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Derek M. Gillis


Healthcare. Real Estate. Insurance coverage. Complex industries require detailed analyses and efficient strategies. Derek litigates in these industries and advises clients engaged in wide-ranging business disputes. From Fortune 500 companies to small businesses to individuals, Derek achieves favorable results in the state and federal courts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island and negotiates cost-saving resolutions for clients.

Derek also maintains an appellate practice in all subject matters. Drawing on his appellate court experience, Derek tailors his appellate advocacy for the fresh perspective and exacting standards of appellate courts. In addition to representing parties on appeal, Derek’s appellate practice includes the drafting of amicus briefs on behalf of industry and professional groups that may be affected by high stakes decisions in the highest courts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.


  • Suffolk University Law School (J.D., magna cum laude) Lead Articles Editor, Journal of Health & Biomedical Law
  • Providence College (B.S. in Management, cum laude) Tau Pi Phi – National Honor Society in Business Administration
  • Boston Latin School

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • U.S. District Court, Rhode Island
  • U.S. District Court, Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • Persuaded Rhode Island Supreme Court to vacate a Superior Court order granting a motion for new trial and to reinstate the jury verdict in favor of client physician in wrongful death case.
  • Successfully opposed summary judgment motion on behalf of clinical laboratory, obtaining a ruling that a technology company may be liable on cross-claims as successor-in-interest under an asset purchase agreement and under the de facto merger doctrine.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of real estate appraiser and ruling of first impression in Rhode Island that a mortgage lender’s appraiser owes no duty to residential purchasers.
  • Successfully briefed appeal of dismissal of fraud claims based upon the litigation privilege, obtaining affirmance of dismissal in favor of client finance professional by Massachusetts Appeals Court.
  • Obtained preliminary injunction on behalf of first-floor condominium unit owner, prohibiting second-floor unit owner from trespassing over the first floor’s deck.
  • Obtained bifurcation of trial on third-party claims against clinical laboratory.
  • Filed amicus brief in Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of the Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association, advocating for the enforceability of consent-to-settle provisions in insurance contracts. The case established precedent that consent-to-settle provisions do not violate Mass. Gen. Laws chapter 176D.
  • Represented accounting firm during two-week jury trial. Arguments made and preserved during trial established Rhode Island Supreme Court precedent that accounting malpractice requires expert witness testimony on causation.
  • Part of team that obtained preliminary ruling that client did not breach a non-solicitation agreement associated with the sale of his interest in a small business. The Court granted a $2.5 million pre-judgment real estate attachment to the client and denied the preliminary injunction sought by the opposing parties.
  • Secured pre-judgment attachments on opposing party’s assets in a commercial lease dispute.
  • Assisted in obtaining ruling in favor of enforceability of nursing home’s arbitration agreement against decedent’s heirs in wrongful death action.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of client contractor sued in connection with fire-damaged condominium.
  • Obtained dismissal of malpractice claims against doctor in case presenting open question of statutory interpretation.
  • “Rawan v. Continental Casualty Company and the Future of Consent to Settle Litigation,” Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association Newsletter (May 2020)
  • “Pharmaceutical Manufacturer Liability – Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Cannot Use Pass-on Defense in Antitrust Suits Brought by Pharmacies,” Journal of Health & Biomedical Law 373 (2011)
  • Law clerk to the Honorable Maureen McKenna Goldberg of the Rhode Island Supreme Court (2013-14 term)
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Michael A. Silverstein of the Rhode Island Superior Court Business Calendar (2012-13 term)
  • Judicial Intern to the Honorable Mitchell J. Sikora, Jr. of the Massachusetts Appeals Court (Spring 2011)
  • Alumni Committee Member, Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund
  • Member, Rhode Island Bar Association, Supreme Court Bench/Bar Committee
  • Member, Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Claims and Litigation Management Alliance