As a litigator and trial lawyer, Scott A. Roberts has been trying and resolving complex employment and business disputes for over thirty years.
Scott regularly represents colleges and universities, and he has successfully defended institutional clients in jury trials, administrative actions, and arbitrations in cases involving high-profile allegations of sexual misconduct, claims of discrimination (based on age, gender, race, national origin, and disability), disputes about tenure and promotion, and claims by students challenging internal disciplinary proceedings. Drawing upon his experience as trial lawyer, Scott has also served as independent fact finder and hearing officer in multiple cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct in violation of Title IX, claims of sexual harassment, and claims of alleged disability discrimination. Nationally and locally, Scott has presented seminars on critical issues facing institutions of higher education, including effective methods for preventing and investigating claims of sexual misconduct, cyber-bullying, and compliance with Title IX, state and federal anti- discrimination laws, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act.
Scott also represents corporate clients, from start-ups to publicly traded companies, in a wide variety of litigation matters. Scott has handled multiple cases concerning the protection of corporate confidential information and trade secrets, often involving the enforcement of non-competition and non-solicitation agreements. These cases often require that clients immediately obtain or defend against motions for temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions, and Scott is skilled at quickly and persuasively marshaling the facts and arguments needed to address those motions on a fast-track basis.
Having litigated an array of discrimination cases, shareholder disputes, and commission and wage claims, Scott has extensive know-how on a wide range of employment matters. He also helps his clients avoid employment disputes through tailored training and counseling designed to enhance supervisory relationships and improve documentation of performance issues, which often becomes critical evidence if litigation. Scott has also multiple negotiated executive-level employment agreements and compensation packages.
Scott has served as lead counsel in cases in Massachusetts, New York, California, Pennsylvania, Florida, Virginia, and Idaho. He has also successfully argued cases before the Massachusetts Appeals Court, the First Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
Scott is the co-managing partner of Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP.
- Massachusetts, 1987
- U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
- Northeastern University School of Law, J.D., 1987
- Tufts University, B.A., summa cum laude, 1983
Prior to forming Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP, Scott was a litigation partner at Sullivan Weinstein & McQuay, P.C. and Hale and Dorr (now WilmerHale).
Publications & Appearances
- Contributing Author, “Employee Privacy: Massachusetts,” XpertHR,” a web-based employment compliance service (for a summary of this article please click here)
- Quoted, “New Federal Policy on Sex Harassment Spurs Concern,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (for a full copy of this article, click here)
- Quoted, “Mid-Sized Firms Attracting Big Firm Talent,” MBA Lawyers Journal (for a full copy of this article, click here)
- Quoted, “Non-Compete is Enforceable,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (for a full copy of this article, click here)
Selected Presentations and Educational Workshops
- Chair, “Emerging Issues in Title IX Compliance, Investigations, and Litigation,” MCLE New England, June 2021
- Lecturer, “Fundamentals of Cross Examination,” Student Conduct Institute of the State University of New York, August 2020
- Lecturer, “Legal Principles and Developments in Title IX Litigation,” Series of Educational Modules for Tulane Law School, August 2020
- Chair, “Emerging Issues in Title IX Compliance, Investigations, and Litigation,” MCLE New England, June 2020-2021
- Presenter, “20/20 (2020) Vision: Viewing the Trends and Future of Faculty Employment,” NACUA Spring 2020 CLE Webinar Series
- Presenter, “Navigating the Challenging Intersection Between Mental Health and Student Discipline,” Boston Bar Association, November 2019
- Presenter, “9 on IX,” SUNY Spectrum Conference, 2019-2020
