Don M Kennedy

Don M. Kennedy

Retired Partner
Don M. Kennedy

Don Kennedy, retired partner in the firm’s Litigation Department, concentrates his practice in complex business litigation, intellectual property litigation and product liability litigation. He has extensive courtroom experience, including trials of antitrust, patent, merger and acquisition, product liability, unfair competition and breach of fiduciary duty cases. Mr. Kennedy is a past chair of the Litigation Department and member of the firm’s Executive Committee.


Mr. Kennedy handles a broad range of business litigation. This has included representation of a major Boston bank in securities fraud litigation against a prominent investment banking firm; defense of consumer finance securities class actions; representation of closely held companies and their management in litigation over corporate control; and antitrust litigation in the healthcare industry. He has litigated many non-competition and trade secret cases on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants.

Mr. Kennedy’s recent trials have included a four week jury trial defending individuals and a firm accused of breach of non-compete agreements, unfair trade practices and misappropriation of trade secrets; a three week bench trial concerning breach of fiduciary duty and control over a privately held corporation; a five week jury trial in Rhode Island of antitrust claims for conspiracy in restraint of trade in the healthcare industry; and representation of a corporate fiduciary in a two week bench trial in California of breach of fiduciary duty claims concerning management of a trust. Mr. Kennedy frequently tries cases in arbitrations and handles other forms of alternative dispute proceedings.

Mr. Kennedy has defended class action claims in the federal and state courts alleging securities fraud, consumer credit claims, antitrust claims, toxic torts and employment claims. He has represented target companies in SEC, U.S. Attorney and other government enforcement proceedings, and has acted as special counsel to public companies and special litigation committees to investigate claims of mismanagement. Mr. Kennedy frequently provides advice to companies and shareholders concerning issues of corporate governance and control.

Representative clients in business litigation include Boston Safe Deposit & Trust Company, Compaq Computer Corporation, GE Capital Mortgage Services, Inc., General Mills, Inc., Harvard University, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Polaroid Corporation, Union Carbide Corporation and United States Trust Company.

In the intellectual property area, Mr. Kennedy has represented in patent litigation a major generic pharmaceutical company, a manufacturer of fiber optics products and a manufacturer of computer software that provides remote access to personal computers. Clients represented include Teva Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Optium Corporation and Citrix Corporation.

In the product liability field, Mr. Kennedy has represented manufacturers of prescription drugs, medical devices, asbestos products, chemicals and industrial equipment. He has litigated individual injury cases, mass torts, class actions and claims including novel theories of recovery. Mr. Kennedy represented a major pharmaceutical company in extensive DES litigation, and in claims involving barbiturates, anticoagulants and antibiotics. He also represented a manufacturer of asbestos products in several thousand personal injury suits based on asbestos exposure. In addition, Mr. Kennedy served as regional counsel to a manufacturer of spinal implant devices. Other clients have included a manufacturer of blood glucose monitors, a manufacturer of medical devices for cataract surgery, and manufacturers of chemicals and equipment used in industrial processes. He has also provided product liability prevention advice and counseling to manufacturers and service providers. In products liability litigation, the clients he has represented include Eli Lilly and Company, Union Carbide Corporation, Alcon Laboratories, Inc. and Sofamor Danek, Inc.

Professional Activities

Mr. Kennedy is a member of the Boston and American Bar Associations and the Defense Research Institute. He has been a member of the Steering Committee of the Drug and Medical Device Section of the Defense Research Institute, and a member of the Steering Committee of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the Boston Bar Association.

Professional Experience

Upon law school graduation, Mr. Kennedy served as law clerk to the Chief Judge of the Federal Court in Boston. He joined Goodwin in 1971 and became a partner in 1978.




Harvard Law School

(cum laude)


The College of Wooster

(Phi Beta Kappa)


U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Honorable Anthony Julian



  • Massachusetts


  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit


Mr. Kennedy has written and lectured frequently on the subjects of securities litigation, products liability and alternative dispute resolution. He is co-author of a treatise on product liability litigation, Heafey & Kennedy, Product Liability: Winning Strategies and Techniques (Law Journal Press, 1994, 2003). His articles include “Risk Management For Drug And Medical Device Product Liability,” “Product Liability Implications in Labeling and Promoting Prescription Drugs and Devices,” “Product Liability Issues for Biotechnology Manufacturers,” “Minimizing the Risk of Liability in Unwarranted Securities Fraud Litigation” and “Securities Issues Facing Biotechnology Companies.”