Michael B. Keating

Partner - Boston

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Michael Keating is past Chairman of the firm’s Litigation Department and has been the firm’s leading trial lawyer for over thirty years. Michael has been consistently listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, and Massachusetts SuperLawyers and was recognized by The National Law Journal, all reflecting his reputation as one of the leading trial attorneys in Massachusetts. In 2011, he was named “Lawyer of the Year” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

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  • Harvard Law School, LL.B.
  • Williams College, B.A., cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Representative Experience

  • Appointed on two occasions by the Supreme Judicial Court as Special Counsel to the Commission on Judicial Conduct and represented the Commission in disciplinary proceedings through presentation to the Supreme Judicial Court
  • Represents the former President of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company in overturning his discharge for cause
  • Represents a mutual insurer in the defense of four national class actions alleging life insurance marketing fraud
  • Represented Federal Express in trademark litigation and The San Francisco Chronicle in a private RICO action
  • Represented W.R. Grace & Company in a six-month trial of a toxic tort groundwater case brought by residents of the City of Woburn
  • Persuaded, on behalf of several life insurers, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to invalidate the Insurance Commissioner’s regulations on gender-based premiums

Professional Experience

  • Adjunct Professor of Civil Trial Practice at Northeastern Law School, 1995 to present
  • Instructor at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy of Harvard Law School
  • Visiting Professor at Williams College, teaching course entitled “Law and Public Policy”
  • Visiting Lecturer at Harvard Business School and the Yale School of Management, co-author of business school case involving intellectual property litigation
  • Frequent Lecturer, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education
  • "The Impact of Changes in Superior Court Practice on Attorney Training," MASSACHUSETTS LAW REVIEW, Volume 92, No. 3 (December 2009)
  • Michael B. Keating with Katherine J. Fick, chapter on Civility, BUSINESS AND COMMERCIAL LITIGATION IN FEDERAL COURTS (2005)


  • Ranked by CHAMBERS USA: AMERICA'S LEADING LAWYERS FOR BUSINESS as one of Massachusetts' leading general commercial litigators (2003 - 2022)
  • Named by MASSACHUSETTS LAWYERS WEEKLY as Lawyer of the Year (2019)
  • 2013 President’s Award, Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • 2013 Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall Award, American Constitution Society for Law and Policy
  • Named by the NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL as one of the ten outstanding litigators in Massachusetts (1999)
  • Appointed Special Counsel by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to the Commission on Judicial Conduct
  • Selected by the Center for Public Resources to serve on its permanent mediation panel; Member of Executive Committee
  • Served as Special Master for the U.S. District Court


  • The Boston Foundation, Chairman of The Board of Directors 
  • Chair, Court Management Advisory Board, appointed by the Supreme Judicial Court to advise on all matters of court administration
  • Law clerk to Associate Justice Francis J. Quirico of the Massachusetts Superior Court and to Judge W. Arthur Garrity, Jr. of the United States District Court for Massachusetts
  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow, Committee on the Teaching of Trial and Appellate Advocacy, Former Chairman
  • U.S. District Court’s Panel of Criminal Defense Counsel, Member
  • Boston Bar Association, President, 2001 - 2002
  • Williams College, Trustee, 1996 - present
  • Brooks School, Trustee Emeritus
  • Foley Hoag Foundation, Trustee
  • The Boston Children’s Museum, Trustee
  • Crime and Justice Foundation, Past President
  • Massachusetts Council on Crime and Corrections, Past President
  • Administration of Justice Section, Boston Bar Association, Co-Chair, 1997
  • Task Force on Sentencing Policy, Boston Bar Association, Chairperson, 1991
  • Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, Trustee
  • Lieutenant (Judge Advocate General's Corps) U.S. Naval Reserve (ret.)
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Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Military Appeals