- Presenter, “Down the Rabbit Hole, Entering the World of Student Mental Health and Threat Assessment,” NACUA Annual Conference, June 2019
- Faculty for the Employment Law Symposium, MCLE New England, May 2019
- Presenter, “Changing Employment Law Currents: Examining This Administration’s Impacts,” ALI CLE (National Webinar), December 2018
- Presenter, “Accountability & Reconciliation in the #MeToo Era,” Massachusetts Bar Association, October 2018
- Panelist, “The Intersection of Title IX and the Student Conduct Process,” NACUA, June 2018
- Panelist, “Survive and Thrive in a Law Firm Setting,” Northeastern University School of Law, 2016-2019
- Speaker on Student Conduct in Higher Ed, ASCA Viewpoints Podcast, May 2018
- Presenter, “Updates on Critical Developments in Employment Law (#MeToo Movement, Investigation of Harassment Complaints, Pay Equity, and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act),” Legal Issues in Museum Administration Conference, May 2018
- Speaker, “Sexual Assault on Campus,” Boston Bar Association Higher Education Conference, March 2017
- Presenter, “Respondent Litigation in Sexual Misconduct Matters,” NACUA Webinar, December 2016
- Presenter, “Title IX Practical Tips,” Boston Bar Association Seminar, October 2016
- Presenter, “OCR Title IX Resolution Agreements that can Improve Your Institution’s Procedures,” NACUA, June 2016
- Presenter, “Campus Sexual Assault Title IX Webcast,” MCLE New England Seminar, June 2016
- Presenter, “Nobody Likes Me, Everybody Hates Me, But At Least I’ll Win Court. What Recent Title IX Lawsuits Teach Us About Avoiding and Litigating Claims,” NACUA Sexual Misconduct Conference, 2016
- Presenter, “Feeding the Beast: Managing Communications in Crisis,” NACUA Sexual Misconduct Conference, 2016
- Presenter, “Title IX from the Trenches: Practical Tips for Advising Stakeholders,” Boston Bar Association, 2016
- Presenter, “Title IX Updates,” AICUM Fall Symposium, October 2015
- Presenter, “Confronting Campus Sexual Assault: An Examination of Higher Education Claims,” webinar for United Educators, 2015
- Guest Lecturer, Practical Skills Workshop, Harvard Law School, 2014-2015
- Presenter, “Consent, Credibility, and Confidentiality: Tackling Challenging Issues in Title IX Investigations,” NACUA Annual Conference, 2014
- Presenter, “Title IX in the Employment Content,” NACUA April CLE Workshop, 2014
- Presenter, “Don’t Leave Me Now: Integrated Leave Management under the ADA, FMLA, and Worker’s Compensation Laws,” NACUA Annual Conference, 2013
- Presenter, “Dealing with Sexual Assault Allegations under Title IX,” webinar for Inside Higher Ed, 2012
- Presenter, “The 75-Minute Employment Lawyer: A Primer for Higher Education Lawyers,” NACUA Annual Conference, 2012
- Presenter, “Transgender Equal Rights and Gender Identity Issues: What Colleges and Universities Need to Know,” Boston Bar Association College & University Section, 2012
- Presenter, “The New Face – and Facebook – of Labor on Campus,” AICUM, 2011
- Guest Lecturer, Winter Trial Advocacy Workshop Harvard Law School, 2008-2009
- Seminar Panelist, “Advanced Deposition Skills,” (MCLE), 2007- 2014
- Seminar Chairman, “Handling Experts,” (MCLE), 2007 and 2008
- Guest Lecturer, “Confidentiality and Non-Competition Agreements,” Boston University School of Law, 2002-2012
- Guest Lecturer, “Rights of Employers against Employees; Confidentiality and Non-Competition Agreements,” Boston University School of Law, 2002 -2012
- Seminar Chairman, “Civil Deposition Practice: Winning Before Trial,” (MCLE), 1999-2005
- Presenter, “Becoming Fearless about FERPA,” various colleges
- Presenter, “Exercises in Student Accommodations,” various colleges
Discrimination and Employment Litigation
- Won a jury verdict in favor of major college on claims of violation of Title IX and breach of contract by expelled student.
- Won jury verdict in favor of major university on claim of retaliation by tenured professor.
- Won jury verdict in favor of major university on claim of gender discrimination by terminated coach.
- After a public hearing at the MCAD, won ruling in favor of university on claim of race discrimination by tenured professor based upon alleged pay disparity.
- After a public hearing at the MCAD, won ruling in favor of university on claims by former employee alleging failure to accommodate psychiatric disability.
- Successfully defended university and its officials against claims of defamation and interference with contract filed by lecturer who was discharged following sexual harassment investigation; obtained dismissal of all claims.
