Tony Dragga focuses his practice on business litigation and employment law. He has significant experience in the higher education, healthcare, construction and nonprofit sectors, providing counsel and, when claims and disputes arise, representation of clients in the state and federal courts of Massachusetts and before administrative agencies. Tony’s clients often include nonprofit organizations, healthcare providers, small businesses, utility companies and various other entities of all sizes.
Colleges and universities turn to Tony for help with student discipline claims, demand letters and other contentious disputes. In addition, he represents higher education and other clients in employment-related matters that include advising on policies and agreements, drafting of handbooks and the handling of discrimination, wrongful termination, non-competition and contract disputes. His experience extends to a variety of complex business matters including breach of contract and G.L. 93A disputes. “I’ve also been involved in litigation for public utilities as well as in a contractual breach affecting a high-profile construction project.”
Clients value Tony’s listening skills, patience and analytical abilities. “I love to tackle big problems,” he adds, “and my teaching background is an advantage.”
Tony’s interest in higher education and experience with issues impacting educational institutions predate his legal career. He was a teacher and administrator at the Nativity Preparatory School of New Bedford, Massachusetts. He also earned a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education.
During law school, Tony clerked for the General Counsel’s office at Northeastern University. Tony also clerked for Bowditch in 2013 and joined the firm full-time in fall 2014.
Tony’s a former high school athlete who lettered in swimming. “Nowadays, I like to run. Otherwise, I follow the Orioles and play along with Jeopardy! in my spare time.”
- Board of Directors, St. Camillus Health Center
- Member, Worcester County Bar Association
- Member, Leadership Worcester Class of 2016
Articles + Talks
Tony frequently writes on employment and higher education issues and regularly contributes to the firm’s blog and monthly newsletter about legal issues affecting colleges and universities, Campus Counsel. He recently co-authored an article published in the New England Journal of Higher Education discussing on-campus and online student free speech challenges for institutions of higher education and presented on the topic for the firm’s College & University Roundtable Series. In an article published in Boston Business Journal, Tony investigated workplace drug policies in light of the changing legal landscape and growing social acceptance of medicinal and recreational marijuana use.
- United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
- J.D., Boston College Law School
- M.A. Higher Education Administration, Boston College
- B.A., Boston College
Summary Judgment victory in a difficult contractual claim
When another party failed to build key, agreed-to components of a major construction project, the principal developer turned to Tony and the firm for help. With tens of millions of dollars at stake, our client obtained Summary Judgment on damages, which Tony drafted, thereby avoiding a trial. “There wasn’t much case law to rely upon for the Summary Judgment argument,” Tony noted, “which called for creative legal reasoning, and a certain amount of common sense, to persuade the court.”
Resolving a favorable withdrawal from a professional healthcare services partnership
A member of a health care practice wasn’t getting along with the other two members of their LLC, based on money and personality issues. “We filed a pre-emptive suit to stop her partners from forcing her out,” Tony explained. “That allowed time for us to negotiate a settlement favorable to our client, which included withdrawing from the LLC, resolving compensation issues and coming to an agreement on non-compete terms.”
- Position statements for filing with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in employment discrimination and retaliation claims.
- Electricity and gas company as plaintiff in negligence actions.
- Civil engineering firm in its dispute with a local municipality over unpaid bills for services rendered.
- Responses to demand letters sent to employers alleging breach of contract, unlawful termination and tort-based claims.
- Counseled a national employer in the healthcare sector regarding wage and hour and other legal requirements pertaining to working conditions in 32 states, including meal breaks.
- Employee Loan Agreements for a major Massachusetts employer.
- Written Information Security Program Policy (WISP) for a college.
- Assisted with the strategic and preemptive preparation of a complaint and request for injunctive relief to be filed in state court. Tony’s client was a college challenging a proposed Department of Elementary and Secondary Education administrative decision that would have negatively impacted the accreditation status of the institution’s professional certification programs.