• 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’s experience includes representing clients before the federal and state courts of Massachusetts, municipal boards, and state administrative agencies including the MCAD, Civil Service Commission, Architectural Access Board, Board of Registration in Dentistry, Board of Registration in Nursing, and Board of Registration in Psychologists.

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 serves on the hearing committee of the Board of Bar Overseers.

He is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Recent Cases

Chadwick v. Board of Registration in Dentistry. 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.

Pacheco v. Gorin. 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.

MVRTA v. Wood Mill Parking. A garage owner sued a company over a contract one of its subsidiaries had signed to lease several hundred parking spaces. The Appeals Court held that, in the absence of fraud or wrongful contract, it would not “pierce the corporate veil.” The garage owner would have to deal with the company it contracted with. Our client was not liable.

Foster v. Worcester Zoning Board of Appeals. Our client provided furnished apartments to provide 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. Haverhill School Dept. 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 and breach of a confidential settlement agreement. The Superior Court found that the communication was not defamatory and the agreement had not been breached.

  • 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.