Hon. Stephen E. Neel (Ret.)

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F: 617-228-0222
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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 employment practice. 

While at JAMS Judge Neel has mediated and arbitrated matters in a variety of complex employment disputes.  As a mediator, Judge Neel draws on his professional experiences, ability to relate to people, creativity, and tenacity to work with parties and counsel to reach a resolution.  As an arbitrator, Judge Neel works with counsel to develop a comprehensive case management order that is appropriate to the particular dispute. He then guides proceedings in an efficient, expeditious, and cost-efficient manner toward hearing and decision.


Representative Employment Matters: 

  • Mediated and settled claim alleging wrongful termination based on violation of public policy
  • Helped parties reach settlement of dispute over alleged wrongful termination based on disability and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Resolved class action seeking payment of wages for meal breaks under Massachusetts Payment of Wages Law
  • Settled gender discrimination, hostile environment and retaliation claims
  • Sole arbitrator on claim of wrongful termination based on disability
  • Successfully mediated various class actions alleging misclassification of employees under Massachusetts Independent Contractor statute, and resulting wage and benefit claims
  • Settled alleged claim of wrongful termination based on military service
  • Resolved claim of retaliation for whistleblowing

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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