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Hon. Mitchell H. Kaplan

Hon. Mitchell H. Kaplan (Ret.)

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Upcoming Events
General Biography
Practice Areas
Business Commercial
Class Action & Mass Tort
Employment Law
Real Property
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

The Hon. Mitchell H. Kaplan (Ret.) was appointed to the Massachusetts Superior Court in 2­009 and presided in the Business Litigation Section for eight years. Judge Kaplan is known for being intelligent, hardworking, thoughtful and fair, as well as for having the tenacity and skill to parse complex factual records and effectively manage multi-party matters. 

Testimonials from counsel:

  • “[Judge Kaplan] maintained insight into practical litigation risks and never forgot what it was like for a company whose business objectives drove litigation strategy.”
  • “Judge Kaplan has been telling parties—and their counsel—what they need to hear, not what they want to hear, for many years at the BLS.”

During his time on the bench, Judge Kaplan presided over a diverse range of business disputes; consumer, securities and wage act class actions; insurance coverage matters; trade secret litigation; and construction cases.

Prior to his appointment, Judge Kaplan practiced at the firm of Choate, Hall & Stewart for 31 years, where he chaired the securities litigation group and handled business, commercial and insurance matters. 

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • While in private practice, served as an arbitrator on a three-person panel addressing ownership of intellectual property 
  • Represented parties in a numerous mediations before neutrals, including those involving securities litigation, leveraged buyouts, real estate development and contract disputes
  • While a judge, mediated several commercial matters at the parties’ request, with the understanding that if the mediation failed, he would no longer preside over the matter

Representative Matters

  • Business Commercial
      • Presided over cases involving the following:
        • Complex business commercial contract disputes
        • Fraud and False Claims Act claims
        • Whistleblower claims
        • Breach of fiduciary duty
        • Disclosure obligations
        • Trade secret litigation
        • Taxation and internet sales
        • Corporate mergers
        • Statutes of limitations
      • Served as a special assistant attorney general representing the Massachusetts state treasurer in claims against an investment banking firm
      • Represented accounting firms and technology companies in securities class actions cases in courts and in SEC investigations
      • Represented accounting firms in malpractice litigation
      • Tried cases in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission and the U.S. Tax Court
  • Class Action & Mass Tort
      • Represented accounting firms and technology companies in securities class actions
      • Presided over cases involving the following:
        • Wage act class actions
        • Consumer protection and other Chapter 93A claims
        • Internet providers
        • A variety of matters involving novel issues concerning the criteria for class certification
  • Construction
      • Presided over cases involving the following:
        • Large public construction projects
        • Condominium developments
        • Damages for delay
        • Disputes regarding design and engineering firms
        • Bridge Design
  • Employment Law
      • Presided over cases involving the following:
        • Wage disputes, including overtime, weekend pay and other statutory obligations
        • Discrimination
        • Noncompete agreements
  • Insurance
      • Represented firms and individuals in disputes involving directors and officers’ insurance coverage
      • Served as general counsel to newly organized workers’ compensation carrier
      • Presided over cases involving the following:
        • Insurance coverage, between carriers and between insureds and their carrier
        • Commercial property insurance
        • Insurers’ claims to recoupment and offset
        • The duty to defend
  • Real Property
      • Tried cases involving disputes between the owners of the largest office tower in Boston and a municipality and contractor involving a public construction project
      • Presided over cases involving the following:
        • Option to purchase restaurant
        • Landlord-tenant disputes
        • Commercial and condominium development projects
        • Retroactive assessment of condominium fees
        • Zoning disputes
        • Deed reformation requests
        • Municipal leases                              
  • Securities
      • Represented companies, individuals and accounting firms in a variety of securities-related matters, including class litigation, derivative claims, insurance coverage disputes and internal and government investigations
      • Presided over cases involving the following:
        • Residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) and the collapse of the RMBS market
        • Securities registration and warrant agreements
        • Derivative claims
        • Audits and professional malpractice
        • FINRA

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

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

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Council Member, Boston Bar Association
    • Chair, Section of Delivery of Legal Service
    • Chair, Section on Administration of Justice
    • Chair, Amicus Committee
  • Member, Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers
    • Vice Chair, 2001–2002
  • Member, Standing Committee, Supreme Judicial Court on the Rules of Professional Conduct
  • Member, Joint Bar Committee on Judicial Appointments
    • Chair, 1996–1997
  • Board Member, Greater Boston Legal Services
    • Treasurer, 2006–2009
    • Dow-Gardiner-Landrum Award (for legal service to the poor), 2009
  • Board Member, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights
  • Board Member, American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts
  • Board Member and Executive Committee Member, Associated Industries of Massachusetts
  • Member, Board of Editors, Boston Bar Journal

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America and Massachusetts Super Lawyers for multiple years

Background and Education

  • Judge, Massachusetts Superior Court, 2009–2020
    • Business Litigation Session, 2012–2019
  • Attorney; Choate, Hall & Stewart; 1979–2009
    • Partner, 1984–1989
  • Associate, Hutchins & Wheeler, 1976–1977
  • Law Clerk to Hon. Joseph L. Tauro, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, 1978–1979
  • J.D., cum laude, Cornell University, 1976
  • B.A., cum laude, Mathematics and Philosophy, Colby College, 1972
    • Phi Beta Kappa


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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