Margaret Hinkle

Hon. Margaret R. Hinkle (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Gabrielle Thorp
T: 617-228-9124
F: 617-228-0222
One Beacon Street, Suite 2210, Boston, MA 02108-3106


Hon. Margaret R. Hinkle (Ret.) was appointed to the Massachusetts Superior Court in 1993 and most recently served as the Administrative Justice of the Business Litigation Session, the preferred statewide forum for the resolution of complex business litigation and commercial disputes. Recognized as one of the Superior Court’s most talented and respected judges, Judge Hinkle is well regarded for her intellect, experience, judgment, and work ethic.  The Judge has practiced as a full-time JAMS neutral since leaving the bench in 2011.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Presided over the successful Business Litigation Session (the "BLS") of the Massachusetts Superior Court during 2009 and 2010 where she resolved complex litigation including class actions, shareholder rights, partnerships, joint ventures, and environmental matters, among others
  • During 18 years on the Superior Court bench, presided over hundreds of trials and handled a wide variety of cases in virtually all areas of civil law including business and commercial, consumer unfair and deceptive conduct, employment, insurance (bad faith, coverage, and subrogation), intellectual property, personal injury, professional liability (accounting, dental, legal, and medical), and real estate matters
  • Served two years as the Suffolk County Regional Administrative Justice (the "RAJ") for Civil Business with responsibility for oversight of seven busy time standard sessions
  • Specialized in financial institution fraud while an Assistant United States Attorney in the Economic Crimes Division in Boston
  • Concentrated on securities and commercial litigation in private practice
  • Available to resolve disputes remotely through a number of videoconferencing options

Representative Matters


  • Partnership dissolutions involving provisions of partnership agreements and allocation of assets
  • Successfully mediated dispute involving alleged corporate freeze-out by majority shareholder of closely-held corporation
  • Settled longstanding unfair competition dispute between two high-profile Boston area musical instrument manufacturers
  • Resolved breach of contract dispute between commercial supplier and landmark Boston hotel
  • Settled various claims arising out of the failure of a joint venture in the hospitality industry


  • Assessed numerous claims of unfair and deceptive conduct under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act (Chapter 93A)
  • Settled dispute related to home foreclosure action


  • Arbitrated numerous employment discrimination claims, including those based on national origin, retaliation, FMLA, sexual orientation, age, and race theories

Financial Institutions:

  • Claims against financial institutions, attorneys, appraisers, mortgage brokers and others arising from complex mortgage foreclosures
    Conducted neutral fact-finding with respect to a shareholder derivative claim


  • Various disputes between insurers and reinsurers over allocation of environmental liabilities and/or coverage for remediation of environmental contamination of numerous sites in several states
    Settled insurance coverage dispute arising out of environmental litigation arising from a fuel oil spill

Intellectual Property:

  • Assessed claims of theft of trade secrets and confidential information arising from acquisition of one joint venture by a major competitor of the second
    Assessed validity of contract provisions regarding development of proprietary software and cross-claims of intellectual property

Professional Liability:

  • Mediated claims brought by financial institutions against major accounting firm arising from third party fraud
    Successfully settled malpractice matter brought against architectural firm

Real Property

  • Appraised and later settled several land use claims arising out of residential development scheme
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS. 

  • Haskell Cohn Award for distinguished judicial service, Boston Bar Association, 2010
  • Honored by the Frank J. Murray Inn of Court for judicial service, 2010
  • Judicial Excellence Award, Massachusetts Judges Conference, 2007
  • Board member, Massachusetts Judges Conference since 1997 (former secretary, vice-president, and first vice-president)
  • Former board member, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
  • Clinical instructor, Harvard Law School, 1991 and 1992
  • Lectured widely before legal and professional organizations on a variety of continuing legal education topics including management of complex litigation and negotiation strategies
  • Judge, Massachusetts Superior Court, 1993-February 2011
    • Administrative Justice, Business Litigation Session (BLS), 2009 and 2010
    • Regional Administrative Justice (RAJ), Criminal Business, 2005-2009
    • Regional Administrative Justice (RAJ), Civil Business, 1997-1999
  • Director, U.S. Department of Justice’s New England Bank Fraud Task Force, 1992-1993
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney, Economic Crimes Division specializing in financial institution fraud, Boston, MA, 1989-1991
  • Associate and Partner, Goodwin, Procter & Hoar (currently Goodwin Procter LLP), Boston, MA, 1978-1980 and 1981-1989
    • Associate, Berman, Dittmar & Engel (a spin-off of Goodwin Procter), 1980-1981
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Andrew A. Caffrey, then Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court, Boston, MA, 1977-1978
  • J.D., Boston College Law School, 1977
  • M.A., Columbia University, NY, 1964
  • B.A., College of Saint Catherine, St. Paul, MN, 1961

Counsel Comments

    • “Judge Hinkle is one of the best, most effective mediators with whom I've worked in 21 years. She is candid, kind, tough when needed, respectful and understanding of the realities faced by lawyers representing clients.”
      - Boston Area Partner, 2013
    • “Judge Hinkle was professional, and organized communication with the parties leading up to the hearing. [I a]ppreciated the availability of the mediator for interim conferences.”
    • “Judge Hinkle was awesome. [I d]efinitely recommend her.”
    • “Judge Hinkle was outstanding.”
    • “Judge Hinkle did a great job of giving the matter the time and attention it needed, and urging both parties to work harder to reach an acceptable resolution.”
    • “[Judge Hinkle] handled all matters timely and professionally, and with good cheer.”
    • “[Thanks for] continuing to have Judge Hinkle on [your] roster. JAMS is the best, because it hires the cream of the crop in Boston.”
    • “Judge Hinkle had read all relevant documentation and was conversant with the facts of the case. During the mediation itself, she was very direct and transparent, and worked hard to facilitate a resolution.”
    • “Judge Hinkle was very professional and very sympathetic with the client. She was earnest in her attempts to bring us closer. While we did not settle at mediation, we did settle for slightly more than what was offered at the mediation shortly thereafter.”
    • “Judge Hinkle did a superb job bringing the sides to a resolution. Among her most impressive attributes were her understanding of case details and of the prime objectives motivating each side; her skill in listening; and her perfect demeanor of guiding, not forcing, the sides toward a compromise.”
    • “The mediator, Judge Hinkle, remained engaged long after the mediation session concluded. Her efforts culminated in a settlement.”
    • “Judge Hinkle did an outstanding job working with parties to bring the matter to resolution.”
    • “Judge Hinkle was fantastic. Her tireless efforts and dedication to the process were invaluable.”
    • “Judge Hinkle is amazing and she endured a 14-hour mediation and brought it to successful conclusion. Many mediators would have called it day at hour eight or nine.”
    • “My client and I sincerely appreciate your sensitive demeanor and unflagging efforts, without which the litigation may have continued.”
      - Boston Law Firm Partner
    • “Your efforts and tenacity during mediation (and the subsequent calls) were essential in reaching resolution.”
      - Senior Legal Counsel



Practice Areas

  • Accounting/Finance
  • Arbitration
  • Banking
  • Business/Commercial
  • Class Action
  • Employment
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Professional Liability
  • Securities
  • Special Master/Discovery Referee
Available nationwide


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