Hon. Stephen E. Neel (Ret.)

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Hon. Stephen E. Neel (Ret.) has served as a full-time mediator and arbitrator since leaving the bench to join JAMS in 2011. Judge Neel brings nearly 40 years of experience to his JAMS practice. Appointed to the Massachusetts Superior Court in 1992, Judge Neel presided in the Business Litigation Session for its 2008-2010 term.

While at JAMS, Judge Neel has mediated and arbitrated matters in a variety of complex business and commercial disputes, including: class actions, construction cases, contracts, employment, insurance, professional liability, securities, tort, and telecommunications.

Representative matters include:

  • Amicably resolved corporate freeze-out claim by member of LLC
  • Settled dispute regarding alleged overpayment of insurance charges by former manager of plaintiff’s facilities
  • Arbitrated to award dispute over interpretation of LLC operating agreement
  • Successfully mediated claim for release of escrow under corporate merger agreement
  • Brought resolution to manufacturer’s claim for royalties from buyer of medical device, and buyer’s counterclaim for breach of agreement to deliver the device at issue
  • Mediated and settled dispute alleging fraudulent conveyance
  • Successfully settled class action by borrowers against bank
  • Resolved claim for breach of stock purchase agreement for sale of manufacturing company
  • Successfully settled claim for breach of joint venture agreement, including alleged breach of confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements
  • Settled claim on note and mortgage, and counterclaim that foreclosure breached contract
  • Chaired tripartite arbitration panel in dispute over indenture provision regarding purchase price of hydroelectric facility by lessor of project site 

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers as one of the Best Lawyers in America for his work in the practice area of Arbitration for 2016 and 2017
  • Liberty Bell Award, Middlesex Bar Association, 1999
  • Chairman, Massachusetts Commission on Judicial Conduct, 2009-2010 (Member, 2004–2010)
  • Chair, Superior Court’s ad hoc Civil Steering Committee (developed, implemented Superior Court’s Firm/Fair Trial Date Initiative), 2004-2008
  • Chair, Superior Court’s Civil Committee, 2005-2007
  • Member, Supreme Judicial Court’s Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution, 2002-2004
  • Chair, Superior Court’s Subcommittee on Alternative Dispute Resolution, 2001-2004
  • Faculty member (“The Interaction Between the Superior Court and the Mediation Process”), Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc.’s Civil Mediation Workshop, 2007
  • Judicial Chair, Massachusetts Bar Association’s Superior Court Practice Bench-Bar Committee, 2002-2004
  • Team Leader and Lecturer, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc.’s Trial Advocacy Workshop, 2003
  • Co-Chair, Flaschner Judicial Institute’s Science and Technology Curriculum Advisory Board, 2000-2003
  • Member, Watertown, Massachusetts Zoning Board of Appeals, 1983-1992
  • Publications
    • Co-Author, “Continuity and Change in the Business Litigation Session,” Boston Bar Journal, 2008
    • Author, “The Role of the Commission on Judicial Conduct in Judicial Discipline and Enhancement,” Boston Bar Journal, 2005
    • Judicial Commentator, Massachusetts Superior Court Civil Practice Manual, MCLE, 1997

Background and Education

  • Judge, Massachusetts Superior Court, 1992-2011
    • Associate Justice, 1992-2011
    • Regional Administrative Justice for Civil Business for Middlesex County, 1998-1999, 2001-2004
  • Partner, Goodwin, Procter & Hoar, Boston, MA, 1986-1992
  • Partner, Herrick & Smith, Boston, MA, 1981-1986; Associate 1973-1980
  • Trial Lawyer concentrating in complex civil litigation, including construction, securities, broker-dealer, and products liability cases
  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 1973
  • B.A., cum laude, Amherst College, 1969


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