- Successfully defended college against defamation claims by lecturer fired for making offensive and derogatory comments about victims of Virginia Tech massacre; obtained dismissal of all claims.
- Defended teaching hospital and physicians against terminated resident’s claims of discrimination based on gender and national origin; obtained dismissal of all claims.
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of investment company on claims by discharged sales representative seeking future incentive compensation and commissions; affirmed on appeal, as reported in York v. Zurich Scudder Investments, Inc., 66 Mass. App. Ct. 610 (2006).
- Defended software manufacturer against claims by former sales rep seeking millions of dollars in damages based upon alleged failure to accelerate vesting of stock options upon termination; settled case for a small fraction of the plaintiff’s demand at a court-sponsored mediation.
- Defended investment company against discharged employee’s claim that he had been wrongfully terminated after having brain surgery; secured dismissal of nearly all of plaintiff’s claims (including claims for violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act). Settled favorably on the eve of trial.
Business and Complex Litigation
- Obtained dismissal of federal securities fraud claims against the president, vice president of finance, and board of trustees of college arising out of an $18 million bond offering; affirmed on appeal as reported in ACA Financial Guaranty Corporation v. Advest, Inc., 512 F.3d 46 (1st Cir. 2008).
- Secured a multi-million dollar settlement for health maintenance organization that had been sold counterfeit certificates of deposit by a securities dealer.
- Obtained favorable defense summary judgment in massive lawsuit by taxpayer alleging claims for malicious prosecution and civil rights violations against criminal investigator of the Department of Revenue; decision affirmed on appeal and double costs awarded against opposing party, as reported in Porter v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 69 Mass. App. Ct. 1112 (2007).
- Secured a multi-million dollar settlement for shareholder and former employee of close corporation on claims for security fraud and breach of fiduciary duty arising out of company’s undisclosed plans for an IPO.
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of software manufacturer in multi-million dollar equipment leasing dispute; judgment affirmed on appeal as reported in Commonwealth Capital Corp. v. Getronics, Inc., 147 Fed. Appx. 253 (3rd Cir. 2005).
- Defended British corporation against RICO and civil rights claims arising out of failed development project in the Dominican Republic; obtained dismissal of all claims and an award of sanctions and costs against plaintiffs and their counsel.
- Successfully secured liability insurance coverage for directors and officers of bankrupt corporation, after carrier had spent years refusing coverage.
- Obtained order from federal appeals court directing district court to enforce arbitral award, as reported in Wonderland Greyhound Park, Inc. v. Autotote Systems, Inc., 274 F. 3d 34 (1st Cir. 2001).
Noncompetition Litigation and Technology Litigation
- Defended software manufacturer against a multi-million dollar claim by value-added reseller and pursued counterclaims for copyright infringement. Obtained a first-impression ruling that manufacturer’s “click license” was enforceable, which restricted damages to the purchase price of the software, as reported in i.LAN Systems, Inc. v. Netscout Service Level Corp., 183 F.Supp. 328 (D. Mass 2002). Successfully resolved matter after several days of jury trial.
- Represented software manufacture on claims for copyright infringement against a computer maintenance provider that had been copying a proprietary operating system; obtained a permanent injunction barring defendant’s unlicensed use and copying of client’s software.
- Successfully defended provider of specialty automated controls and software systems against claims for infringement of robotics software; obtained agreement for judgment in favor of client.
- Defended leading CAD/CAM manufacturer against $25 million claim for copyright infringement asserted by former software licensor; obtained ruling denying plaintiff’s request for a preliminary injunction and favorably resolved matter after mediation.
- Successfully pursued “cease & desist” action against two ex-employees of advertising systems provider who had misappropriated the company’s source code and threatened to post it on the Internet.
- On behalf of computer consulting firm, successfully enforced non-competition restrictions against former owner and departed employees, who had secretly created a competitive business while still employed by the consulting firm.
- Defended three engineers against former employer’s claims for violation of non-competition agreements; defeated preliminary injunction motion seeking to prevent them from working at a startup company that was developing cutting-edge Voice over Internet Protocol technology.