Catching Up With the Coluccis
Darin and Dino on brotherhood, making clients happy, and who Mom liked best
Published in 2021 Massachusetts Super Lawyers magazine
By Natalie Pompilio on October 12, 2021
Dino and Darin Colucci agree on a lot—including which of them their late mother preferred.
“He was my mother’s favorite,” Darin says. “Everybody knew it was true. You just had to move on and accept it.”
Dino interjects: “He’s leaving out that I worked awful hard for a long time to be mom’s favorite. I put the time in. I put the effort in.”
Growing up, the Colucci brothers shared a room, played football—Dino at offensive guard, Darin at quarterback—and built the competitive spirit that still drives them. With Dino on bass/drums and Darin on guitar, they performed with another friend as a musical trio during high school.
When Darin, now 56, felt adrift after college graduation, Dino, his elder by two years, encouraged him to consider a legal career. Both went on to earn degrees from Suffolk University Law School and, for the past 26 years, have practiced personal injury law together, today at Colucci, Colucci & Marcus in Milton. (The Marcus on their current marquee is elder law attorney Matt Marcus, who attended law school with Darin. He joined the practice in 1999.)
They don’t fight, at least not with each other. They save that for the courtroom. “We’ve always been best friends,” Dino says simply.
The brothers hung their first shared shingle in Brockton in October 1995, working in “a very tiny office in a very rough neighborhood because that’s what we could afford at the time,” Dino remembers.
“We put in very long hours, and we did what we had to do to make a go of it,” Dino says. “I don’t want to sound like the old man who walked to school as a kid three miles one way and 18 miles back, but the truth is we worked hard.”
One of their first big successes came representing a man who’d been injured while helping a flight instructor and a student pilot escape a crashed aircraft that had clipped the man’s home before skidding to a stop on a frozen pond. He broke his shoulder falling through the ice.
Then, as now, the brothers worked the case together. They laugh as they volley the story back and forth.
Darin: “They took off to teach this guy how to fly and they left with no gas. Literally.”
Dino: “There was no gas gauge on the plane, if you can imagine that. Any car you can get, the cheapest car you can get, it has a gas gauge. This plane did not.”
Darin: “We took the deposition of the pilot. Dino asks, ‘Is there a gas gauge?’ The guy says no. ‘There’s no gas gauge at all?’ No. ‘So what was the first indication you’re running out of gas?’ The guy says, ‘The propeller stops.’”
The Coluccis successfully argued that the flight school was negligent under the “danger invites rescue” doctrine.
“The case set the tone for our entire career,” says Dino. “Other lawyers had had a crack before we did, heard the facts, and said, ‘I can’t make enough money on this case. I’m out.’ The client came to us and we thought, ‘Yeah, with a little creativity, we can see a way to recover on this case.’ That’s been a forte of ours.”
Adds Darin: “They’re all legitimate cases, but other lawyers don’t want to do that much work with the potential for failure. We take these on because they should be cases.”
That’s been especially true in recent years as the firm has tackled cases involving clients in assisted living facilities.
Says Dino: “A lot of lawyers won’t take these cases because the victims are 88, 90 years old and the thinking is, ‘That person was at the end of their life anyway. What’s it really worth?’ … We always take those cases. If someone doesn’t take them, there is no justice for those people.”
Other notable wins include securing $6 million for the family of a 21-year-old man killed in a car accident and reaching a $2.5 million settlement for an executive injured while working overseas, but they don’t measure success strictly in dollars.
“You always have pride in your work. Sometimes getting someone a $100,000 settlement through the craft of lawyering feels like a $1 million settlement,” Darin says. “That’s how we built our reputation, our business model: making one client happy at a time.”
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