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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 had successfully mediated a variety of professional liability/malpractice disputes since joining JAMS in 2006 and is widely known and respected for his ability to settle challenging cases with a combination of sensitivity and understanding of the law. As former Chief Magistrate Judge of the U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, Judge Swartwood has more than 40 years of trial experience. Federal Judge Swartwood was a trial lawyer for 29 years where he primarily tried complex business related cases. Most recently, as 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 has actively participated in settling cases through the Federal District Court’s ADR program. Judge Swartwood is former vice chair of the Massachusetts Office of Bar Counsel Board of Bar Overseers and has represented many attorneys before the Board of Bar Overseers and the Supreme Judicial Court.

Representative Matters

  • Mediated a dispute between a medical doctor and insurance company including issues of alleged malicious prosecution
  • Mediated a negligence action against a large equipment appraiser including issue of alleged collusion between several appraisers regarding equipment values
  • Mediated numerous legal malpractice disputes
  • Mediated several disputes involving negligence of architects and engineers
  • Successfully mediated a wrongful death action concerning death of a small child involving allegations of neglect against Emergency Medical Technologists who were administering emergency care
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

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