Judge Chernoff leads BHPK Law’s Alternative Dispute Resolution program in an “of counsel” capacity. As a former justice in the Commonwealth’s Superior and District Court Departments of the Trial Court, he has nearly forty years of experience resolving legal disputes. Over the years, he has presided over more than one thousand jury trials and sat as a Superior Court judge in every county and in the vast majority of the district courthouses. He has been mediating, conciliating, and arbitrating disputes for BHPK since 2014. He also serves as the Superior Court’s judicial mediator in Norfolk and Middlesex Counties on pro bono court appointments where at least one party is of limited means.
Judge Chernoff brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to BHPK’s ADR practice. Appointed to the judiciary in 1976, Judge Chernoff was then the youngest justice in the Commonwealth at age 37. Recently presiding over a summary jury trial for the Superior Court, he sat as the most senior judge in the entire Massachusetts judiciary. Parties routinely praise Judge Chernoff for his compassionate yet practical approach to achieving equitable case resolutions.
Prior to joining BHPK in 2014, Judge Chernoff first served as a judge of the Newton District Court for eight years before he was appointed as a justice of the Superior Court, serving for three decades. He retired from the bench after two periods of recall and after he served as a Special Judicial Magistrate on the so-called “drug laboratory cases,” where he heard motions to withdraw guilty pleas or for new trials in hundreds of criminal cases that were affected by the misconduct of two Massachusetts drug chemists featured in the Netflix documentary “How to Fix a Drug Scandal.”
Presently, Judge Chernoff presides over mediations, conciliations, and arbitration disputes. As a convenience to counsel and the parties, he offers to travel to other locations within the Commonwealth when necessary to accommodate his clients. Judge Chernoff is extremely devoted to his ADR practice and often goes above and beyond to assist the parties in reaching a resolution; for example, he visits the scene of every dispute where feasible at no expense to the parties. His value as a neutral is grounded in decades of work as a judge, where he conferenced cases on a daily basis and learned about the art of effecting a just compromise.
For years, Judge Chernoff led the Judicial Outward Bound Program, leading groups of judges and their significant others on many multi-day backpacking trips in Western National Parks including Yellowstone, Glacier, Yosemite, Canyonlands, Arches, Capitol Reef, Grand Gulch, Escalante, and Grand Canyon as well as river trips on the Colorado River and the Upper Missouri River.
Areas of Practice
- George Washington University Law School, With Honors, J.D. (1967)
- Tufts University, B.S.M.E. (1961)
- United States Supreme Court (1970)
- First Circuit Court of Appeals (1973)
- United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit (1967)
- United States District Court for the District of Columbia (1967)
- United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts (1973)
- District of Columbia Bar (1967)
- Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1973)