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Charles Swartwood

Hon. Charles B. Swartwood, III (Ret.)

Case Manager
Gabrielle Thorp
T: 617-228-9124
F: 617-228-0222
One Beacon Street, Suite 2210, Boston, MA 02108-3106

Charles B. Swartwood is available to conduct cases virtually. JAMS is equipped to provide virtual ADR services on a variety of online platforms, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and more.


Hon. Charles B. Swartwood, III (Ret.) is widely known and respected for his ability to settle challenging cases, to adjudicate with a combination of sensitivity and an understanding of the law, and to manage complex discovery disputes. As former Chief Magistrate Judge of the U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, Judge Swartwood has more than 50 years of trial experience. Federal Judge Swartwood was a trial lawyer for 29 years where he primarily tried complex business related cases. A trial judge for 12 years in the federal court system, he has presided over cases in virtually all areas of the law and for seven years, he actively participated in settling cases through the Federal District Court’s ADR program.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Judge Swartwood has successfully arbitrated and mediated a wide variety of disputes in a wide range of practice area matters since joining JAMS in 2006
  • While serving on the United States District Court of Massachusetts, Judge Swartwood presided over numerous trials and mediated over one hundred cases involving a variety of issues including contracts, business/commercial, professional liability, employment, civil rights, copyright and patents, personal injury, product liability, ERISA, insurance, and construction
  • While acting as a Federal Magistrate Judge, he was referred hundreds of cases for resolution of discovery disputes
  • Successfully mediated over 100 cases as a member of the Court’s judicial panel for dispute resolution
  • Available to resolve disputes remotely through a number of videoconferencing options

Representative Matters

  • At JAMS and as a judicial mediator, Judge Swartwood has successfully mediated numerous million dollar settlements involving securities disputes, real estate, municipal taxes, corporate opportunity, fraud, civil rights, and products liability
  • Arbitrated numerous matters including employment contracts, fraud, insurance, and breach of contact
  • Presided over several products liability and patent trials involving million dollar verdicts
  • Held monthly discovery dispute hearings over 4.5 years in a $300 million patent case, which eventually settled
  • Mediated a $2 million tax claim with the IRS against an individual taxpayer
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS. 

  • Chairman, Massachusetts State Ethics Commission, 2009 - November 2013
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Director, Federal Magistrate Judge’s Association, First Circuit, 1999-2003
  • Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. (MCLE), Trustee, 1986-1988 and 1989-1990; Treasurer, 1987-1988
  • Life Member, American, Massachusetts (President, 1991-1993), and Worcester County Bar Foundations
  • Massachusetts (President, 1989-1990) and Worcester County (President, 1979-1980) Bar Associations
  • Admitted to and have appeared in the U.S. Supreme Court, First Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. District Court (Mass.), and U.S. Tax Court
  • Mediator and Arbitrator, JAMS, Boston, MA, 2006-present
  • Chief Magistrate Judge, United States District Court, District of Massachusetts, 2005-January 2006; Magistrate Judge, 1993-2005
  • Commissioner/Hearing Officer for Judicial Misconduct, Supreme Judicial Court, 1983, 1989, and 1991; Member, Board of Bar Overseers, 1981-1985; Vice Chair, 1984-1985
  • Special Justice, Central District Court of Worcester, MA, 1973-1976
  • Moderator, Town of Southborough, MA, 1970-1973; 1977-1980
  • Selectman, Town of Southborough, MA, 1967-1970 (Chair, 1969-1970)
  • Private Practice, Mountain, Dearborn & Whiting, Worcester, Massachusetts, 1964-1993
  • LL.B., Boston University School of Law, 1964
  • A.B., Brown University, 1961

Counsel Comments

    • “He has the sensitivity of someone who has tried a lot of cases. Expect him to understand the case in the context of many different areas of law.”

      “He has the ability to cut to the heart of the matter.”

      “He is creative.”

      - Lawyer comments from Almanac of the Federal Judiciary
    • “I wanted to let you know that my ratings for the judge were superlative. Indeed, Judge Swartwood was extremely helpful in settling a difficult case with ‘oversized personalities’. I hope to see him again, quite soon.”

      - Senior Partner, Massachusetts
    • “The communication and scheduling was excellent and Judge Swartwood was skilled.”
    • “Judge Swartwood was very effective with the other side.”



Practice Areas

Available nationwide


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