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BOSTON � Four litigators from different firms and a solo practitioner who bonded through the Massachusetts Bar Association are launching their own litigation shop in Boston on May 1. Yarashus, Wagner, Cook, Freiberger & Washienko, named for the five founding lawyers, will specialize in personal injury, employment, insurance and business litigation. “The thing that we had in common was bar leadership,” said Valerie A. Yarashus, who is currently a principal at Boston’s Sugarman and Sugarman who specializes in personal injury and product liability litigation. Besides Massachusetts Bar Association ties, firm members are also prominent in other local bar associations. Personal injury and medical malpractice lawyer Kathy Jo Cook of Keches & Mallen in Taunton, Mass., for example, is also president of the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts. Employment lawyer Charles P. Wagner, who is leaving Siegel, Wagner & Swartz in Boston, is the male co-chair of the Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association. Marc Freiberger from Boston’s Shilepsky O’Connell, who represents individuals and employers in employment cases, and Boston-based solo practitioner Patricia A. Washienko are also on the new firm’s roster. Discussions at the Massachusetts Bar Association’s leadership roundtable events, which involved three of the five lawyers, highlighted the group’s shared goals related to organizational culture, how to create a shared vision and how to work to empower other people, Yarashus said. The three attorneys knew the other two lawyers through the bar association and brought them into the fold, she said. “We started talking about what a dream job would be for each of us,” Yarashus said.

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