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Hon. Peter M. Lauriat (Ret.)
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Hon. Peter M. Lauriat (Ret.)

General Biography
Practice Areas
Business & Commercial
Employment Law
Personal Injury/Torts
Professional Liability
Real Estate & Real Property
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Hon. Peter M. Lauriat (Ret.) joins JAMS after serving on the Massachusetts Superior Court for 29 years, including two in the Business Litigation Session. Prior to his appointment to the bench, he practiced law in Boston for 17 years, specializing in civil litigation. Judge Lauriat earned a well-deserved reputation as a no-nonsense judge who was willing to roll up his sleeves in order to understand the complex legal issues, factual controversies and dynamics at play in each case.

Judge Lauriat has the innate ability to filter out the noise and hone in on what really matters during critical negotiations. He is known for his dedication, encyclopedic knowledge of the law, tremendous work ethic, remarkable patience and open-mindedness.

As one local counsel said, “Judge Lauriat has an uncanny ability to see the big picture and to produce results. He is decisive and forward-thinking—all while being an excellent judge of character and keeping a great sense of humor. Where a mediator who can master the facts and law, deal with diverse personalities and think outside the box is required, Judge Lauriat will be perfect.”

ADR Experience and Qualifications

Judge Lauriat has presided over and tried all manner of civil actions, including employment discrimination cases; medical, legal and accounting malpractice cases; breach of contract cases; wrongful death, personal injury and products liability cases; defamation cases; workplace injury cases; commercial litigation of all types, including trade secret claims and noncompete agreements; commercial and residential construction cases; real estate disputes; insurance coverage disputes; and environmental cases. He has long specialized in civil discovery matters and has co-authored a well-recognized two-volume treatise on discovery. Judge Lauriat is available to resolve disputes remotely through a number of videoconferencing options.

Representative Matters

  • Business & Commercial
      • Presided over a wide variety of complex business and commercial cases, most notably several involving the effect of corporate governance on shareholder relationships and value; with a specialization in start-up disputes, handled virtually all of the legal issues facing a start-up closed corporation, including venture capital, partnership agreements and trademark issues
  • Construction
      • Presided over commercial and residential cases involving owner, architect, contractor and subcontractor disputes, and others
  • Contracts
      • Numerous breach of contract cases with a wide variety of subject matters, including manufacturing, commercial and business contracts, insurance policy coverage disputes, indemnification actions, uniform partnership acts and closed corporation disputes
  • Employment Law
      • Employment discrimination cases including age discrimination, handicap discrimination, retaliation and breach of contract; handled a large variety of MCAD claims and non-disclosure and noncompete cases, often involving proprietary information issues as well as requests for injunctive relief
  • Legal Malpractice
      • Tried or issued summary judgment on a variety of issues, including negligence, trade secrets, statute of limitations, litigation oversight and partnership agreements; often called upon to try a case within a case
  • Medical Malpractice
      • Presided over more than 50 jury trials in all areas of medical malpractice; cases involved doctor-patient relationships, negligence and causation, medical and nursing specialists, wrongful death actions and more

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

Judge Lauriat has taught at Harvard Law School and the National Judicial College, and has written and lectured nationally on litigation and jury trial issues and techniques. He has also taught numerous courses and programs for judges and lawyers in the Commonwealth and elsewhere. Judge Lauriat has served as a mentor for new as well as experienced judges in several of departments of the Massachusetts Trial Court.

Judge Lauriat is an author, editor and contributor to several books, including the Massachusetts Jury Trial Benchbook, Second (2004) and Third (2017) Editions; Jury Trial Innovations in Massachusetts; Massachusetts Expert Witnesses; and the Massachusetts Deposition Practice Manual. He is also a co-author of the Massachusetts Practice Series, Volumes 49 and 49A: Discovery (3rd ed., 2017) and was a member of the Board of Editors of the Boston Bar Journal

Judge Lauriat received the first Distinguished Judicial Service Award from the Massachusetts Judges Conference (2016) and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Frank J. Murray American Inn of Court (2016). 

Background and Education

  • Judge, Massachusetts Superior Court, 1989–2018
  • Partner, Peabody & Brown (now Nixon Peabody), 1986–1989
  • Associate and partner, Herrick & Smith, 1972–1986
  • Law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Frank J. Murray, 1971–1972
  • J.D., University of Chicago Law School, 1971
  • B.A., with Honors, Economics, Middlebury College, 1968


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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