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Charles Swartwood

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

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

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.


Judge Swartwood has successfully arbitrated and mediated a wide variety of disputes including many business/commercial matters since joining JAMS in 2006. Judge Swartwood has more than 50 years of experience including 29 years as a trial lawyer where he primarily tried complex business related cases in both state and federal courts. Followed by his role as a Federal Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court for 12 years, Judge Swartwood 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.

Representative Matters

  • Arbitrated breach of employment contracts
  • Arbitrated dispute concerning rights of condominium owners
  • Arbitrated fraud and misrepresentation allegations in connection with a stock purchase agreement in a closely held corporation
  • Arbitrated numerous corporate/ partnership cases involving alleged breach of good faith, loyalty and fair dealing
  • Mediated a dispute arising over the meaning of a sophisticated term used by the parties in an agreement for investment services
  • Mediated bankruptcy dispute over question of whether pre-petition payment was for a pre-existing debt or toward purchase of mortgage assignment
  • Mediated dispute over alleged violation of employee covenants including non-compete and other tortuous acts
  • Mediated multiple party commercial disputes
  • Mediated settlement of claims in several landlord/tenant disputes
  • Mediated several cases involving public utilities
  • Mediated the “set aside” of a leverage buyout
  • Mediated two commercial disputes that have resulted in over $20 million settlements
  • Mediation of a contract dispute between owner and architect for alleged negligence
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


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