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Joseph M. Cacace


Joseph M. Cacace’s strategic counsel for clients draws upon his extensive experience representing plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of matters.  A partner at the firm, Mr. Cacace handles complex civil disputes and appeals of all types – including business litigation, real estate litigation, class actions, civil rights cases, litigation against government agencies and employees, defamation matters raising First Amendment issues, and employment litigation and counseling. 

Mr. Cacace regularly handles cases involving multiple lawsuits in different jurisdictions, and those that involve government enforcement actions, bankruptcies, and receiverships.  He also maintains an active pro bono litigation practice. 

A member of the Amicus Brief and Appellate-Bench Bar Committees of the Massachusetts Bar Association, Mr. Cacace also serves on the Board of Governors of the Law Clerks' Society of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.  He previously served on the Large Law Firm Subcommittee of the Supreme Judicial Court's Steering Committee on Lawyer Well-Being.

He is a frequent presenter on civil litigation topics and has commented in the media on various legal issues.

Prior to joining Todd & Weld, Mr. Cacace represented clients in business litigation, intellectual property disputes, product liability actions, consumer class actions, and real estate disputes.  He also represented clients in criminal and immigration matters on a pro bono basis.  He served as a law clerk to the Honorable Robert J. Cordy of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

Representative Results

Appellate Results

  • Judge Rotenberg Educ. Ctr, Inc., & others v. Commissioner of the Department of Developmental Services, -- Mass. -- (2023) (Persuaded Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to uphold a 1987 consent decree allowing in limited circumstances life-saving aversive intervention treatments for patients with severe emotional and intellectual disabilities)
  • Vo v. De Jager (Mass. App. Div. 2022) (Persuaded Appellate Division of Boston Municipal Court to vacate jury verdict and order new trial in defamation case based upon plaintiff’s failure to identify the allegedly defamatory statements, evidentiary errors, and an erroneous jury instruction on the evidentiary impact of a prior criminal acquittal in a civil case) 
  • Judge Rotenberg Educ. Ctr., Inc. v. U.S. Food & Drug Admin., et al., 3 F.4th 390 (D.C. Cir. 2021) (Persuaded D.C. Circuit to vacate FDA’s ban of electrical stimulation devices used to treat aggressive or self-injurious behavior because banning a medical device for a particular purpose regulates the practice of medicine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 396)
  • Heagney v. Wong, 915 F.3d 805 (1st Cir. 2019) (First appellate decision affirming plaintiff's verdict for employer's violation of M.G.L. c. 151B, § 4(9), which protects employees from having to disclose criminal charges that do not result in conviction)
  • Preston v. Nagel, 857 F.3d 1382 (Fed. Cir. 2017) (Persuaded U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that the America Invents Act does not permit appellate review of an order remanding a case from federal to state court)
  • Chanowski v. Forman Industries, Inc., 2017 WL 4558256 (Mass. App. Ct. Oct. 13, 2017) (Rule 1:28) (Obtained ruling upholding trial court’s order that defendants must permit plaintiffs to inspect corporate records and pay plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees; obtained award of appellate attorneys’ fees)

Business Litigation – Closely Held Business Disputes, Shareholder Disputes, and Corporate Governance Litigation

  • Persuaded a Massachusetts Superior Court judge to grant a preliminary injunction in a shareholder dispute ordering that a newly elected board of directors and new corporate officers remain in place at a medical cannabis dispensary and cultivation company
  • Secured a favorable settlement for 50 percent shareholders of closely held regional manufacturing company related to arbitration of buyout dispute involving sophisticated business valuation issues and direct and derivative claims for breach of fiduciary duties and breach of contract
  • Obtained and defended on appeal an order for inspection of corporate records and attorneys’ fees after persuading Superior Court to dismiss various counterclaims and to strike a fraud-based affirmative defense

Business Litigation – Intellectual Property

  • Persuaded the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to reject an argument that the America Invents Act overrides a statutory bar to appellate review of a remand order to state court
  • Obtained a U.S. District Court order remanding a business dispute to state court implicating the America Invents Act

Business Litigation

  • Secured favorable settlement for ophthalmologist after filing suit against former partner for breaches of contract and fiduciary duty in connection with breakup of the business
  • Represented judgment creditor in fraudulent transfer action; obtained injunctive relief and dismissal of abuse of process claims under anti-SLAPP statute; secured favorable settlement
  • Represented car wash equipment distribution company in breach of contract dispute with car wash owner, which settled after obtaining favorable evidentiary ruling immediately before trial

