Attorneys Richard (“Rocky”) Grossack and John A. Norton Jr. have a lot in common. They grew up in town, graduated from Hull High School in 1977, went on to become successful attorneys in 1985, and then, coincidentally, were both named 2021 Massachusetts Super Lawyers for their 36 years of service to the Greater Boston community – including many clients in Hull.
The Super Lawyers directory is an index of attorneys considered to exhibit excellence in the practice of law, according to their peers, who nominate candidates for this prestigious honor.
“It’s very flattering to be recognized by the legal community we work with,” Grossack says.
Norton finds it “extremely meaningful to be recognized by our peers for our accomplishments in the practice of law through the years.”
Grossack earned his law degree from the New England School of Law and Norton from St. John’s School of Law in New York City.
Grossack, who has a solo practice in Boston, handles personal injury, workers’ compensation, and criminal defense cases, serving a range of clients across eastern Massachusetts. He has also developed a networking practice, coordinating plaintiff personal injury cases, criminal defense, and helping lawyers with ethical bar discipline problems.
Norton’s work is focused on workers’ compensation and plaintiffs’ personal injury cases. He has represented injured employees all over the state in a variety of cases involving catastrophic life-altering injuries.
In his practice, Grossack deals with state agencies and insurance companies, which often pose a challenge. “This can be overwhelming, and I try to [perform services] in an amicable and professional manner to make life easier for people who are facing many challenges,” he says, referring to his clients.
Norton gets a sense of fulfillment from helping injured workers, “making a difference in their lives every day by ensuring that they have some kind of benefits coming in while they are recovering.”
These lifelong friends, who met when they were in first grade in Hull, talk often and share many fond memories of growing up in the town, where they still maintain strong connections and make frequent visits. Both have family members living in Hull, along with former classmates who still live there.
“Rocky and I meet or speak on a daily basis either about the law or life in general, because we have so much to share,” Norton says.
Contributing to their long friendship is the fact that their fathers were friends and that they share a common love of sports, the law, and the town of Hull and that both have “outgoing personalities,” according to Norton.
Grossack decided to become an attorney in large part because he has always been a “people” person. “Clients come to lawyers who have issues in their lives, and I like to think that I have practical solutions” to meet those needs.
Norton’s first exposure to a lawyer was when his father, John Norton, coached his Hull Little League team with Larry Kellum, a well-known Hull attorney. “After meeting him, I thought that being a lawyer would be a very noble profession,” Norton recalls.
Kellum’s wife, Cynthia, was also a source of inspiration. “She was my AP English teacher and my greatest influence at Hull High School in my going on to become an English major in college and then to practice law,” he says.
While attending Hull High School, Grossack served as senior class president, and Norton played hockey and baseball. Both worked at Paragon Park – Grossack for several seasons and Norton for one (in the arcades) before he joined the town’s beach clean-up crew.
Two of the people who influenced Grossack the most growing up were Paragon Park owner Larry Stone and his brother-in-law, Myron Clayman, who was involved in running the business. The young Grossack especially admired their professional ethics and how they “took care of the Hull community, offering employment opportunities to many residents.”
A highlight of Norton’s short-term work at the amusement park was “the camaraderie of working there with our friends.”
He attributes his and Grossack’s success in large part to “both being fortunate enough to be raised by tremendous parents” and to be surrounded by many friends from their early years who remain their friends today.
What Norton and Grossack love best about Hull are its beauty and the lifelong friendships they formed while living there. “When you are growing up and seeing the town and what it offers every day,” Norton says, “you don’t realize what you have until you leave and then return and realize what a special community Hull is.”