Nancy Holtz

Hon. Nancy Holtz (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. Nancy Holtz (Ret.) comes to JAMS with over 30 years of experience as a Judge, attorney, and ADR practitioner. She is a member of JAMS Global Engineering and Construction panel and her practice includes a focus on construction litigation. 

While on the Superior Court, Judge Holtz presided over all types of construction cases. Since leaving the bench to become a full time neutral in 2012, Judge Holtz has also mediated and arbitrated numerous construction claims involving owners, general and subcontractors, suppliers, design professional as well as related insurers.

Representative Matters

  • Neutral reviewer on numerous Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) claims related to Superstorm Sandy
  • Member of a three arbitrator panel in case arising out of gas infrastructure construction work involving trench work and paving; claims and counterclaims including breach of contract, termination for cause and/or convenience, over billing, lost profits and ramp up costs
  • $3 million claim of improperly manufactured and installed windows throughout a condominium complex
  • $2 million claim of multiple construction defects caused by water infiltration, improper installation of roof and windows on apartment complex
  • $40 million dispute involving collapse of scaffolding resulting in multiple fatalities at construction of a college dormitory
  • $10 million claim arising out of river widening project: damages for extra costs, and delay damages due to need to change dewatering method from construction pumping method to a deep well system and then well point system
  • $5 million dispute regarding construction defects throughout condominium complex
  • $12 million dispute regarding claims of construction and design defects in municipal building
  • $2 million claim arising from renovations and repairs following a total fire loss to entire condominium complex. Issues addressed included economic loss doctrine, requirements for a derivative action, and validity of termination for convenience of general contractor
  • $18 million dispute regarding indemnification and contribution claims arising out of settlement of power plant litigation
  • $1.5 million residential construction dispute including construction and design defect claims, as well as scope of work claims
  • $3 million renovation of a public school resulting in claims of construction defects
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS. 

    • Recipient, Daniel F. Toomey Excellence in the Judiciary Award 2015
    • Vice Chair, Alternate Dispute Resolution Member, Massachusetts Bar Association
    • Member, ABA Forum on Construction Law
    • Member, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Mediation Committee
    • Member, ABA Section of Litigation Committee
    • Fulbright Specialist, United States Department of State, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 2012
  • Recent Presentations
    • Panelist, “The INs and OUTs of Virtual ADR,” Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Northeast, 2021
    • ABA Forum on Construction Law, The Business of Becoming a Neutral 2015
    • Presenter, Massachusetts Bar Association, Reading Between the Lines: The ABC’s of Arbitration for New Lawyers 2015
    • Presenter: Misclassification of Employees: The Massachusetts Independent Contractor Statute, Massachusetts Bar Association 36th Annual Labor & Employment Conference
    • Presenter, “Discovery Disputes,” Boston Bar Association, 2014
    • Presenter, “Avoiding Litigation Through Arbitration and Mediation Clauses in Real Estate Agreements,” Real Estate Bar Association of Massachusetts Spring Conference, 2014
    • Presenter, “Getting on the Ground Level, New Opportunities for Neutrals in the Economical Litigation Agreement,” ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Spring Conference, Poster presentation, 2013
  • Publications
  • Professional Training
    • ABA 8th Annual Arbitration Training Institute, American Bar Association, 2014
    • Guided Choice: Innovations in Mediation to Get Better Settlements at Less Cost, American Arbitration Association, 2014
    • Managing the Cost of Exchanging Electronically Stored Information (ESI) in Construction Arbitration, American Arbitration Association, 2014
    • Counseling The Client During the Course of the Ongoing Construction Project, ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, 2014
    • Fundamentals and Best Practices for Arbitrators, American Arbitration Association, 2013
    • Construction Law Seminar, Defense Research Institute, 2012
    • Making Dollars and Sense of Construction Damages, ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, 2012
    • Mediating in the Red Zone, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University, 2012
    • Mediating the Litigated Case, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University, 2011
  • Holtz ADR, Mediator/Arbitrator, 2012-2014
  • Justice, Massachusetts Superior Court, 1996-2012
  • Secretary and General Counsel, Executive Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, 1994-1996
  • Commissioner, Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, 1992-1994
  • Partner, Merrick and Louison (n/k/a Louison, Costello, Condon & Pfaff, LLP), 1987-1992
  • Assistant Corporation Counsel, City of Boston Law Department, 1984-1987
  • J.D., cum laude, Suffolk University Law School, 1984
  • B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Boston University, 1981

Counsel Comments

    • "As I am located in Los Angeles, I asked several of my colleagues in New York for recommendations for a mediator there, and Judge Holtz’ name was provided by more than one, and with highest recommendation. She lived up to the billing. Very easy to work with, very engaged and engaging, and a very effective approach and style."
      – Prominent, top ranked trademark, copyright and trade secret Attorney, California
    • "Judge Holtz went above and beyond the call of duty to get our case settled. Despite that fact that the mediation session had ended without the parties being able to resolve their differences amicably, Judge Holtz did not give up. On her own, she reached out to counsel believing that the matter could still be settled, and used her skill and experience to get it resolved. The parties saved a considerable amount of money from what they would have had to spend if they had had to proceed to arbitration. Truly, the case would not have settled without her and she did an outstanding job. I will definitely use her as a mediator again."
    • "It has been a long day, but just wanted to thank you on behalf of my client. As you could see there was A LOT of emotion wrapped up in this and she really needed this closure. You were one of the best mediators I have worked with and I will 100% see you again. Be well and thank you!"
      – Litigation Partner
    • "Judge Holtz was excellent. Good knowledge of the facts and law, and really good personality."
      – Trial Attorney
    • "Judge Holtz was by far the best mediator I have used in my career."
      – Boston Attorney



Practice Areas

  • Arbitration
  • Business/Commercial
  • Civil Rights
  • Construction
  • Construction Defect
  • Employment
  • Energy
  • Engineering and Construction
  • Entertainment and Sports
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Personal Injury/Torts
  • Professional Liability
  • Special Master/ Discovery Referee
  • Surety
Available nationwide


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