Anthony J. Sbarra, Jr.
Tony Sbarra is a Shareholder at Hermes, Netburn, O'Connor & Spearing, P.C., where he concentrates his practice in civil litigation with an emphasis on products liability and toxic torts. He defends manufacturers of automobiles, light, medium and heavy trucks, construction equipment, farm/agricultural equipment and other products in products liability cases. He also defends toxic tort actions, particularly those involving asbestos. He has served as lead examining counsel in multiple lay and expert depositions throughout the country and conducted numerous direct and cross-examinations of epidemiologists, industrial hygienists, pathologists, naval historians and practitioners of occupational medicine, among others. He has been a member of asbestos trial teams for major motor vehicle manufacturers in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, and has tried asbestos cases to verdict in New York. His pro bono work involves the representation of attorneys seeking readmission to the Bar.
Tony began his litigation career at a midsized suburban firm where he focused his practice on the preparation and trial of cases involving personal injury and wrongful death, premises liability, products liability, construction, automobile liability, intellectual property and insurance related matters. He then became a Shareholder at a major Boston trial firm, defending products liability and toxic tort cases. He has tried to verdict more than 30 Superior Court and 60 District Court actions and arbitrated or mediated several hundred cases. He also serves as a neutral arbitrator in personal injury cases and has been court appointed as guardian ad litem for persons injured in such cases.
Tony has served on the faculty for continuing legal education programs sponsored by the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association and for the insurance industry. He has also lectured nationally for the Defense Research Institute, the American Bar Association and the American Conference Institute. He has also spoken on behalf of DRI at the invitation of SLDOs other than the MassDLA.
Tony is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. He has received the Preeminent AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and has been elected by his fellow trial lawyers as an Associate Member of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He is a Past President of the Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association and a past member of its Board of Directors. He was also named a Super Lawyer by the publishers of Law & Politics and Boston Magazine from 2011 through 2020.
In 2012, Tony was awarded the Exceptional Performance Citation by DRI and received the Outstanding Leadership Award from the MassDLA. From 2014-2017, he served as the Massachusetts State Representative to DRI and became the Massachusetts State Membership Chair in 2018. He is also a member of DRI's National Membership Committee. Tony received special recognition awards for member recruitment at DRI's Leadership Conferences in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. In 2020, he was named as the first ever Chair of the SMC Sub-Committee and also serves as the SMC Liaison for the New England Region. Also in 2020, he was appointed as the Vice-Chair of the SLDO Relationship Committee. Tony has also published for and given main stage presentations at the DRI Asbestos Medicine Seminar in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2020.
Tony was elected as a National Director for DRI in 2020.
Tony is a past Chair of the Products Liability Committee of the ABA's Tort Trial & Insurance Section. He is a Life Fellow in the American Bar Foundation, an honor limited to one third of one percent of the lawyers in America. In 2018 and 2019, Tony was selected for the 25th and 26th Editions of Best Lawyers in America for Mass Tort Litigation and Personal Injury Defense. This honor is limited to the top 5% of attorneys nationwide.
Tony and his wife and children were affiliated with the Chernobyl Children’s Project, having served as a host family for five years. Tony is a fan of the Grateful Dead and an avid supporter of UMass/Amherst football, basketball and hockey.
Mr. Sbarra graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a B.A. in Political Science in 1985. At UMass, Tony was a varsity member and Co-Captain of the Men's Gymnastics Team. He was a three time New England Champion on horizontal bar and held the UMass school record on that event for a number of years. He earned his J.D. from Suffolk University Law School in 1988, where he was on the Dean’s List and a regional semifinalist on the National Mock Trial Team.
BAR ADMISSIONS AND PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1988
United States District Court, District of Massachusetts, 1989
State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, 2005
United States District Court, District of Rhode Island, 2006
State of Connecticut, 2012
United States District Court, District of Connecticut, 2012
State of Delaware, (pro hac vice)
New York, (pro hac vice)
Defense Research Institute
National Membership Committee
Chair - SMC Sub-Committee
SMC Liaison - New England
Vice-Chair - SLDO Relationship Committee
Products Liability Committee
Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Committee
Trial Tactics Committee
Asbestos Medicine Seminar Steering Committee
Asbestos Medicine Seminar Marketing Committee
Annual Meeting Marketing Committee
American Bar Association
Member: Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section
Past Chair - Products Liability Committee
Member - Continuing Legal Education Board, Long Range Planning and Ethics Committees
American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
Defense Counsel of Rhode Island
Massachusetts Bar Association
Past Member: Civil Litigation Section and Trial Practice & Procedure/Court Rules Practice Group
Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association (MassDLA)
Board of Directors: 1999 – 2017
Rhode Island Bar Association