Michelle R. Peirce is Co-Chair of the firm’s Litigation practice, devoting her time equally to complex civil litigation and white-collar criminal defense. She is a past president of the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts and has been selected as a “Super Lawyer” for 2009-2019. Michelle has tried numerous jury and bench trials both at Barrett & Singal and while serving as a Special Assistant District Attorney in Middlesex County.
In her criminal practice, Michelle represents business executives, corporations, and professionals who are under investigation or indictment for white-collar crimes. These include cases alleging fraud in the areas of healthcare, securities, banking, bankruptcy, export, tax, defense procurement, and other state and federal crimes.
In her civil practice, Michelle represents individuals, businesses, and public entities in complex civil disputes. These include contract disputes, litigation between businesses, employment disputes, insurance, and many others. She was a member of the insurance practice group at her former firm and brings this experience to bear in seeking coverage for her clients. In addition, Michelle defends lawyers, doctors, and other professionals in disciplinary, regulatory, and licensing proceedings.
Awards & recognitions
Massachusetts Super Lawyers 2009-2019
Lawyer of the Year - 2017, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
Circle of Excellence honoree for the Top Women of Law 2017, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
New England Super Lawyers - Top 50 Women - 2015-2018
Massachusetts Super Lawyers - Top 50 Women - 2012-2019
Massachusetts Super Lawyers - Top 100 - 2015-2019
Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Top Women of Law 2013
Massachusetts Rising Star 2005-2006
Associate, Goodwin Procter, Trial Department, Insurance Practice Group
Special Assistant District Attorney, Cambridge District Court
Vice President, Lawyers Weekly, Inc.
Adjunct Professor, Suffolk University Law School
Law Clerk for the Honorable Andrew A. Caffrey, U.S. District Court in Boston
Boston College Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, “Order of the Coif," 1990
Executive Editor of the Boston College Law Review
Georgetown University, B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1987
Court / Bar Admissions
U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
Fraud; Computer/cyber fraud; Defense procurement/Government contracting export violations; Mail and wire fraud; Mortgage fraud; Tax fraud; Foreign Corrupt Practices Act; Internal investigations; Business torts; Commercial litigation; Contract disputes; Noncompetition agreements; Employment disputes/discrimination/retaliation; Insurance coverage disputes; Real estate litigation; SEC civil cases; Unfair and deceptive trade practices (Chapter 93A); Independent authority representation
Professional Services (attorneys, CPAs, engineers, physicians); Non-profit Organizations; Government Contractors, Public Officials, State and Local Government; Quasi-public Agencies; Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Companies; Hospitals; Managed Care; Pharmacies; Providers; Transportation
- White Collar Conference Advisory Committee, 2020 Program
- Boston Bar Association White Collar Steering Committee, Member
- Federal Bar Association, Massachusetts Chapter, Health Law Committee, Co-Chair
- Women's Bar Foundation, President-Elect (current); Trustee (2006-present)
- BBA Business and Commercial Litigation Steering Committee, Member (2016- 2018)
- National Institute for Trial Advocacy, Faculty Member, multiple years
- Federal Bar Association, Massachusetts Chapter, Civil Healthcare Section Co-Chair
- Boston Bar Association, Civil Litigation and Criminal Law Sections
- Massachusetts Bar Association
- Women’s Bar Association, President, 2009-2010; Member of Executive Board, 2007-2010; Vice President of Membership and Statewide Outreach, March 2007-2008; Past Media Committee Chair
- Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Former Member, Board of Editors
- National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, Member
Presentations & Publications
Michelle has testified at the State House in her role as President of the Women’s Bar Association. In addition, she speaks regularly at legal community, and bar association, events, including:
- Panelist, BBA 2020 White Collar Conference on the panel entitled: Complex Multi-Defendant Litigation, January 2020
- Co-host, “The U.S. Supreme Court’s Escobar Ruling on False Claims Act Cases – Trends and Developments Since the June 2016 Decision," June 2018
- Panelist, "How to Excel as a Second Chair," Boston Bar Association, 5 June 2018
- Moderator, "2018 Federal Bench-Bar Discussion," Boston Bar Association, April 2018
- Panelist, "Paths to First Chair Litigation: How to take the Lead in Criminal Litigation," Women's Bar Association, March 2018
- Speaker, Communications with In-House Lawyers – Landmines and New Developments, Boston Bar Association, December 2017
- MCLE “Win Cases by Exploiting Social Media & Utilizing the Internet,” November 2017
- Women’s Bar Association “Women Lawyers Leading Cases in the Courtroom,” June 2017
- CLE "Healthcare Fraud 2017," May 2017
- CLE "Healthcare Fraud 2016: Government and Defense Perspectives," May 2016
- Boston Bar Association "Criminal Exposure in Civil Cases - Traps for the Unwary," November 2015
- Boston Bar Association “Practicing Before the Board of Registration in Medicine and the Division of Health Professions Licensure,” September 2015
- MCLE “Using Social Media to Win Cases," 2012- 2015, 2017- 2020
- MCLE "Key Issues in Discovery Practice," May 2014
- Boston Bar Association "Health Care Fraud," May 2014
- Moderator, Women’s Bar Association panel "Demystifying the Path to the Bench", October 2013
- MCLE “Key Issues in Discovery Practice," May 2013
- Keynote speaker, Lawyers Weekly Unsung Hero Awards, October 2011
- Boston Bar Association panel on jury instructions, April 2011
- MCLE Trial Advocacy Workshop, July 2010
She is a regular panelist and speaker for the Women’s Bar Association, including “Trials Facing Women Litigators,” a panel that included Attorney General Martha Coakley and the Honorable Magistrate Judge Bowler, June 2010.
