Hon. Paul Aaron Chernoff (Ret.)
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Judge Paul A. Chernoff joined the law firm in an “of counsel” capacity in April 2012 and he heads the firm’s Mediation and Arbitration Group.
Judge Chernoff served as an Associate Justice on the Massachusetts Superior Court for 28 years, presiding over countless civil and criminal jury and jury-waived trials, dispositive and non-dispositive motions, and equity matters including injunctive relief. Before serving on the Superior Court, he served three years as Chairman of the MA State Parole Board and eight years as a Justice of the Newton District Court. Judge Chernoff is well known for assisting parties to reach resolutions short of trial in both criminal and civil cases.
Judge Chernoff chaired the Superior Court Judicial Education Committee for more than ten years. He co-chaired the Superior Court’s 150th Anniversary year-long celebration which featured permanent exhibits in jury assembly rooms, a law review publication, a book of Reflections of the Justices, and a Symposium at the Boston Public Library. He took primary responsibility for the Dutch Uncle Video project that features Dutch Uncle advice to the bar from approximately 80 Superior Court and former Superior Court judges available on a free website at MCLE.org. He also is a founding member of the Judicial Chorale. He was also responsible for the judiciary’s Art Show at the Adams Courthouse. Judge Chernoff coordinates the judging of the annual “Do the ‘Write’ Thing Essay Contest” where Boston school children write about their experience with violence and how to address it in their community.
Several of his Superior Court trials have generated very important appellate decisions including Commonwealth v. Vinnie, 429 Mass. 161 (1998), Commonwealth v. Greineder, 458 Mass. 207 (2010), Commonwealth v. Mendes, 406 Mass. 201 (1989) (Polygraph), Lipchiz vs. Ratheon Company, 434 Mass. 413 (2001) (employment discrimination), Commercial Union vs. Boston Symphony Orchestra, 406 Mass. 7 (1989) (insurer’s duty to defend).
Judge Chernoff has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Boston College Law School teaching Trial Practice during both Fall and Spring Semesters over the past twenty years.
Areas of Practice
- Civil Rights
- Government/Public Agency
- Personal Injury and Torts
- Professional Liability
- Real Estate
- Massachusetts, 1973
- MCLE Civil Practice Manual , judicial editor and contributor
- MCLE Criminal Practice Manual , contributor
- Bench Notes, A Judge’s Reflections for his Grandchildren (2012) , – book “Picturing the Rule of Law, Public Exhibits for the Superior Court’s 150th Anniversary” 90 Mass. Law Rev. No. 3, p. 153 (Dec. 2009)
- Impatient Millionaires, 52 Boston Bar Journal No. 1 Jan/Feb 2008
- Judges and the Media Communication, Communication, Communication, No. 48 Boston Bar Journal No. 4 September/October 2004
- Kiomizudera, 34 Boston Bar Journal No. 2 March/April 1990
Honors and Awards
- 2012 MATA Award for Judicial Excellence
- 2009 Greater Lowell Bar Association “Paul A. Chernoff Servant of Justice Award” (given annually to an Association member)
- 2008 Boston Bar Association’s “Haskell Cohn Distinguished Judicial Service Award”
- Norfolk Bar Association’s “Person of the Year Award”
- MCLE Distinguished Faculty Award