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J. Owen Todd

J. Owen Todd

Founding Partner


During his distinguished legal career, J. Owen Todd, a Founding Partner of the firm, has handled virtually every kind of case from murder to mass tort litigation and from bankruptcy litigation to “bet-the-company” commercial cases in every type of court throughout 36 states.  Mr. Todd has appeared as counsel for Cardinal Bernard Law, the Massachusetts Trial Court, numerous attorneys, judges and law firms, F. Lee Bailey, professional athletes, Staples, Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency, and many major companies in the New England area.

He currently concentrates his practice on providing ADR services, including presiding over arbitrations and mediations.

Mr. Todd began his legal career began in 1960 when he was appointed a law clerk to a Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Justice.  In the following year, he joined the Boston law firm of Hale and Dorr (now Wilmer Hale) and in time became a Partner, a Senior Partner, Co-Chairman of the Litigation Department, and the Chairman of the Executive Committee of that firm.

Mr. Todd left private practice in 1988 to become a Justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court. In 1992 he resigned from the bench to become one of the founding partners of Todd & Weld.

While consistently named in the Best Lawyers in America and other leading legal directories, Mr. Todd is most proud of the recognition of his peers reflected by his fellowship in the American College of Trial Lawyers and his presidency of the Massachusetts Trial Lawyers Association.


  • Todd & Weld LLP, Founding Partner, 1992-present
  • Massachusetts Superior Court, Associate Justice, 1988-1992
  • Hale and Dorr LLP, Senior Partner, 1961-1988
  • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Law Clerk, 1960-1961



  • Boston College Law School (J.D., 1960) Commercial Law Review
  • Harvard University (A.B., 1957)

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts (1960)
  • U.S. District Court, Massachusetts (1961)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit (1964)
  • U.S. Tax Court (1964)
  • U.S. Supreme Court (1972)

Professional Activities

  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Massachusetts Trial Lawyers Association President, 1994 to 2014
  • Boston Bar Association Co-Chair, Administration of Justice Section, 1993-1994
  • Massachusetts Bar Association, Leadership Academy Steering Committee (2016-2017)
  • American Bar Association
  • Fellow, American Board of Trial Advocates


  • Co-Editor, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education: Massachusetts Trial Advocacy
  • Model Jury Charges, “Eminent Domain”
  • Lecturer for Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education
  • Lecturer for Boston Bar Association

Honors and Awards

  • Selected by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly to its inaugural Hall of Fame class (2023)
  • Named to Best Lawyers in America in Commercial Litigation; Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law; Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs (1983-present)
  • Named to Massachusetts Super Lawyers for Business Litigation (2004-present)
  • Named Litigation Star in Benchmark Litigation (2021-2024)
  • Included in Who's Who Legal: Litigation 2015
  • Named one of "Boston's Top Rated Lawyers" by Legal Leaders™ based upon his AV Preeminent Rating® by Martindale-Hubbell® (2014)
  • Lawyer of the Year 2002, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
  • Honorary Doctorate of Law and Letters from New England School of Law

In the Community

  • Former Commissioner, State Ethics Commission, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Trustee, Austin Jones Foundation
  • Member, Governor's Commission on Suffolk County Sheriff's Department
  • Fellow, Boston Bar Foundation
  • Trustee, J. Owen Todd Charitable Foundation