Her publications include:
- A chapter of the MCLE Massachusetts Discovery Practice (2nd edition 2012, with 2014 supplement)
"Civil litigators: Your clients have the right to remain silent", Lawyers Weekly (February 2015)
- "Hidden Dangers Embedded in the Affordable Care Act for Health Care Providers Receiving Medicaid Payments," Law.com (June 2014)
- "The Affordable Care Act: Five Hidden Dangers for Healthcare Providers." Originally published for a Boston Bar Association seminar. (May 2014)
Michelle is often quoted by, or published in, various media including: Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly; Lawyers USA; the National Law Journal; the MBA’s Massachusetts Lawyers Journal; Law360; Lawyers Weekly Medical Law Reporter; and, the Boston Herald.
Civic & charitable activities
Volunteer Attorney for the Women’s Bar Foundation’s Family Law Project
Pro bono representation for summary judgment purposes of prisoner in Quintal v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts (filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts)
“I feel such a weight lifted off my shoulders. You have been a rock through out this ordeal, with your composure, confidence yet at the same time being cautious and supportive. You prepared me thoroughly and I appreciate you for that and for your outstanding professionalism.” —Physician, sanction avoided
“I would recommend her to anyone for anything. She was direct, extremely caring, and gave me some hope that better things might actually be possible.” —Criminal client, dismissed by prosecutor
“My most sincere appreciation to you for your expert attention to our recently wrapped up legal troubles. While the vagaries of the law and the government were cause for concern throughout this protracted ordeal, there was never a moment when I doubted your dedication and expertise. Your knowledge, thoroughness and thoughtful manner allowed me to have the peace of mind to feel confident that, whatever the result, we were well represented.” —Medical practice, investigated for healthcare fraud
Off the record...
Michelle has performed standup comedy in Boston, New York and California.
- The Super Lawyers list is issued by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at here. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.
- Secured verdicts of not guilty on all twenty-five charges of second-degree murder against Barry Cadden in the nationally-covered New England Compounding Center criminal case arising out of the 2012 meningitis outbreak.
- Successfully defended public authority in a commercial contract suit claiming nearly $10M in damages
- Won landmark federal appeal upholding a no-jail sentence for client convicted of Big Dig highway fraud
- Persuaded federal authorities not to indict scientist for alleged export crimes after lengthy negotiations
- Successfully resolved case against insurance carrier for failing to cover hospital’s loss
- Won civil fraud and consumer protection case, without a trial, against an attorney alleged to have participated in a real estate scheme
- Won dismissal of case brought by union against public authority claiming violation of fire safety regulations
- Dismissal of all criminal charges in kidnapping case
- Dismissal of disciplinary complaint against physician at Board of Registration in Medicine in matter involving a patient death
- Successfully represented family and heirs seeking damages after being defrauded by another family member
- Persuaded federal prosecutors not to bring charges against attorney in a bankruptcy fraud investigation; successfully disposed of attorney disciplinary complaint arising out of same conduct
Giving back to our community
Trials Facing Women Litigators and Tips For Success:…
“Thank you for giving me my life back.”
Significant appeal in Big Dig criminal case
Landmark ruling in scientific misconduct case
Healthcare fraud warning from the Massachusetts U.S.…
Scam Warning for Massachusetts Physicians
Michelle Peirce and David Chorney Co-Host FBA Health…
Shielding Companies Against Whistleblower Suits
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