Of Counsel

Lynette Paczkowski

Of Counsel

Overview

Lynette Paczkowski is a pragmatic and trusted advisor with extensive experience advocating for her clients at trial and appellate courts across Massachusetts. Clients rely on her to protect their interests during stressful, challenging times. Lynette’s empathy for her clients’ situations allows her to understand their priorities and concerns and develop a strategy around those goals. She routinely guides and helps individuals navigate prenuptial agreements, divorces, child custody issues, and other domestic and familial disputes. She also represents individual and corporate clients from various industries, including construction, utility, professional services, real estate, nonprofit and education, in litigation matters and litigation-avoidance strategies, including in the areas of construction litigation, land use disputes and tort-related claims.

“Clients appreciate my ability to adapt,” Lynette notes, “and to adopt approaches that balance their desired outcomes with other case- or situation-specific considerations.” Additionally, with experience on both sides of the docket, she better understands how the other side thinks and is particularly adept at using that knowledge to assess the strengths and weaknesses of both parties’ positions.

While Lynette frequently finds herself writing Separation Agreements, Stipulations for Judgments and Settlement Agreements, she is not afraid to take a case to trial, and has significant experience utilizing fact and expert witnesses to support her clients’ positions.

Besides work

Lynette takes her recreational softball seriously. “I also enjoy playing golf, though I know better than to take myself seriously on the golf course.” She is also an avid concert- and theater-goer.

Affiliations

Professional/Community

  • Board member, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass & Metrowest (2019 – present)
  • Fellow, Construction Lawyers Society of America (2018 – present)
  • Communications Director, Notre Dame Club of Worcester County (2015 – present)
  • Executive Committee, Worcester County Bar Association (2013 – present)
  • Community Legal Aid Access to Justice Campaign Leadership Committee (2012 – present)
  • Member, Young Professional Women’s Association (2011 – present)
  • Member, Worcester County Bar Association (2005 – present)
  • Worcester Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” award, 2012
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2013-2019

Previous

  • President, Worcester County Bar Association (2018-2019)
  • Communications Committee, National Conference of Bar Presidents (2018 – 2019)
  • Metro Bar Caucus Committee, National Conference of Bar Presidents (2018-2019)
  • President-Elect, Worcester County Bar Association (2017-2018)
  • Associated General Contractors Building Women in Construction Committee (2016 – 2018)
  • Development Committee, The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts (2015-2016)
  • President, Young Professional Women’s Association (2013-2014)
  • Board member, Young Professional Women’s Association (2011-2014)
  • Vice President, Young Professional Women’s Association (2012-2013)
  • Co-Chair, Young Lawyers Division, Worcester County Bar Association (2010-2013)
  • Founding member, Young Professional Women’s Association (2011)

Articles + Talks

Articles

  • “Support Responsibilities in an Age of Campus Suicide,” New England Journal of Higher Education, June 13, 2018
  • Contractors Violate Building Code While Adhering to Client Requests,” Banker & Tradesman, May 2, 2016
  • “The Best Offense Is a Good Defense: How the Washington Redskins Overcame Challenges to their Registered Trademarks,” Bowditch & Dewey, October 23, 2003
  • “Can CAN-SPAM can spam?” Bowditch & Dewey, October 22, 2003
  • Author and co-author of chapters in the Massachusetts Deposition Practice Manual, edited by the Honorable Peter M. Lauriat

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Education

  • J.D., Boston College Law School
  • B.A., magna cum laude, University of Notre Dame
Experience

Vacating findings of abuse by DCF

When DCF was called on one of Lynette’s clients, the timing was suspect: efforts to amicably reach a separation agreement had just fallen apart, and the spouse had filed for divorce. Nevertheless, DCF opened an investigation and issued a finding of abuse relating to an incident that had allegedly occurred some eight years prior. Lynette represented the client at the Fair Hearing, following which DCF reversed its decision. “DCF workers are good people trying to do the right thing, but sometimes the evidence and the facts don’t support their findings.” Lynette was a zealous advocate for her client, pointing out where the findings did not conform with the Department’s regulations and policies.

Winning payment in an arbitration for an architect

Lynette obtained an arbitration award in favor of an architecture firm, which had not been paid in full for work performed on a project. The other side argued that her client had actually been overpaid, claiming that the architect exceeded the authorized scope of work on the project. Lynette successfully demonstrated, primarily through invoices and copies of payments, that the owner knew or should have known the full scope of work being performed and billed, despite not having a signed contract or purchase order for the work in question. “Sometimes it’s not as simple as having a bulletproof contract. Sometimes you have to really dig into the documents and piece together what happened in order to prevail.”

Other experience

Family law and probate litigation

  • Counsels and advises clients regarding division of assets, including whether inherited assets should be treated as marital or separate property
  • Tried issues regarding where her client’s minor children should attend school after the divorcing spouse relocated to a different school district and sought to transfer the children to a school in that district
  • Defended contempt actions brought by former spouse arising out of client’s obligation to remove him from the mortgage on the former marital home
  • Prosecuted contempt action to enforce terms of Separation Agreement
  • Successfully resolved competing complaints for modification involving removal of minor child to another state and resulting effects on child support, parenting time, and related issues
  • Represents clients in modification actions arising out of increases and decreases in salary or earning capacity and employment/unemployment issues

Land use and construction

  • Defends general contractors and subcontractors against contract, warranty and negligence claims
  • Pursues payment and enforcement of mechanic’s liens on behalf of designers, contractors and subcontractors
  • Reviews contracts and provides contractors with risk assessments and advice regarding contract provisions, including termination and indemnity clauses
  • Drafts and revises contracts for contractors and owners
  • Advises property owners with respect to payment claims and seeking damages for incomplete and defective work
  • Successfully resolved negligence, M.G.L. c. 142A, and M.G.L. c. 93A claims on behalf of contractor
  • Represented billboard owners in successful appeal of building inspector’s order to lower the height of the sign, briefing and arguing the case (regarding the applicability and interpretation of the town’s zoning by-laws) through to the Appeals Court
  • Representing lake residents pursuing prescriptive easements in response to property owner’s declaratory judgment/title/trespass action concerning a right-of-way utilized by the residents for walking, running and bicycling around the lake
  • Represented utility company in negligence/wrongful death action after detail officer was struck by a vehicle at the company’s work site
  • Represented utility company in negligence action after worker suffered electrical contact injury during maintenance work on electrical infrastructure at office complex
  • Successfully defended claims in excess of $2 million brought by a designer-builder against the owner of a senior living facility
  • Assisted franchisee in resolving various disputes and bringing construction project through completion
  • Represented private school in abutting property owner’s appeals of Conservation Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals decisions in connection with expansion project
  • Represented utility company in enforcing easement rights against property owners blocking access
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