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Elizabeth B. Burnett

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Education

  • University of Michigan (JD)
  • Brown University (BA)

Bar Admissions

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

Betsy is an experienced trial lawyer with deep knowledge of business fraud, corporate governance, fiduciary duty and high technology/trade secret matters.  She served for 10 years as the firm-wide Chair of Mintz Levin’s Litigation Department and in other firm management roles. Betsy writes and lectures frequently on corporate governance issues and is the author of a chapter in The World's Foremost Authorities on Corporate Government & Compliance.

Betsy and her trial team achieved a complete victory for Shari Redstone in the “vicious corporate battle“ [The New York Times: “Fight for Viacom Is Said to End with the Redstones in Control”] which challenged certain actions concerning the corporate governance of Viacom, Inc., including the proper composition of the Viacom Board.  Following months of highly contentious litigation in Delaware and Massachusetts, a global settlement was achieved that dismissed the lawsuits against Ms. Redstone and her father Sumner Redstone and affirmed the reconstitution of the Viacom board.  The settlement has been hailed as a total win for the Redstone family and for Ms. Redstone [The Los Angeles Times:  “Viacom Power Struggle Ends With Shari Redstone Ushering in New Era for the Media Company”; The Los Angeles Times:  “Viacom Struggle Ends: Shari Redstone at Helm: Daughter of Media Mogul ‘Pulled Off the Palace Coup’”; The Wall Street Journal: “Viacom and the Redstones Call it a Day” describing the settlement as the “completion of the ascent of Shari Redstone, Mr. Redstone’s daughter, who is poised to take pole position in the family empire”]. 

Betsy advises corporate directors with respect to corporate governance issues and fiduciary duties. She also represents life sciences and medical device corporations involved in trade secret litigation. Her jury trial experience is diverse, and she has experience in high-profile litigation that requires strategic advice that integrates issues relating to the media, advocacy groups, and government relations. Betsy also has a special expertise in disputes involving tax exempt financings and has represented financial institutions involved in these disputes around the country. Her client matters have been profiled in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and on CNBC, and she has appeared in courts throughout the country.

She is married and has two children.

Representative Matters

  • On behalf of Shari Redstone obtained settlement of Phillippe Dauman and George S. Abrams, As Trustees of the Sumner M. Redstone National Amusements Trust v. Sumner M. Redstone, et al. (Norfolk Probate Court Civil Action No. 16E0020QC) and In Re Viacom Inc. Section 225 Litigation Consolidated C.A. No. 12472-CB (Court of Chancery, Delaware).
  • On behalf of Shari Redstone and Robert Steele, obtained dismissal of all breach of fiduciary duty claims against them, in their capacities as directors of Midway Games: In re: Midway Games, Inc. (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Delaware).
  • On behalf of Volcano Corporation, defeated $220 million lost profits damages claim, after trial: LightLab Imaging, Inc. v. Axsun Technologies, Inc. and Volcano Corporation (Mass. Business Law Session Court).
  • On behalf of Volcano Corporation, defeated 27 trade secret misappropriation claims relating to medical technology, following a two-week trial and related hearings: LightLab Imaging, Inc. v. Axsun Technologies, Inc. and Volcano Corporation (Mass. Business Law Session Court).
  • On behalf of three law-firm plaintiffs, obtained largest reported verdict in Massachusetts that year, following a three-month jury trial.
  • On behalf of Teleflex Inc., defeated a $30 million punitive damages claim, following a four-week jury trial.
  • On behalf of William I. Koch defeated a multi-million “palimony” type claim by former girlfriend, following a jury trial.  

Recognitions & Awards

  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers: Business Litigation (2004 – 2017)
  • Corporate Counsel Magazine: Top Attorneys in Business Litigation in the United States (since 2008)
  • Best Lawyers in America: Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law (2013, 2015)
  • Best Lawyers in America: Commercial Litigation (2014 – 2018)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • Director, Brown University Sports Foundation
  • Chairman of the Board, Greater Boston YMCA
  • Former Member, Brown University Women’s Leadership Council