Litigation

  • Contract Law

  • Professional Liability

  • Employment Law

Admissions

  • Massachusetts, 2004

  • United States District Court, 2006

Education

  • Boston College Law School, J.D., 2003

  • Bates College, B.A., 1997