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Holly M. Polglase



Holly M. Polglase

Holly M. Polglase


Regional experience

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Profile & Experience

Regional experience
Full Profile

Holly Polglase serves as lead counsel for clients in the defense and trial of complex product liability, pharmaceutical, medical device, toxic tort, asbestos, general liability and commercial law matters. She advises major national and multinational companies, representing product manufacturers, sellers and other businesses following catastrophic losses.

Known for her deep experience and ability to resolve all kinds of liability allegations, Holly represents designers, distributors, retailers and the companies that service products. Her clients hire her to handle complex cases involving cars and trucks, tires, car seats, bicycles, farm and heavy equipment, industrial, food and manufacturing processing equipment, material handling equipment, hand and power tools, lawn and garden products, safety equipment, ladders, step stools, HVAC systems, tools, appliances and other consumer products. She also represents clients in connection with drug and medical device cases.

Holly’s experiences give her a broad background in fire cause and origin, accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, industrial hygiene, chemicals, electrical systems, mechanical systems, manufacturing processes, materials science and medicine as well as the experts who work in these fields. Her diverse practice also includes other business and general liability disputes. Holly’s unmistakable skill and visibility in her field leads to frequent invitations to speak on issues related to her civil litigation practice. She is also a prolific author, writing for numerous publications on a range of topics.  


  • Massachusetts
  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • Connecticut
  • Rhode Island
  • US Courts of Appeals for the First and Second Circuits
  • US Supreme Court


  • J.D., cum laude, Suffolk University Law, 1988
  • B.A., cum laude, Assumption College, 1985


  • Massachusetts Bar Association
    • Civil Litigation Section, Chair (2014 - 2015)
    • Litigation Section, Council (2010 – 2014)
    • Massachusetts Joint Bar Committee on Judicial Nominations (2007 – 2009)
    • Massachusetts Bar Foundation, Life Fellow
  • American Bar Association
    • Tort and Trial Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) Chair (2017 – 2018)
    • Tort and Trial Insurance Practice Section Council, Chair (2009 – present)
      • CLE Board, Chair 2006-2008
      • Task Force on Leadership Diversity Initiative, Member, (2010 – 2011)
      • Standing Committee on Strategic Alliances, Chair (2009 – 2010)
      • Products, General Liability and Consumer Law Committee, Chair (2000 – 2001)
      • Products, General Liability and Consumer Law Committee, Vice Chair (1990’s - present)
      • Finance Special Standing Committee, Past Member
      • Women and Minority Involvement Committee, Past Member
      • TIPS Fellow
    • Litigation Section
    • Bulgarian Consumer Protection Project, ABA Central and East European Law Initiative (1992)
    • ABA Standing Committee on Continuing Legal Education (2007 – 2009)
    • ABA House of Delegates, Member (2012 – 2015, 2019 - Present)
  • Defense Research Institute
    • Product Liability Committee, Hand and Power Tool Sub-Litigation Group, Co-Chair (1998 – 2007)
  • Federal Bar Association
    • Massachusetts Chapter, President (2004 – 2005)
    • Executive Committee, Past Member
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association
    • President (2010 – 2011)
    • Board of Directors, Past Member
  • Product Liability Advisory Council
    • Sustaining Member
  • Attained preliminary injunction on behalf of medical device manufacturer against former employee involving the enforcement of a non-solicitation clause in contract; affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
  • Obtained voluntary dismissal of case seeking damages for alleged design defect in riding toy.
  • Defense verdict in unwanted acceleration case tried in New Hampshire Superior Court where plaintiff was seeking significant damages for traumatic brain injury.
  • Obtained summary judgment for child restraint manufacturer in product liability case.
  • Directed verdict for automobile manufacturer in Barnstable, Massachusetts for claim of defective airbag.
  • Obtained Dismissal during trial in USD 2,000,000 breach of warranty claim.
  • Second Circuit affirmed dismissal of claims against medical device manufacturer.
  • Attained favorable settlement for automobile manufacturer during trial for claims that automotive friction products were the cause of plaintiff’s mesothelioma.
  • Summary Judgment obtained for manufacturer of loader/backhoe on the ground that expert testimony was insufficient to prove causation.
  • Defense verdict for power tool manufacturer in case where plaintiff faulted circular saw because it did not contain an electric brake.
  • Defense verdict for manufacturer of vending machine which plaintiff claimed was unstable and toppled over on his leg.
  • Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed summary judgment for automotive manufacturer in crashworthiness case.
  • Procured summary judgment for automobile manufacturer in asbestos case.
  • Second Circuit reversed dismissal of copyright claim in case related to custom home designs.
  • Counseled large automobile industry corporations in connection with product liability matters including asbestos, allegations of product failure and design defects matters.
  • Represented manufacturer in connection with allegations of product failures related to misuse.
  • Represented technology company in connection with the dismissal of a USD 2 million breach of warranty claim.


  • Co-presenter, “Trial Masters - Use of Storytelling At Trial and Expecting the Unexpected,” ABA TIPS Section Conference, Hollywood, California, May 2024
  • Co-presenter, “US Litigation School: Social Inflation & Nuclear Verdicts,” Webinar, January 2024
  • Co-presenter, “Rising to the top,” Massachusetts Bar Leadership Academy, Webinar, January 2024


  • “Product Liability: Creating Useful Exhibits at Depositions,” Primerus Network Newsletter, November 2020
  • “The “Goldilocks Zone” for Biomechanical Opinions,” Defense Research Institute, November 2019


  • Commercial Disputes