• Northeastern University School of Law, J.D.
  • Brown University, A.B.

Joel Rosen is the founder and managing principal of Rosen Law Office.

Trained as a litigator, Joel enjoyed a long career working for corporate law firms prior to opening his own practice.  He and his team focus on advising businesses, entrepreneurs, executives and individuals.

Joel represents doctors, dentists, nurses, and other professionals before the state licensing boards and advises on general practice issues including employment and regulatory matters. He has appeared in the state and federal courts of Massachusetts and New Hampshire and before many administrative tribunals including municipal zoning and planning boards, the MCAD, the Civil Service Commission, the Architectural Access Board, and many others.

Prior to founding his own practice, Joel was a partner at Metaxas, Norman & Pidgeon, a business law firm on the North Shore, where he supervised the litigation department.

Additionally, Joel worked at the Massachusetts Appeals Court under Justice Roderick Ireland, taught business law at Bradford College, and served on the faculty of Mass. Continuing Legal Education panels. He is a conciliator in the Superior Court and District Court and has served on the hearing committee of the Board of Bar Overseers. A former journalist, he has published hundreds of articles on legal and other topics.

He is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.



Significant Cases


Chadwick v. Bd. of Registration in Dentistry, 461 Mass. 77 (2011).

This case changed the way regulatory boards do business in Massachusetts by establishing that state boards cannot enforce or interpret OSHA regulations regarding workplace safety. The state board sanctioned a dentist for allegedly violating certain regulations of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In fact, his conduct would not have violated the regulations as OSHA interpreted them. However, whether or not the state board’s interpretation differed from OSHA’s, the federal agency had exclusive jurisdiction over the matters it regulates. The Supreme Judicial Court reversed the Board’s finding that our client had violated OSHA.


Randall v. Bd. of Registration in Medicine, SJC 2013-419 (2015)

The Board suspended the license of an eminent bariatric surgeon without a hearing.  When the surgeon finally had a chance to respond, the judge decided the case on a “substantial evidence” standard.  It was essentially the doctor’s burden to prove that the Board had no basis to withhold his license.  In a case of first impression, a single justice of the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the burden was the Board’s—not the doctor’s—to prove he was a danger to the public.


Kelcourse v. Kelcourse, 87 Mass. App. Ct. 33 (2015).

A couple signed a prenuptial agreement, which said that the wife would not have any rights to the husband’s assets if they separated.  But if the couple bought a home, she would own it.  The husband moved his family out of his riverfront home at a marina he owned and into dilapidated house a few miles away.  He promised to fix it up but never did.  The house had a leaky roof and plumbing, mold, and structural problems.  It was infested by rodents and insects.  It would have cost more to make the house habitable than it was worth.  The Appeals Court found that the wife could not have anticipated the situation when she signed the prenuptial agreement and upheld a substantial cash award.


Pacheco v. Gorin, MICV2009-01946 (2009).

An employer withheld a portion of the employee’s wages and told him they were being deposited into his retirement account. The account never existed. The question was whether deferred compensation constituted wages under state law. The Superior Court found that it did and awarded our client treble damages and attorneys’ fees for violation of the state wage act.


Foster v. Worcester Zoning Bd. App. of Worcester, 78 Mass. App. Ct. 128 (2011).

Our client’s furnished apartments provided transitional housing for homeless families. An abutter argued that the project was a homeless shelter, which required a special permit under the local zoning ordinance. The Appeals Court found that the abutter did not have standing, and even if he had been able to show a particular injury, the project was not a shelter as defined by the ordinance.


Caputo v. City of Haverhill, 82 Mass. App. Ct. 1109 (2012)

Our client was a school board member who sent an email to the other board members stating that they should not discuss personnel matters at public meetings. She reminded them that the school department had been sued—at substantial cost– when the superintendent disclosed that a coach had received an unfavorable evaluation. This email found its way into the paper, and when the coach saw her name, she sued for defamation. The Appeals Court found that a message among members of the board was not “publication,” and the comment’s weren’t defamatory in any event.


Merrimack Valley Reg. Transit Auth. v. Wood Mill Parking, LLC, 78 Mass. App. Ct. 1126 (2011).

 A real estate developer created a subsidiary company to lease hundreds of parking spaces for residents of condominium project he was building.  When the market dried up, the developer did not build the condos and did not need the spaces.  Because the lease was the subsidiary’s only asset, the garage owner went after the developer.  The Appeals Court ruled that the garage owner knew what company it was dealing with.  It had not been misled and could not pierce the corporate veil.


Procopio Const. Co. v. DiMarco,, 2000 Mass. App. Div. 166 (Dist. Ct. 2000).

A contractor challenged our expert witness’s qualifications to estimate the cost to repair defects in a new home.  The court upheld the award of damages, ruling that the Court reasonably relied on the testimony.  


U.S. ex rel. Metric Elec., Inc. v. Enviroserve, Inc., 301 F. Supp. 2d 56 (D. Mass. 2003).

Our client was the electrical subcontractor doing work on an army base.  The general contractor terminated the contract, and we sued under the Miller Act.  The contractor was entitled to the value of services provided—not just what was due under the contract.

  • Business Advice & Litigation
  • Employment & Discrimination
  • Real Estate & Land Use
  • Landlord-Tenant & Section 8
  • Construction Contracts & Disputes
  • Administrative Law


  • Director, Haverhill Bar Association
  • Co-President, Northeastern University School of Law Alumni Association, Boston Chapter
  • Director, Brown Club of Boston
  • Executive Committee, Lawrence Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Boston Inns of Court
  • Haverhill Chamber of Commerce
  • Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce
  • Merrimack Valley Economic Development Council
  • Society for Human Resource Management


  • Negotiated an advantageous settlement on behalf of a developer in an $11 million construction dispute involving twenty parties and four separate lawsuits.
  • Obtained award in Miller Act case in federal court involving construction at army base.
  • Prevented cell phone companies from erecting large monopole towers in Manchester by the Sea.
  • Prevailed in Superior Court case involving new construction that flooded neighboring property, obtaining total remediation of problem, full payment of damages, and attorneys’ fees.
  • Successfully defended substantial trust matter involving four separate federal lawsuits in two states and obtained attorneys’ fees for client.
  • Obtained injunction preventing city from enforcing ordinance directed against client’s business.
  • Avoided imminent litigation and negotiated the buyout of shareholder’s stake in a newspaper business.
  • Protected one owner from oppression by the majority owners in an environmental business and structured a buy-out at fair value of his interest.
  • Successfully arbitrated dispute involving construction of a 24-story building in Boston.
  • Successfully defended large landlord in “lock-out” case.
  • Obtained favorable settlement after a flood in which the insurer was denying coverage of a loss in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • Obtained “no probable cause” finding on several occasions for employers being accused of discrimination in proceedings before the MCAD.
  • Obtained arbitration award in multi-million-dollar partnership dispute involving approximately 100 rental units in Cambridge, MA.
  • Prevailed in trial alleging defective construction of home.
  • Successfully represented business in handicap-access hearings before Architectural Access Board.
  • Vindicated housing authority in litigation and hearings involving constitutional issues relating to Section 8 housing.