Professional Liability

  • Represented a large environmental and infrastructure consulting business in professional negligence claim against accounting firm, which resulted in a favorable settlement after mediation

Defamation and Employment Discrimination

Civil Rights, Personal Injury, and Tort Claims

  •  government’s motion to dismiss Federal Tort Claims Act lawsuit filed on behalf of children separated from their parents at the border in putative damages class action seeking compensation for the children and the establishment of a fund for ongoing mental health treatment and monitoring
  • Persuaded a federal district court judge in Massachusetts to permit a civil rights class action lawsuit to proceed against the City of Methuen, its police chief, and several individual police officers for using a factually inaccurate and coercive Spanish-language advice-of-rights form during OUI arrests
  • Represented minor student in lawsuit against municipality, school officials, and former teacher for sexual harassment and abuse by former teacher, which settled favorably after mediation following summary judgment briefing

Real Estate Litigation

  • On behalf of a condominium unit owner, persuaded a Massachusetts Superior Court judge to deny the defendants' motion to dismiss the owner's complaint arising from catastrophic damage to the owner's unit due to the alleged failure of the condominium association and property manager to maintain and repair the condominium's  common areas, including leaking steam pipes; settled case favorably before trial after aggressive discovery efforts revealed powerful evidence of liability


  • Represented general contractor in multi-party construction dispute arising out of delay claim in connection with residential historic rehabilitation project in Boston, which resulted in favorable settlement on first day of arbitration
  • Obtained default against general contractor and favorably settling claims on behalf of subcontractor in construction dispute concerning residential subdivision in southern New Hampshire

Class Action

  • Defense of putative class actions under the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, resulting in favorable settlements and dismissals with prejudice

Criminal Matters

  • Defended individual charged with federal tax obstruction in multi-defendant federal criminal tax evasion prosecution, resulting in favorable plea agreement and sentence of home detention


  • Todd & Weld LLP, 2013-present
  • Goodwin Procter LLP, 2010-2013
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Robert J. Cordy, Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, 2008-2009



  • Suffolk University Law School (J.D., summa cum laude, 2008) Editor-in-Chief, Suffolk University Law Review; Suffolk University Law Faculty Outstanding Student Award
  • Boston College (B.A., cum laude, 2003)

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • U.S. District Court, Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court, New Hampshire
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

Professional Activities

  • Former member of the Massachusetts Bar Association's Appellate Bench Bar Committee and Amicus Brief Committee
  • Member, Large Law Firm Subcommittee of Supreme Judicial Court Steering Committee on Lawyer Well-Being, 2018-2019
  • American Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • New Hampshire Bar Association
  • Boston Bar Association

Honors and Awards

  • Named to 2024 Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch for Appellate Practice; Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Labor and Employment
  • Named to 2023 Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch for Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Labor and Employment
  • Named to 2022 Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch, for Commercial Litigation
  • Named to Massachusetts Super Lawyers for Business Litigation, 2023
  • Named by Super Lawyers to Massachusetts Rising Stars for Business Litigation, 2015-2021
  • Named to Boston magazine's Top Lawyers 2023


  • Presenter, Getting the Benefit of the Bargain in Breach of Contract Claims, MCLE, September 2021
  • Panel Chair, Prevailing in COVID-19 Litigation, MCLE Webinar, February 2021
  • Presenter, Social Media Inside and Outside of the Workplace, Real Estate Bar Association, November 2020
  • Presenter, How to be Successful in Remote Court Hearings, MCLE, July 2020
  • Presenter, Social Media Issues Inside and Outside the Workplace, MCLE's 22nd Annual Paralegal Conference, June 2020
  • "Safely navigating the ethical perils of social media," Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Feb. 10, 2020
  • "Taxing discovery: Understanding when returns are privileged," Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, March 5, 2018
  • "Compelling Evidence from Non-parties in Arbitration, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, May 5, 2015
  • "Plurality Decisions in the Supreme Court of the United States: A Reexamination of the Marks Doctrine After Rapanos v. United States," 41 Suffolk U.L Rev. 97 (2007)

In the Community

  • Board of Governors, Law Clerks' Society of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts